NJ Public Charter Association Welcomes New Director of Government Affairs

Today, Harry Lee, President and CEO of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA), announced that Theodore (T.J.) Best will join the Association as its new Director of Government Affairs.

“T.J. is a dedicated public servant who has been a tireless advocate for improving educational outcomes for all kids throughout his career,” said Lee. “His depth of experience and knowledge of government and New Jersey educational system is unparalleled. He is a bold and innovative leader who is not afraid to reimagine what education can look like in the Garden State.”

Best brings with him 18 years of public policy and education experience. Born and raised in Paterson, Best has served on the Paterson Board of Education and is the youngest Freeholder to be elected in Passaic County. Prior to joining the Association, he worked for the New Jersey Department of Education as a monitor for the Paterson School District. Best holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Rutgers University.

“I am a parent who has a child in a traditional public school as well as in a public charter school. I am fortunate to live in a community that has allowed my family to choose the best educational fit for each of my children,” said Best. “I have seen firsthand the impact that public charter schools have on students, their families, and the community at large. Sadly, there are more than 35,000 students on charter school waiting lists throughout New Jersey. I am honored to join NJPCSA and fight for those students languishing on wait lists because every child deserves a fair shot at a great education. I can’t wait to roll-up my sleeves and get to work making sure our public charter schools’ voices are heard in the halls of the State House and all around New Jersey.”

In addition to T.J. Best joining NJPCSA as its Government Affairs Director, Lee welcomed two new board members, Danielle West-Augustin and Robert “Bob” Guarasci. Danielle West-Augustin serves as the Chief Academic Officer and Director of Queen City Academy Charter School, a high-performing public charter school in Plainfield. She has over 20 years of experience as an educator. West-Augustin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Lincoln University and a Master’s of Arts in Educational Administration degree from Saint Peter’s College. Danielle is also an esteemed member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa

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