Sudhan Thomas, Vice President, Jersey City, Board of Education was elected and sworn in to the Board of Directors of the NJSBA on Friday, September 15, 2017. Thomas joins the 26 member Board of Directors of the state wide federation of school boards. Thomas becomes the first elected school board trustee from Jersey City to be elected to a statewide office through his election to the Board of Directors of the NJSBA. Thomas was administered the oath of Office by Daniel Sinclair, President of NJSBA along with other new members to the Board of Directors who were sworn in and welcomed to their new leadership assignments on Friday last at the NJSBA, meeting of the Board of Directors. The NJSBA serves over 600 school boards, represented by the over 6,000 elected school board members serving the over 1.3 million students enrolled in 2,598 schools across the state of New Jersey
Thomas will serve a 3-year term starting September 2017 through June 2020. Thomas’s term of office as the newly elected Board of Director to the NJSBA will outlive his current term to the Jersey City, Board of Education that will end in December 2019. Thomas who ran for public office for the first time in November 2016 was elected to the Jersey City Board with a record margin of 18,073 votes winning 5 of 6 the 6 wards across Jersey City creating a new statewide record for the highest number of votes secured in a school board election.
At the NJSBA meeting held in Trenton on June 9, 2017, Thomas was also voted in as a representative and ‘voting delegate’ to the ‘Urban Boards’ committee of the NJSBA a strategic committee that studies trends and issues in Urban education and addresses the challenges facings urban districts namely school funding, infrastructure, testing, non-college bound student strategy, lead in water to name a few. Thomas’s work with the Urban Boards will engage him with key issues facing Newark, Patterson, Camden, Trenton, Passaic, Wayne to name a few Urban districts which are also Abbot districts like Jersey City facing common challenges needing cohesive, coordinated solutions and strategy.
Thomas will also join the newly created work force task committee created by the NJSBA that will begin work by the end of 2017. The work force task committee will create a white paper and strategy for non-college bound students. Thomas heads the student equity and work force committee in Jersey City and is expected to draw experience from the work done locally and his corporate world experience, relationships to help this newly formulated task force at the NJSBA. Last year, Thomas ran his successful election campaign last year on the promise of a “3C” program promising to roll out a school to corporate jobs, school to craftsmanship initiative that would help Jersey City students with a vocational pivot in the non-college bound space with both private, public partnerships. Thomas seems to be following through on an important campaign platform promise not just locally in Jersey City but with a state wide impact and footprint.
“I am delighted to be elected to the Board of Directors of the NJSBA. It is an absolute honor and a privilege to serve at the state level in addition to my local, home city responsibilities. My election is a validation of the various progressive measures undertaken at the current board; I am hopeful of leveraging our ideas from the local Jersey City level to the state level to give every child a real shot at the American dream. I am particularly excited about the work force development task force, which also mirrors Ambassador’s Murphy call to help prepare our students for a rapidly changing world. Our nation is going through a crucial phase with a sustained attack on public education and other public programs. We have to remain vigilante and come up with robust partnerships, ideas, strategies and solutions to protect our children to continue to fund their educational needs that would ultimately help preserve the greatness of our nation,” said Thomas.