William J. Irwin - Candidate for State Senate, LD17
Bill Irwin has been a Piscataway homeowner for 19 years, and has served as the President of the Piscataway Board of Education for the last three years. He is deeply grateful to his wife, Staci, and their sons, Billy and Sam, for their love and support. He is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing for GargoyIe Investment Advisor, an investment advisory firm based in Englewood, New Jersey. Prior to that, Bill traded equity derivatives for 12 years, after spending two years teaching Social Studies at Plainfield High School. He received a Master of Education degree from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University. Bill enjoys volunteering as a coach for the Piscataway Little League, and his hobbies include fishing, classical piano, and chess. He considers being entrusted with the Presidency of the Piscataway Board of Education to be the greatest honor he has ever received.
If elected to the New Jersey State Senate, Bill will fight for the policy goals articulated by Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign. Bill deeply believes that the election of 2016 showed us that now is not the time for business as usual within the Democratic Party. He believes the path forward for the Party is to embrace a Progressive agenda of social, political and economic justice that speaks to the need of working and middle class people. That is how we win, not by catering to the corporations and the millionaire and billionaire classes.
Working together with his fellow Board of Education members, some of the highlights during his time on the Board include:
- Each year the National School Boards Association selects three districts nationwide, from categories based on enrollment size, to receive the Grand Prize Magna Award for excellence and innovation in education. Piscataway is the 2017 Grand Prize Magna Award winner for our enrollment category for our “You, I, We Inspire” program
- Piscataway received a First Place Magna Award for Piscataway READS in 2014, and for our ESL Program in 2016 (five districts nationwide in each of three enrollment categories receive a First-Place Magna Award each year).
- Reduced district testing schedule by nearly half to allow more time for instruction and pupil engagement
- Adopted an Elementary School Class Size Policy to keep class sizes small.
- Adopted a policy affirming the rights of transgender students
- Increased public engagement by making video recordings of public Board Business Meetings since February 2015 available on our District’s website
- Adopted a resolution ensuring that none of our children would go hungry during the school day because of an inability to pay for lunch
- In January 2017, Piscataway became the first public school district in New Jersey to adopt a resolution affirming our commitment to educate all children regardless of documentation status, and directing our Administration and Staff to refrain from voluntary cooperation with ICE and federal immigration authorities beyond that which was required by law or court order.
- Recognized the Eid Al Adha and Diwali holidays on District calendar
- Utilized New Jersey Regular Operating District (ROD) Grants to save approximately $4.4 million in needed infrastructure repairs and improvements
- In 2016, named by the Obama White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.” Piscataway was one of only 230 school districts nationwide to achieve this honor.
- Piscataway High School ranked in the in the top 10% of all high schools nation-wide in U.S. News and World Report’s national review of 20,000 high schools in America
- Settlement of fair and responsible new contracts with the Piscataway Township Education Association prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year, and the Piscataway Principles and Supervisors Association prior to the start of the 2016-17 school year.
- The Piscataway Board of Education became a NJ School Board Association Certified Board, after completing a rigorous course of additional training through NJSBA and individual Board member development through the creation of a regular Book Club that meets to review and discuss selected readings about important issues in education