BY TOM HESTER SR.
Mark W. Biedron of Tewksbury, the founder of a private school in Somerset County, has been sworn in as the newest member of the state Board of Education. Biedron replaces Kenneth J. Parker who resigned on June 14.
The board also re-elected Arcelio Aponte of Piscataway as president and Ilan Plawker of Englewood Cliffs as vice president for the 2011-12 school year.
The state Department of Education announced the developments on Thursday.
Biedron and his wife Gretchen founded The Willow School in 2002 in Gladstone. The school is an independent, non-profit elementary day school. It has received state and national honors for using cost-efficient and energy-saving green building practices and materials in an effort to protect the environment. When fully built out, The Willow School will have 216 students and 35 staff on its 86,000-square-foot campus.
From 1975 to 1995, Biedron was vice president and co-owner of Con Lux Coatings, Inc., a manufacturer of heavy duty architectural and environmentally compliant paints and coatings. After selling the business to the Sherwin Williams Company, he retired in July 1996. In 1997, he founded Solid Wood Construction, a general construction company specializing in sustainable and green design, building and renovation of homes using salvaged and recycled materials. He has a degree in business administration from the University of Vermont.
Aponte has served on the board since 2005. He previously served as vice president from 2006 until being elected president last year. He is the director of operations and management for the Newark Department of Economic and Housing Development. He holds a master of arts in business administration from Rutgers University and a bachelor of science in electronic engineering technology from The College of New Jersey.
Plawker was appointed to the board in 2009 and has been nominated to serve on the National Association of State Board’s of Education Board of Directors for the Northeastern Area Directors. He is retired from his own creative marketing business.
The Board of Education is responsible for adopting the rules needed to implement state education law for New Jersey’s nearly 2,500 public schools and 1.38 million students. The 13-member panel is appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the state Senate. Members serve six-year terms without compensation. By law, at least three members of the board must be women, and no two members may be appointed from the same county.