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New Member Sworn in to State Board of Education

For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Barra
   Allison Kobus
Date: Aug. 4, 2011 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – Mark W. Biedron of Tewksbury Township was sworn into office as the newest member of the New Jersey State Board of Education, during the Board’s August meeting.  Biedron replaces Kenneth J. Parker who resigned on June 14, 2011. The State Board has 13 members who are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the New Jersey State Senate. These members serve without compensation for six-year terms. By law, at least three members of the State Board must be women, and no two members may be appointed from the same county.

Biedron and his wife Gretchen founded The Willow School in 2002. The school is an independent, non-profit elementary day school located in Gladstone, New Jersey, which focuses on academic excellence and environmental sustainability. It has received top state and national honors for using cost-efficient and energy-saving green building practices and materials that protect and preserve the environment. When fully built out, The Willow School will have 216 students and 35 staff on its 86,000-square-foot campus. 

From 1975 to 1995, Biedron was vice president and co-owner of Con Lux Coatings, Inc., a manufacturer of heavy duty architectural and environmentally compliant low VOC paints and coatings. After selling the business to the Sherwin Williams Company, he retired in July 1996. In 1997, he founded Solid Wood Construction, LLC, a general construction company specializing in sustainable and green  design, building and renovation of homes using salvaged and recycled materials. Biedron has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Vermont. He is a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional and a member of the US Green Building Council.

The State Board of Education re-elected Arcelio Aponte as president and elected Ilan Plawker as vice president for the 2011-12 academic year, at its July meeting.

A resident of Piscataway, President Aponte has served on the State Board since 2005. He previously served as vice president from 2006 until being elected president in 2010. He is the director of operations and management for the City of Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing Development. He holds a master of arts in business administration from Rutgers University and a bachelor of science in electronic engineering technology from The College of New Jersey.

Vice President Plawker was appointed to the State Board in 2009 and has also recently been nominated to serve on the National Association of State Board’s of Education (NASBE) Board of Directors for the Northeastern Area Directors. He lives in Englewood Cliffs and is now retired from his own creative marketing business. He is married, has three sons and seven grandchildren, all residents of New Jersey.

The State Board adopts the administrative code, which sets the rules needed to implement state education law. Such rules cover the supervision and governance of the state’s nearly 2,500 public schools, which serve 1.38 million students. In addition, the State Board advises on educational policies proposed by the Commissioner and confirms Department of Education staff appointments made by the Commissioner.

Mark W. Biedron of Tewksbury Township, is sworn in as a member of the State Board of Education, by the Honorable William Anklowitz.

Mark W. Biedron of Tewksbury Township, is sworn in as a member of the State Board of Education, by the Honorable William Anklowitz.