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Demarest School Official Named NJ Board Member of the Year

TRENTON, November 3, 2011—Diane Holzberg, a 24-year member of the Demarest Board of Education, has been named the 2011 New Jersey School Board Member of the Year, the New Jersey School Boards Association announced today.

“Diane is a dedicated board member who has served her community for nearly a quarter century,” said Marie S. Bilik, NJSBA executive director. “Her efforts at the local and state levels have increased the quality of education for countless children in her community, and throughout New Jersey.”

Holzberg has served as board president for 11 years, and vice president for seven years. She has served on the negotiations team for 21 years, and has chaired the Policy, Evaluation, Negotiations, Curriculum, Finance, and Buildings and Grounds committees.

She has also served as president of the Demarest PTA, and the president of the Northern Valley Joint Boards Committee, a panel of the regional district’s eight local members that meets to share goals and ensure a continuum of services.

County, State Involvement At the county level, Holzberg is an 18-year member of the Bergen County School Boards Association’s Executive Committee, serving as its president, vice president, secretary, and delegate and alternate representative to the NJSBA Board of Directors. She also served on the NJSBA Legislative and Finance committees, as well as on the Parental Involvement Committee, and she has been a Federal Relations Network delegate for the past five years. She created, developed and implemented the Bergen County Mentoring Program to facilitate new board member orientation. She has also been active with the Dollar$ and Sense grassroots organization that promotes alternative funding.

Holzberg was the 2009 recipient of the Janet S. Lobsenz Award, which was named after the NJSBA field service representative who retired after nearly two decades of service to local school boards in Bergen and Sussex Counties. In 1995 she received the Archie F. Hay Award for Distinguished Service from the Bergen County School Boards Association.

Holzberg has earned the designation of Certified Board Member through NJSBA’s Board Member Academy, a program that recognizes advanced levels of training among school board members. She is a recipient of the NJSBA Golden Award for attendance at Continuing Education Programs, and the NJSBA Continuing Education Program Award. She also served as a delegate to the NJSBA Delegate Assembly.

Her numerous other accomplishments include developing a staff recognition program and organizing a PTA afterschool enrichment program. A board member who has taken extensive NJSBA training, she has also helped establish county association leadership training and legislative outreach efforts.

Colleague Nominated She was nominated by Jane Majeski, a fellow Demarest board member who has worked with Holzberg for more than eight years.

“For the past 24 years, Diane has worked tirelessly on behalf of all of the children and the citizens of Demarest,” said Majeski’s nomination.

“Through her leadership, the district continues to strive to be the best that it can be,” Majeski’s nomination stated. “Diane doesn’t accept second best for the children, and she instills that attitude and work ethic in our administrative staff. She is open to new ideas and always asks specifically how the children will benefit from new initiatives when implemented. Her leadership style builds trust and respect, which allows for consensus on all issues which impact the programs and staff of the Demarest Public Schools.”

Given annually since 2005, the School Board Member of the Year award honors an individual board member who makes significant contributions; exemplifies leadership in the field of education with a strong commitment to the children of New Jersey; demonstrates a strong commitment to his/her personal and professional development as a board member; and shows active involvement in school governance at the local, county and state levels. 

Nominations for this honor were judged by an independent panel from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.