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Governor Murphy Appoints former Lakewood teacher to Chair Pinelands Commission

Governor Phil Murphy today announced the appointment of Richard Prickett as the Chair of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.

“I am proud to announce the designation of Richard Prickett as the Chair of the Pinelands Commission,” said Governor Murphy. “Richard’s experience serving on the Commission, coupled with his extensive background in environmental science, make him an exceptional individual to serve in this critical leadership position.”

“Rick Prickett is an outstanding choice for Chair of the Pinelands Commission,” said Carleton Montgomery, Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. “He has spent decades as a teacher, local elected official, advocate, and member of the Pinelands Commission helping others understand what a wonderful resource we have in the Pinelands, and how important it is that we all pitch in to protect this unique part of New Jersey’s natural heritage.”

“Change is coming to the Pinelands Commission. Rick is a great pick to lead the Commission and initiate a clear break from the Christie era of undermining the Pinelands ecosystem,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey.“Rick has a seven-year record at the Commission and a lifetime of devotion to the Pines. He will work to have the Commission focus on upholding the Comprehensive Management Plan. This is the start of a new day for the Pines.”

Prickett joined the Commission as a gubernatorial appointee in January 2012. He was a member of the Pemberton Township Council from 2002 to 2012, served as Council President in 2002 and 2006, and was a member of the township’s Planning Board from 2003 to 2005.

In 2006, Prickett retired from the Lakewood School District in Ocean County where he spent 26 years teaching advanced placement biology, environmental science, physical science, and chemistry at the high school level. Prickett was named the Lakewood Township Teacher of the Year in 2004 and was recognized by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance as an outstanding Pinelands educator in 2005. Prickett has also served as a Trustee on the Whitesbog Preservation Trust since 2003 and is currently President of the Trust’s Board. Prickett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from Rutgers University and an Associate’s degree in Psychology from Burlington County College.

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