In honor of Women’s History Month, the Burlington County Commissioners recognized the exemplary service of three outstanding leaders who are making a difference in our state and local communities.
The Board honored New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner Sara Adelman, Burlington Township Councilwoman Joyce Paul and Caisse Gore, a Moorestown teacher and founder of the Jadon Strong Foundation. Each was presented with a certificate of excellence for their dedication, service to community and leadership during Wednesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
“The list of women leaders and trailblazers from Burlington County is extraordinary and includes people like Alice Paul, Elizabeth White, Charity Still and Ethel Lawrence. Each of these women charged through barriers and overcame discrimination and exclusion to help change our state, nation and world for the better,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson, who is a liaison to the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council. “While we honor these heroic women from our past, we also want to recognize the women of Burlington County who are helping to lead, mentor and advocate for equality today.”
“Commissioner Sarah Adelman, Caisse Gore and Councilwoman Joyce Paul have remarkable stories and are doing great things for Burlington County and our communities,” added Commissioner Allison Eckel, who is also a liaison to the Women’s Advisory Council. “By spotlighting them, we hope to inspire more women to step forward and take on leadership roles to build on Burlington County’s legacy of outstanding women achievers.”
State Senator Troy Singleton also congratulated the three honorees.
“Women’s History Month is an especially poignant time to recognize not just the accomplishments of women from the past but also the phenomenal women who are changemakers today,” said Senator Singleton. “I have worked personally with Sarah, Caisee and Joyce over the years and this honor is so well deserved. I am confident that they will each continue to make a difference here in Burlington County.”
The following are biographies of the first three Burlington County Women’s History Month honorees:
Commissioner Sarah Adelman leads the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the state’s largest government agency serving more than 2 million New Jersey residents. The department works on behalf of residents needing a wide variety of services, including childcare, food assistance, mental illness, and programs for older adults and residents with disabilities.
The Commissioner joined the department in 2018 as a deputy commissioner after previously working for the New Jersey Association of Health Plans and the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice.
As a deputy commissioner, Adelman oversaw the Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Division of Aging Services and the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services. She became the department’s acting commissioner in 2021 and was confirmed by the full New Jersey Senate in 2022.
During her tenure, she has helped lead the department through immense challenges brought on by the COVID-19 while also overseeing significant new investments that have aided millions of residents. These investments include enhanced services for new mothers and their children, expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and easier access to overdose-reversal drugs like Narcan.
Gore is an 8th grade language arts teacher at the William Allen Middle School in Moorestown and has worked as a teacher for more than 13 years.
Her service to her community extends beyond the classroom as the founder of the Jadon Strong Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting families of pediatric brain cancer patients.
Gore founded the organization last year following the death of her son, Jadon, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
The foundation provides emergency financial assistance for families for groceries, meals and care packages or other forms of assistance.
The organization held its first “Night of Hope” winter gala last month and is planning to hold its second annual 5K run/walk on May 21 at Moorestown High School.
Councilwoman Joyce Paul has lived in Burlington Township for more than 50 years and has served as an elected member of the Burlington Township Council for since 2014.
In 2017, she became the first African American woman to serve as the town’s Council President.
Councilwoman Paul is also a member of the Township Zoning Board and the Township Green Team and is the Council representative to the Recreation Commission and the School Board Liaison Committee.
She is a retired New Jersey Department of Corrections official and was among the department’s workers who responded to the Ground Zero in New York on September 11th.
In addition to her service in government, Paul has been an active volunteer with the Christ Baptist Church in Burlington and its Prison Ministry, Youth Ministry and Feed the Hungry Ministry. She has also made several missionary trips to Haiti to deliver food and supplies to hurricane victims.