Suzanne T. Mack, Jersey City Board of Education President
Ms. Suzanne T. Mack, PP, AICP, ITE, a Jersery City native is a licensed urban planner and Fellow in the Institute of Transportation Engineers. She personifies the dedication, the commitment of time and the personal concern for the students of our district. Ms. Mack is the longest serving member of the board currently in her sixth three year term. She established the special education committee of the Board in 1997 and the award winning Special Education Parents Council. She is currently the Board President having served as Board Chairperson a decade ago from 2000-2002 and more recently as Vice President from 2009-2010. She has chaired Policy, Special Education, and the Facilities committees of the Board. She brings two decades of experiences as a mother of an autistic individual who started JCPS at 4, graduated with a Jersey City diploma, and is now finishing a Masters from Seton Hall University. She also “adopted” an international student from India at Dickinson High School who now resides with his own family in Jersey City.
Throughout her term, Ms. Mack has been a staunch supporter of administrators, teachers, and parents. She is particularly interested in enrichment and community partnerships at the Early Childhood, after school, and Post secondary levels. She credits her planning background with her interest in fostering an environment of professionalism and common sense in the processes of the Board.
Her motto is No Problems, Just Solutions and works hard at finding those Solutions.
Carol Lester is chairperson of the Education Programs Committee and member of the Personnel, Governance, and Planning Committee.
Ms Lester was co-founder of and six-year Board President to The Learning community Charter School, one of the State's top performing public, unionized Charter Schools. Ms. Lester has a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from Temple University. Before the birth of her child, she worked in Madison Avenue in advertising. Ms. Lester now is the sole proprietor of "ABC Sing With Me" baby toddler music, dance parties, and cd's as well as a freelance Cardiac Senior Yoga Instructor. She is also partners with other award winning songwriters in Mamapalooza international music record label and publishing company.
Mr. Angel L. Valentin was elected to the Board of Education in 2005 after serving two years as a liaison to the Board of Education. Mr. Valentin has given the Board of Education a totally different perspective - as the parent of a son who attends Ferris High School and a daughter who attends Princeton University, he has the direct pulse of the children in the schools.
Mr. Valentin also has been active in a number of community activities and serves as the chairperson of the Personnel Committee and a member of the Affirmative Action and Educational Programs' Committees.
Carol Harrison-Arnold a native of upstate New York, was raised in Brooklyn; graduated from John Dewey H.S. and received her B.A. from New York University. After working 3 years in the insurance industry she left to attend the University Of Virginia School Of Law where she received her J.D. She is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey and had a part-time practice for many years in real estate and entertainment.
Ms. Arnold has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry where she has held several positions including Vice President. Presently she is self-employed as an insurance and legal consultant offering services as an expert witness. She had been a frequent panelist at insurance related seminars and published several articles in insurance related publications.
Ms. Arnold formerly held positions as President of the Lincoln H. S. Parents’ Council; Trustee of the Hoboken Charter School; President of the Astor Place Neighborhood Association; President of the Monticello Community Development Corporation and Acting Chair of Bergen Communities United. She serves as a Warden in her church, Church of the Incarnation; is on the board of the Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation; and is a Trustee of the Episcopal Diocesan of Newark. She was elected to the Jersey City Board of Education in 2011 and now chairs the Policy Committee.
Mrs. Marilyn Roman is a widow with two sons and six grandchildren. She is an educator with more than 40 years experience in teaching, supervision and administration, 32 years of which were in the Jersey City Public Schools. She taught in two of the parochial schools in Jersey City for a period of five years. She also taught at PS 41 for approximately twelve years as well as PS 34 for a year and PS 9 for two. Mrs. Roman was an elementary supervisor for the Jersey City PUblic School District for seven years, and with a supervisory colleague, wrote and secured the planning grant for the creation of the first preschool program in the Jersey City Public Schools.
Mrs. Roman was a Director of the Education Business Alliance in the JCPS with responsibilty for the creation and implementation of the magnet school small learning communities, and training and internship partnerships with large and small businesses throughout the city such as Merrill Lynch, Pershing Corporation, Provident Bank, and Hyatt Hotels among others.
Mrs. Roman worked closely with board colleagues, city and county government, unions, and other partners to secure grants to increase the experience base of the students in our programs. She has worked with colleges and other institutions of learning throughout the state to secure opportunities and coursework for students.
Mrs. Roman was the Director of Special Projects for 5 1/2 years for the Hudson County Schools of Technology and worked on several boards throughout the city and county over a numer of years, which enhanced her ability to function according to the proper decorum and procedure.
Vidya Gangadin is a long time resident of Jersey City.
Ms Gangadin has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and works in the private sector over 20 plus years as a Financial Analyst and Operations Manager. Ms Gangadin is a very active parent of four children currently attending public schools. Prior to her election she was the Vice President of Parent Teacher’s Partnership, Member of the School Leadership Committee, Member of the Citywide Parent Advisory at Academy I Middle School and Member of the Jersey City Coalition of PTO.
Ms Gangadin has a vested interest in public schools and believes in quality education for all children. Her Motto is We need to provide excellent educational experiences and services to inspire every student to think, to learn, to achieve, and to care. Our children deserve nothing less than the best.
Sangeeta Ranade is a Director at Limehouse Partners, a sustainability and energy efficiency consulting firm. She specializes in starting up energy programs for government agencies and utilities.
At the JCBOE she chairs the Facilities committee. Prior to her election to the Board, Sangeeta was Vice President of the Parent Teacher Association at her daughter's school where she championed the expansion of the Dual Language Program.
Sangeeta has her MBA in Finance and Master of Science in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in environmental engineering from Northwestern University. Her children attend the Jersey City Public Schools.
Gerald Lyons is a Supervisor of Instruction with the Hudson County School of Technology at County Prep High School in Jersey City. He has been employed there for 25 years and has both vocational and academic teaching certificates. He also has a Masters in Education and certificates as a Supervisor of Instruction, Media Specialist, SLE (Structured Learning Experience) Teacher, and Online Instructor. He organized the LEAP (Learning Enables All Possibilities) program for his district that has offered the opportunity for college credits while in high school to hundreds of students and runs the school media center at County Prep. He has been a coach, class advisor, mentor to new instructors, lead teacher, assistant director of extended year programs, and representative for the school on committees for the State of New Jersey. He has been honored as Teacher of the Year twice and received the Everyday Hero in Education award from The Jersey Journal. He is a graduate of Hudson County Community College and New Jersey City University, where he received his Master's degree and three of his six teaching certificates.