The New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools (NJCCVTS) is a non-profit association created by state law to represent the vocational-technical school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The Council supports collaboration among its member school districts, which offer career programs in high-demand fields for 35,000 career-minded high school students as well as adults.
The Council is widely recognized as a leading voice for career and technical education before state and federal policy-makers, the business community, and other education leaders. The Council promotes career and technical education and seeks to expand opportunities for all New Jersey students who choose to pursue career-focused education.
A recent example of the Council’s leadership is the successful push for state funding to expand the state’s county vocational-technical schools with innovative new programs to meet critical workforce demands.
Council membership includes the 21 county vocational-technical school districts, represented by their superintendents. Members elect officers and an executive committee for two-year terms to govern the Council.
NJCCVTS has no role in the operations of the individual school districts. Each district is governed and operated independently by a Board of Education appointed by its County Board of Commissioners.
As the primary statewide connector for these districts, NJCCVTS provides important coordination, promotes best practices, and organizes professional development opportunities for leaders of vocational-technical schools.
NJCCVTS Leadership (2021-2023)
- President: Michael Dicken, Superintendent, Gloucester County Vocational-Technical School District
- President-Elect: Dr. James Pedersen, Superintendent, Essex County Schools of Technology
- Vice-President: Gus Modla, Superintendent, Sussex County Technical School
- Treasurer: Karen Homiek, Superintendent, Ocean County Vocational Technical School
- Secretary: Gwendolyn S. Ryan, Superintendent, Union County Vocational-Technical Schools
Additional members of the Executive Committee:
- Dr. Christopher Nagy, Superintendent, Burlington County Institute of Technology
- Dr. Dina Rossi, Superintendent, Cumberland County Technical Education Center
- Dr. Philip Guenther, Superintendent, Atlantic County Institute of Technology, past president
- Dr. Howard Lerner, Superintendent, Bergen County Technical Schools, past president
- Scott Moffitt, Superintendent, Morris County Vocational School District, past president
Jackie Burke became Executive Director of NJCCVTS July 1, 2021. She previously served as Assistant Executive Director, working closely with former Executive Director Judy Savage since 2016. She has 15 years of public policy experience in New Jersey, including positions with the Senate Majority Office and the Women’s Policy Institute. Jackie’s career has focused primarily on education policy, but also includes employment as a prosecutor in Philadelphia and as development associate at the Alice Paul Institute.
Jackie graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. She earned a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Assistant Executive Director
Anne Nicolas joined NJCCVTS as Assistant Executive Director in May 2021. She served on two local school boards, during which she played significant roles in developing education policy and organizing major initiatives to secure the district’s future. Anne is a former Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey and has years of experience working in and with federal, state, and local governments. She brings that expertise and a passion for supporting education to the Council.
Judy Savage retired as Executive Director of NJCCVTS, effective July 1, 2021. She continues serving the Council as a consultant. Over the past 20-plus years with NJCCVTS, Judy worked vigorously on behalf of the state’s 21 county vocational-technical school districts. Her key accomplishments include raising employer and policymaker awareness about career and technical education (CTE) and the passage of the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, which will provide $275 million in grants to expand CTE programs across the state.