2009 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree

Roger Tilles

Roger Tilles

New York State Board of Regents

Roger Tilles is a name well known to Long Islanders. As the Long Island representative on the New York State Board of Regents, he helps to oversee the most comprehensive state educational system in the nation. He has held this pro bono role since 2005 and also serves on several other education-oriented boards, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Tilles is committed wholeheartedly to public education. After retiring from a rewarding career in real estate, Tilles chose to devote himself to educational and philanthropic pursuits. His passion for the arts is well noted, having helped create the Long Island Arts Alliance and advocated for arts education on Long Island and across America. Throughout the years, Tilles served as chairman and a founding member of the Association for a Better Long Island, as chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Board and the Long Island University Board of Trustees, and as a board member for Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21 and the Long Island Association.

A past president of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, board member of The Jewish Outreach Institute and executive board member of the Union for Reform Judaism, Tilles is also an advocate for interfaith activities. He helped form Project Understanding, which unites Catholic and Jewish teenagers for annual missions to Israel, and produced the first Vatican commemoration of the Holocaust under the auspices of Pope John Paul II in Rome.

Tilles graduated in 1968 from Amherst College with a bachelor’s degree, received New York City professional certification through C.W. Post, and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1971. A former elected member of the Michigan Board of Education, Tilles also worked and taught education law at several Michigan universities.

Born in Great Neck, Tilles is a product of its public schools. He still resides there with his wife, Jerry, and their teenage daughters, Eliana and Hanaleah. He is proud to be the only member of the Board of Regents whose children attend public schools.