Mary Jo Codey
First Lady Mary Jo Codey is
a devoted wife and mother, a gifted educator
and counselor… and a staunch advocate
for individuals whose lives are affected by
mental illnesses and for those who have been
stricken with breast cancer. A lifelong resident
of New Jersey, Mrs. Codey has been married
to Governor Richard Codey for 23 years.
Born in Glen Ridge, Mrs. Codey
grew up in West Orange, where she and the Governor
currently reside with their two sons, Kevin
(20) and Christopher (16). After receiving her
bachelor of arts degree in elementary education
from Caldwell College, Mrs. Codey continued
her pursuit of academic excellence, earning
a master of arts degree in elementary education
with certification as a Learning Disabilities
Teacher Consultant (LDTC) from Seton Hall University.
She is currently an elementary school teacher
at a private school in West Orange.
As a volunteer, Mary Jo Codey
has contributed to a wide variety of causes
in many differing capacities. Formerly active
in Cub Scouts as a den mother and in her children’s
school parent teacher associations, Mrs. Codey
is presently an active member of the New Jersey
Education Association (NJEA). She is also a
former member of the board of directors of the
Mental Health Association of Essex County, which
honored both she and the Governor for their
mental health advocacy efforts at the association’s
annual spring gala in 1995. Mrs. Codey also
pioneered and was the first facilitator for
a postpartum depression support group that
began at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 1994
and continues to operate today.
Mary Jo Codey’s personal
experiences with both clinical depression and
breast cancer make her uniquely qualified to speak
out on both of these serious health concerns.
As New Jersey’s First Lady, she welcomes
the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the Governor’s
newly created Task Force on Mental Health and
to spearhead the launching of a statewide fundraising
campaign in support of breast cancer awareness.
Mrs. Codey also served as Ambassador to the Governor’s
Book Club last school year.
“I just want to
take this opportunity and make a difference…
I want to take all of the things that have happened
in my life and all of the things that I have learned
and put them to use helping others who might be
in similar situations,” she says.