ESCNJ appoints new board members from Middlesex County 


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The Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ), the largest educational service commission in the state, announced the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors: Dr. Gina Villani, Dr. Bernard Bragen, Jr. and Brian Glassberg.

“We are fortunate to have a very proactive board that is fully committed to serving students with severe disabilities and behavioral challenges,” ESCNJ Schools Superintendent Mark Finkelstein said in a prepared statement. “As we navigate through this lingering pandemic and push for in-school instruction as much as possible, we need the input of educational leaders and innovators. Our three new board members are ideal in this realm and we warmly welcome them to help chart our future.”

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Dr. Gina Villani began her tenure as the superintendent of the Jamesburg Public Schools in December, bringing years of experience in educational administration. She has held the position of superintendent in a PreK-8 district as well as assistant superintendent in two different districts serving grades PreK-12. She has also served as a supervisor and principal, after a successful term as a well-regarded teacher.

“As this is my first position in Middlesex County and my first interaction with ESCNJ, I look forward to the opportunity to support the students, staff, and programs of the commission,” the Jamesburg superintendent said in the statement.

Dr. Bernard Bragen Jr., the superintendent of the Edison Township Public Schools, began his career as a special education teacher and supervisor of special services. He was also an assistant professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, as well as superintendent of the Hazlet Township Public Schools.

“My extensive background in working with students with disabilities will be beneficial as we work as a board to amplify the successes that are already taking place at ESCNJ,” Bragen said in the statement. “I look forward to working with Mr. Finkelstein’s team as we continually enhance the quality of education for students enrolled in this superb community resource.”

Brian Glassberg, president of the Metuchen Board of Education, is supervisor of school counseling for the Edison Public Schools. A licensed associate counselor, he has also served as a teacher of mathematics and psychology.

“I am very excited to be part of the ESCNJ Board,” Glassberg said in the statement. “ESCNJ has a strong reputation, and I look forward to providing input and support to all the programs that they have to offer.”

Dr. Dale Caldwell, the long-time board president for ESCNJ, said the three new board members all offer the extensive educational experience needed to further elevate the specialized school district to higher levels.

“We are confident they will provide the valuable input and assistance that we need to further enhance the quality of education for the students here at ESCNJ,” Caldwell said in the statement. “They embrace our shared goal to provide the most robust, valuable and cost-effective programs for students with disabilities.”

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