Leadership Convention Speakers


Jamie Bruesehoff is a nationally known speaker, award-winning LGBTQ+ advocate, and a heartfelt writer. Rooted in her queer identity, her experiences raising a transgender child and working families like hers across the country, and two decades of working with youth and families, Jamie equips leaders to create safer, more inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA people of all ages. Her family and their advocacy work have been featured by media outlets and organizations around the world, including EducationWeek, Disney, NPR, Good Morning America, USA Today, Forbes, Parents, The Trevor Project, and the Human Rights Campaign. She has collaborated with individual school districts, New Jersey legislators, NJEA, NJPSA, and the U.S. Department of Education to increase equity and inclusion in education. Jamie holds an M.A. Religion from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Her first book, Raising Kids Beyond the Binary, is available for pre-order wherever books are sold. Whether it’s in front of ten people or more than thirty thousand, Jamie shares her experience in a way that touches hearts, changes minds, and inspires positive change.

Ray Pinney currently is NJSBA’s Director of Member Engagement and Training and has been with the association since 1998. Ray began his NJSBA career in the Field Service Department when he started as a County Program Coordinator and later as a Field Service Representative in the northern region of the state. In January of 2008 Ray moved to the Governmental Relations Department as the Grassroots Coordinator/Lobbyist. In 2010 he moved to the position in the Executive Office of the association as the Member Outreach Coordinator before taking his current position in 2012. In this position he guides the school board leaders in all twenty-one county school board associations and has attended numerous meeting in all twenty-one counties. Creating relationships with educators in all corners of the state. 

Having served the association as a trainer, lobbyist, writer, and presenter he has a unique blend of experience to know school governance issues from various perspectives. He is also a host for their Podcast program Conversations on New Jersey Education. Guests on his program have included Diane Ravitch, Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, NJEA Executive Director Vincent Giordano and many other New Jersey Educators. In addition Ray has begun a video program at NJSBA called Education Matters which are short video interviews dealing with school governance issues. In this program, he has interviewed various education leaders such as the NJ State Teachers of the Year along with Governor Phil Murphy. Finally Ray also leads NJSBA’s Parent Connections program which is a program created to inform parents on school governance and education issues in New Jersey. 

Before joining NJSBA Ray served on the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment in the Borough of Lincoln Park and was elected to the Borough Council and served fours years on the governing body including one year as president. Ray was also a high school social studies teacher before joining NJSBA.

Gary Melton serves as the first manager of the New Jersey Education Association’s Office of Human and Civil Rights, Equity and Governance. The creation of the new office highlights NJEA’s commitment to justice and equity in all aspects of the union’s work and the recognition that such important work needs a permanent home within NJEA’s structure. The four key areas of Melton’s office are professional development, leadership, conferences, and staff development. Melton has been employed by NJEA since January 2018 as an associate director in the Executive Office. Prior to that, Melton was employed for 21 years as an educator in the Atlantic City and Egg Harbor City Public Schools. Melton served in various local association capacities at the local level, including senior vice president, treasurer, negotiations chair, legislative chair and building representative. For the Atlantic County Council of Education Associations, he served as president and chair of the Minority Leadership and Recruitment Committee. He led the creation of the NJEA Equity Alliance and has helped coordinate the work of the related committees. He has been instrumental in helping drive NJEA’s internal work around race and equity through his position, but also as part of the NJEA/USA Labor-Management team developing strategies for training and learning.
Gabriel A. Tanglao is the Associate Director of the New Jersey Education Association’s Office of Human and Civil Rights, Equity, and Governance. Tanglao is a proud Filipino-American, son of a union-nurse and product of New Jersey Public Schools. He started his career teaching economics in the wake of the Great Recession at Bergenfield High School, located in one of the most diverse working-class communities in the state. Within five years Tanglao established a new AP economics and financial literacy program, chartered a local chapter of the National Social Studies Honor Society, developed an award-winning Model United Nations program, served as a mentor for the STEM program and secured more than $36,000 in grant funding, which provided access to cutting-edge technology for the classroom. Tanglao transitioned to the Bergen County Vo-Tech High School to teach AP U.S. history and develop a digital humanities course. For his work in the classroom, Tanglao has been recognized with the 2017 Teaching Champion Award from the Council for Economic Education; 2018 Finalist for the Social Justice Activist Award from the National Education Association; and 2019 Global Learning Fellowship with the NEA Foundation. Tanglao served as associate director of professional development and instructional issues for the New Jersey Education Association. He works to advance racial, social and economic justice through public education as a facilitator, speaker and writer. Tanglao earned an MA in economics education and entrepreneurship from the University of Delaware, an MS in teaching and BA in political science from Pace University.