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 Jersey City Board of Education's Board Members


President Sudhan Thomas - sudhanthomas@jcboe.org





Vice President Lorenzo Richardson - lorenzorichardson@jcboe.org

Lorenzo Richardson was born and raised in Jersey City in the Montgomery Gardens Housing Projects where he learned early on that the key to success is a good education and to use that education to help others.

He attended PS#9 Kennedy School, graduated 3rd in his Class at James J. Ferris High School and was voted Most Likely to Succeed and Best All-Around Student. He earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Accounting from Saint Peter's College (now Saint Peter's University) and was active in student government and the community during his studies.  Mr. Richardson is currently an Accountant with over 20 years experience, and is a member of several Professional Organizations.

Since college, he has and continues to mentor youth, serve in his church and community, teach Financial and Technology Literacy and promote Basic Literacy through book distributions for low income children.  His passion for equitable education has spanned 14 years with advocacy on the local, state and national levels.

His success by God’s grace compels him to challenge the Jersey City Board of Education on doing the right thing for the children. He clearly understands that Education is the key to rise from poverty and ignorance and shows you the path to your purpose.



Vidya Gangadin - vidyagangadin@jcboe.org

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.

 Vidya Gangadin



Marilyn Romanmarilynroman@jcboe.org

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 responsibility 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 number of years, which enhanced her ability to function according to the proper decorum and procedure.

 Marilyn Roman



 Amy DeGise - amydegise@jcboe.org

Amy DeGise is a proud, lifelong resident of Jersey City. In 2008, Amy earned her Bachelor's Degree from Montclair State University, concentrating in History Education. Immediately after graduating, Amy joined the Hudson County Schools of Technology District at their Jersey City location County Prep High School as a certified Social Studies teacher. Amy completed her graduate coursework in 2015, receiving a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and became a helpful addition to her district’s technology transition team. Her efforts helped implement Google’s Classroom suite throughout the school.

As a second year teacher, Amy was elected to be the Recording Secretary for the Hudson County Area Vocational Technical Association Executive Board. Gaining invaluable insight from that experience, Amy presently serves as the Association’s Instructional Vice President. In addition to her regular teaching duties, Amy also works with several evening programs in multiple capacities, including: GED/TASC Prep instructor and testing coordinator assistant, as a mentor with Jersey City’s Out of School Youth Education Program, and as a literacy instructor with Project Impact.

Amy has been an advocate for public education her entire life and is eager to continue serving her community. She is hopeful that her array of experience will prove beneficial in her efforts to improve the district’s overall achievement.




Pastor Luis F. Fernandez - luisfernandez@jcboe.org

Pastor Luis F. Fernandez Jr is the lead pastor at Fountain of Salvation Church on Communipaw ave. He is a graduate of Nyack College-New York City. He has done post-graduate courses at the Urban Youth Leadership Institute of Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, California) and the Devos Urban leadership Initiative. He has been a mentor and parent advocate through the Hudson County Child Abuse prevention Center.

Pastor Fernandez is currently a chaplain and family crisis counselor in hospitals all throughout the state of NJ, with the NJ Sharing Network. He is also a trainer for Spanish youth workers throughout the US with e625.com. But his greatest accomplishment is being a husband and a parent.




 Matt Schapiro - mattschapiro@jcboe.org

Matt Schapiro is a husband and father of three Jersey City Public School students in his first term on the Jersey City Board of Education. He has previously served on several appointed boards including Temple Beth-El, Liberty Humane Society, Hudson County Jaycees, and oversaw the consolidation of the Jersey City Parking Authority into the Jersey City Department of Public Safety after five years serving as Commissioner. He is a member of the Jersey City NAACP, Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association, ACLU, and advocates with JC Safe Streets.

Mr. Schapiro enjoys many activities with his family including reading, playing soccer, hiking and camping, attending theater, travelling, and especially, surfing and teaching his children respect for the ocean, the natural world, and other cultures. He drives a minivan with gusto.

Mr. Schapiro is a twenty-one year resident of Jersey City and lives with his family in Hamilton Park. He works as a management and communications consultant with clients across many sectors and is a graduate of Lafayette College.

 Matt Schapiro

 Mussab Ali - mussabali@jcboe.org

Mussab Ali is a first-generation Muslim American majoring in Biology and Economics at Rutgers-Newark. A loyal son of Jersey City, Mussab attended Jersey City Public Schools PS 23, PS 6, Academy 1, and McNair Academic High School where he graduated top 10% of his class. At Rutgers, Mussab serves as the president of the Muslim Students Association and was the founding chapter president of the National Society of Leadership and Success on his campus. He was also recently elected Phi Beta Kappa his junior year.  

He has participated in research at the New Jersey Medical School, using pre-natal cortical cell-stretching to simulate concussions. Mussab was recently awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship and selected as an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate Class of 2018—the only member selected from his campus. Mussab was recently appointed to the Immigration Affairs Commission in Jersey City and elected as vice chair by his peers. Mussab serves on the community advisory board of Haven Adolescent Respite Center and is also the secretary of the Hudson County Young Democrats. He is the youngest member and the first Muslim ever elected to the Jersey City Board of Education.  

Mussab Ali



Gerald Lyons - geraldlyons@jcboe.org

Gerald Lyons is an educator with the Hudson County Schools of Technology since 1987. He has been a vocational and academic teacher, media specialist, supervisor, director, and currently, a principal. He has studied locally at both HCCC and NJCU and was an adjunct professor at HCCC, where he taught ESL. He has a Master's in Education and is completing a second Masters in Administration. 

He previously served on the Board as the Chairperson of the Policy and Special Education Committees. He lives in Jersey City with his partner and his father, having first moved into Jersey City in the late 1980s. 

He was awarded "Teacher of the Year" twice for the HCST and "Everyday Hero in Education" by the Jersey Journal after being nominated by his students and coworkers. 

Now in his 32nd year in PUBLIC education, he is planning on retiring in June of 2019 and is looking forward to returning to teaching at the college level. 

Gerald Lyons

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