Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 18
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
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School Board Gets Organized; “Memorandum of Agreement” Tabled

Ellen Gilbert

Swearings-in, the election of officers, and contract approvals took up much of the Princeton Regional Board of Education’s annual “organizational meeting” last week.

The board dealt with the knottiest issue of the evening, whether or not to approve the 2007 revision of the “Uniform State Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials,” by tabling the question. Unease over the memorandum dates back to a three-year old incident, in which four juveniles aged 14 and 15, were called into the Princeton High School principal’s office where plainclothes police officers who had arrived at the school in an unmarked car were waiting to take them into custody for questioning with respect to a violent crime that had recently occurred. The boys were subsequently charged with complicity to robbery; the charges were later dropped by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. The board has revisited questions concerning the behavior of law enforcement officials on school property a number of times since.

Reelected members Rebecca Cox (Borough) and Mia Cahill (Township) were sworn in for their second terms; first-time member Charles Kalmbach (Borough) was traveling out of state and was not present for the meeting. All three will be serving three-year terms. Board Secretary Stephanie Kennedy, temporarily presiding over the meeting until the election of officers, reported that the school budget had passed with support from approximately 70 percent of those who voted.

Board President Alan Hegedus and Vice-President Rebecca Cox were both reelected to second, one-year terms as officers. In nominating Mr. Hegedus, board member Walter Bliss observed that it had been “a good year for the board,” and that it had “evolved” under Mr. Hegedus’s leadership. Ms. Cox was described by board member Tim Quinn as “a tireless advocate for the regional schools.” Mr. Hegedus noted that “We’re as strong a board as we ever have been, but we still have work to do.”

After expressing her appreciation for the community’s support in the recent school board election, Superintendent Judy Wilson said that the district was keeping itself “well-informed and vigilant” about swine flu developments, and “educating those in our care and employ.” Information about swine flu is available at the district’s website

Among the “Superintendent-recommended school business” items passed by the board was approval of the appointment of KSS Architects “to provide space planning and design services for the Valley Road Administration Building, for an estimated fee of $5,000.”

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