Senate Judiciary Moves 2 State Board Nominees For Final Slots on Board

Posted · Add Comment

The Senate Judiciary Committee moved two nominations to the State Board of Education December 7.  The nominees will now move on to the full Senate for consideration.

Nominated earlier this week, the two nominees will serve on the Board until their terms expire as follows:

  • Elaine Bobgrove of Haddon Township, New Jersey.  Ms. Bobgrove will replace Ms. Edithe Fulton who has served on the Board for a number of years for the residual of her unexpired term which is expected to end June 30, 2018.
  • Fatimah Burnam-Watkins of Linden, New Jersey.  Ms. Burman-Watkins will serve out the remainder of Dr. Dorothy Strickland who resigned from her seat.  Ms. Burman-Watkins term will run through June 30, 2023.  Ms. Burnam-Watkins currently works as the Executive Director of Teach For America New Jersey.

About Elaine Bobrove

Ms. Bobrove currently serves as an Adjunct Full Professor, Academic Skills English for Camden County College.  She is also the President, United Adjunct Faculty New Jersey (UAFNJ) Local 2222, President, Camden County College Chapter UAFNJ, AFTNJ VP for Higher Education, member of AFT Higher Education Program and Policy Council, member of NJ Higher Education Leadership Council.

About Fatimah Burnam-Watkins

Ms. Burnam-Watkins grew up in the Garden State and after holding numerous roles with Teach For America national in New York City (2003) and Philadelphia (2005), returned home to New Jersey in 2010 to begin her work as Executive Director of Teach For America Greater Newark. As Executive Director, Burnam-Watkins was responsible for maximizing the organization’s impact in Greater Newark by working to grow Teach For America’s presence in the community, ensuring effectiveness of corps members, and building a sustainable base of financial support.  Due to her success, her role expanded Statewide.  In addition to her role as Executive Director, Burnam-Watkins serves on two Newark education boards: TEAM Academy Charter Schools and BRICK Avon Academy Schools.

Ms. Burnam-Watkins graduated from the University of Maryland.  She taught high school humanities as a 2001 Teach For America corps member in Baltimore while also working towards a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education Administration from Johns Hopkins University.

Several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern that neither of the nominees were available to be interviewed.  Questions about Burnam-Watkins’ questionnaire came up during the hearing, including missing information and whether any conflicts exist as to her present service on charter boards that will need be resolved prior to becoming a State Board member.  The Chair of the Committee, Senator Scutari, indicated that any questions and missing information would be resolved prior to moving the nominations forward for a full vote in the Senate.

These nominations would create a full complement of Board Members on the State Board of Education.