OCEAN TOWNSHIP: At its March 8 Legislative Conference the National PTA honored Rose Acerra of Ocean Township with the 2017 Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award "for her leadership and commitment to being a powerful voice for all children and a strong advocate for public education."
"Advocacy is critical to improving education and the lives and futures of our nation's children. said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. "Rose exemplifies what it means to speak up and take action, and her efforts and leadership have truly made a difference for children, families, schools and communities across New Jersey."
The Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award is named after past National PTA President (2001-2003), who was a model of public service and volunteerism throughout her life. She was an impassioned and compassionate leader, dedicated to moving PTA forward and committed to ensuring that others would follow.
As president of New Jersey PTA Acerra has been a dedicated PTA advocate since her children entered school. She led efforts to include cameras on school bus extension arms to deter cars from speeding past; created a fairer state education funding formula; and require higher academic standards for all students across the state, according to the state PTA.
After the signing of the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA)--the federal law that governs K-12 education, Acerra worked to get parents a seat at the table where the New Jersey Department of Education was developing the state education plan. Now, New Jersey PTA is a critical resource and partner for the New Jersey Department of Education in the planning and implementation process of ESSA and is helping to ensure that students receive the education they deserve.