Lenape Regional High School District Business Administrator, James Hager, Receives NJASBO Distinguished Service Award

Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Business Administrator (BA)/Board Secretary and Medford resident James “Jim” Hager recently was honored by the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO) with a 2016 Distinguished Service Award for his long-term, continuous exemplary service.

As part of the award, Hager had the honor of presenting a $1,000 scholarship from NJASBO to a student at Seneca High School in Tabernacle.

Among just six Distinguished Service Awardees statewide, Hager has served as BA/Board Secretary for Lenape Regional High School District since 2003. Previously, he served in the same role for Pemberton Township Schools from 2001 to 2003, and Bridgeton Public Schools from 1999 to 2001. From 1986 to 1999, Hager worked at the New Jersey Department of Education, moving from Assistant Manager of the Bureau of Program Approval in the Division of Special Education when he was first hired, to the Division of Field Services’ County School Business Administrator for Burlington and Gloucester Offices when he left.

In nominating Hager for the Distinguished Service Award, Mary Ann Bell, President of Burlington County ASBO, said, “Jim is an asset not only to his district, but to the entire county; everyone wants to sit next to Jim because his perspective and insights are unmatched. He is always sought out when it is time for sound advice.”

Carol L. Birnbohm, Ed.D. Superintendent of the LRHSD, said, “I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Jim for almost his entire career in our district. Through the years, Jim has been a confidential sounding board offering a business lens to many important student and staff initiatives. I am glad to call him my partner in education and I believe much of our student and staff successes have come from Jim’s contributions, sage advice, and ability to do his job in the most ‘right’ way.”

LRHSD Board of Education President Linda Eckenhoff was effusive in her praise for Hager. “It’s an honor for us as school board members to work with Jim, who does such a fine job for the district, year after year. The fact that now his colleagues statewide have honored him with this award speaks volumes not only about his qualifications and experience, but his impeccable character as well.”

Fellow board member Margaret “Cookie” Estlow, added, “He [Hager] is never reactionary, but thinks issues through when pressed or asked a question. He is so well versed in education/ school/district finance, not just evaluating the day-to-day finances of the district, but the future financial needs and growth of the district. Jim also is very approachable and is an excellent communicator when explaining district business.”

Hager earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Gettysburg College, and a master’s degree in Special Education from Temple University. He also received the State of New Jersey’s Principal and Supervisor of Education Certificates. Hager is a trustee and finance committee member of the Burlington County Joint Insurance Fund. In his free time, he enjoys being with his family and traveling