Meet Karen Cortellino

Karen Cortellino, a 37-year resident of Montville Township, has enjoyed a distinguished tenure on the Board of Education since 2006. The 15 years of Karen’s service have been characterized by calm, steady progress in academics and Board operations, including the introduction of innovative programs, addition of AP courses, restructuring of the world language program, improvements in safety, communications and facilities, which have all been accomplished in a financially responsible way, mindful of the impact on the taxpayer.

Under Karen’s leadership as Board President, the Board began to understand its role as overseer, which has led to a stable central office staff, competent administrators, highly effective teachers, and most importantly, high levels of student achievement. 

Karen’s commitment to professional development through the New Jersey School Boards Association academy program has earned her the distinction of being Montville’s first Certified Board Member, Master Board Member and Certified Board Leader, requiring more than 60 hours of professional development, attendance at various statewide and regional meetings and workshops, and service in leadership positions.

Karen is honored to have been reelected to a second 2-year term as Vice President of the New Jersey School Boards Association, a federation of boards of education. Her tenure on the Montville School Board and as an officer of the New Jersey School Boards Association has helped establish strong relationships with state and federal legislators, where she is able to advocate for public schools, and ultimately, our beloved town. 

Montville Township Public Schools have recently received much recognition for the high quality of education delivered.  Montville Township High School was ranked #18 in the most recent New Jersey Monthly magazine. In 2021, US News and World Report ranked Montville Schools 70 out of 424 of the state’s high schools, and in 2020-2021 Montville Township Schools ranked #35 in Niche.com’s Top School Districts. More awards and distinctions can be found on the campaign’s website, vision4montville.com.

In 2017, the community’s trust and faith in the Board helped to overwhelmingly pass a $17 million referendum for much-needed infrastructure and technology improvements.

This level of achievement does not happen by accident.  It happens when a Board of Education commits itself to becoming an effective board by adhering to certain tenets like vision of high expectations for student achievement, belief in what is possible for students to achieve, collaborative relationship with the staff, data driven decisions, professional development, and leading as a team with the superintendent. Karen is proud to serve with such a Board.

Karen’s son Alex is a Revolutionary War and American Colonial reenactor. In their spare time Karen, and her husband Joe, travel all over NJ and other parts of the east coast as “camp followers”.  This year Karen’s daughter Vanessa and son-in-law Joe welcomed Karen’s 1st grandchild and future Cedar Hill Bulldog.

Civic and Community Activities

  • Montville Good Scout Award, Boy Scouts of America, 2017
  • Towaco Civic Association, 2006, Board of Trustees
  • Executive Committee, Boy Scouts of America, Patriots Path Council 2019-2021
  • Montville Township Relay for Life, 2019-2021
  • One Montville, One Montville Response Team 2015
  • Project Playground, 2000
  • Parishioners St. Pius X Church since 1984