JoAnn Gordon was born in 1947 and was raised in Newark, N.J., growing up in an Italian-American family where unconditional love and the value of education were stressed. Her early years were filled with music, the accordion, and dancing school. Also important were gymnastic classes, sports, and religious education, in addition to learning to bake! In high school, JoAnn took secretarial courses as well as college prep classes. She worked as a secretary for AT&T and as a telephone operator before starting college.
In 1965, JoAnn entered Monmouth College as a general education major with a minor degree in music, singing with the Monmouth University Chorus. She became a member of an all-girl singing group, entertaining throughout N.J. and Pennsylvania. During her tenure at Monmouth, she served as Secretary of the Young Democrats Club and Assistant to the Head Librarian.
After graduating from Monmouth College, JoAnn secured a Neptune Township teaching position where she taught Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Science, and Drama. While teaching there, she took graduate courses to learn Sign Language to include hearing-impaired students in her classes. She still uses sign language at Cameo Club Showcases.
JoAnn entered the Ms. NJ Senior America Pageant in 2008 and won! She has served as Vice-President of the NJ Cameo Club. In February of 2020, she was appointed Vice-Chairperson of the newly formed non-profit organization, Ms. New Jersey Senior America, Inc.