WARREN, NJ - Robert Morrison, a Warren resident and Watchung Hills board member, was awarded the Certified Board Leader recognition by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) Larry Feinsod, executive director of the NJSBA, at the last meeting of the Watchung Hills Board of Education. 

 

Feinsod praised Morrison as,” the best amongst board members in the state of New Jersey.” ( See video here) 

“I am thankful to the community for allowing me to serve and to my colleagues and the NJSBA for the encouragement and opportunities to learn how to be the best possible board member I could be to serve our students,” Morrison said in a message to TAPinto.

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To be awarded the CBL (Certified Board Leader), a board member must earn a total of 60 credits, and serve in a leadership role. In addition to serving on the Watchung Hills Board of Education, Morrison serves on the NJSBA board of directors and is is a member and past president of the Somerset County School Boards Association. 

 

Feinsod said Morrison’s name is brought up often across the state whenever the topic of arts education is brought up. And it’s no wonder. Robert B. Morrison was the founder and Chairman of the Music for All Foundation and according to its website:

The Foundation was created by Morrison and his family to focus on expanding the role of music and the arts in education, to heightening the public’s appreciation of the value of music and arts education, and to creating a positive environment for the arts through societal change. In 2006, Morrison worked with the leadership and board of Bands of America to merge the two organizations to create Music for All, Inc.

Robert B. Morrison has a long history as a supporter of music and arts education and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading researchers and advocates for arts education. He is the founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s preeminent arts education and market research organization. Morrison’s leadership in research, public policy and advocacy efforts has led to significant advancements in access to music and arts education programs in America.

Morrison has a deep body of research and policy work and is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research. In California, Mr. Morrison’s report The Sound of Silence: The Unprecedented Decline of Music Education in California Public Schools (2004) was one of the catalysts for a $500 million reinvestment into music and arts education in public schools that has been signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; in New Jersey, Morrison was the managing partner for the groundbreaking New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building. This work has been hailed as a model for statewide arts education research. Morrison has completed similar research projects for the states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington DC and Wisconsin. In May of 2012 the first follow-up longitudinal study was completed in New Jersey.

In arts education policy, Morrison worked with the Governor of Arkansas to mandate music and arts programs for every child attending public school in state – a policy later replicated by the state of Louisiana; in New Jersey, Morrison worked with the Commissioner of Education to include the arts in the states mandatory accountability system known as NJQSAC leading the state to include arts education as part of annual school reporting in 2014.

Prior to founding Quadrant Research and Music for All Morrison helped develop and then served as the CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation where he created a major national brand responsible for donating more than $25 million of musical instruments to restore more than 1,200 music programs. Previously, Morrison was a senior executive for the NAMM - International Music Products Association, where he also served as Executive Director of the American Music Conference. In this capacity he worked with the late Michael Kamen and Richard Dreyfus to create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

He was a founding member of the National Coalition for Music Education and is recognized for his work to add the arts to our nation’s education goals. He continues to work closely with leading national arts organizations to promote the development and implementation of the National Standards for Arts Education. He currently serves as the Data Task Force co-chair for State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, as a member of the boards of the National Creativity Network, ArtPride New Jersey, and is the Governance Chair of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the publicly traded music software company MakeMusic, Inc. and as a member of the Board of Trustees for both the Berklee College of Music and Little Kids Rock.

Morrison’s advocacy work has earned him both an EMMY and a Peabody Award. He received an honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York for his work nationally to advance music and arts education for all children. Mr. Morrison was honored with the Motherland Award – the highest honor from the American Red Cross (ARC) – for developing the national public service campaign for the ARC following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Certified Board Leader requirements:

  • Earn a cumulative total of at least 60 credits
  • Attend at least ten county meetings
  • Attend at least three annual NJSBA Workshops
  • Attend at least five full-day statewide or regional professional development programs
  • Pass an examination covering areas of board responsibilities or submit a leadership portfolio
  • May not have been judged to have violated the School Ethics Act
  • Serve in a leadership role for a minimum of one year (e.g., board president, vice president, county delegate, county leadership, NJSBA Board of Directors, NJSBA committe
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