It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mark Biedron, former president of the New Jersey State Board of Education, died on Friday, Nov. 6, after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. A resident of Gladstone, he was 68 years old.
Mark was a founding member of SEL4NJ, and his vision, energy, and sage advice were significant in the creation of our organization. Mark was instrumental in supporting social, emotional, and character development and a positive school culture and climate for all students in New Jersey. Mark’s legacy will certainly be felt in the years to come through the many initiatives he championed for SEL4NJ.
In addition to many other roles within the state, Mark was also a founder of the Willow School, a private pre-K-8 school in Gladstone, N.J., which focuses on character development, and is well-known for its achievements in environmental sustainability.
There is a saying that the last thing one learns about oneself is one’s impact on a room. Mark certainly left an impact wherever he went which was to all of our benefit. His vision, vitality, and energy were evident in every project and effort and his advocacy for SECD made a difference for the students, staff, and schools of New Jersey. Mark inspired and energized all of us and we will continue to hold his spirit and energy close.
As we continue to advocate for SEL (broadly defined), we will think of Mark often and be inspired by his passion for this important work. We are so grateful to Mark and will miss him greatly.
Leadership for Educational Equity Fellow