Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 19
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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School Board Re-elects Rebecca Cox and Tim Quinn, Wilson Thanks Community for Backing Budget

Ellen Gilbert

Rebecca Cox and Tim Quinn were reelected as president and vice president of the School Board at last Tuesday’s meeting.

Following their recent reelection as board members, Mr. Quinn and Dan Haughton were sworn in for second, three-year terms, and newly elected member Afsheen Shamsi was welcomed and sworn in for her first term.

School Superintendent Judy Wilson thanked the community for their turnout at the polls, where they approved this year’s proposed budget by a four-to-one margin. She emphasized the importance of “making sure there isn’t complacency from year to year about what happens in our district.”

Although most of the meeting was devoted to “housekeeping” actions that will carry over into the new school year, The Board took time on Tuesday evening to unanimously approve what was described as an “emergency resolution” to be sent to the N.J. School Board Association, providing for tax payers’ input in the creation of local charter schools.

Routine approvals were made on curriculum choices, personnel appointments, insurance directives, fire drill schedules, and transportation agreements. Class trips during the coming year will include one to Hawaii by the Princeton High School Band, where they will participate in a Pearl Harbor commemoration. An article detailing the evening’s agenda is available on the School Board’s website, www.prs.k12.nj.us/BoardofEd.

In her nomination of Ms. Cox for the Board presidency, board member Andrea Spall described the Princeton native as “organized, thorough, creative, and hard working.” She cited Ms. Cox’s “astute decisions” about members’ committee assignments, and described the Board’s “new, more active role as an institutional leader on educational issues at both the state and national levels.”

Describing Mr. Quinn as a “tireless advocate for this board,” in her nomination of him for Vice-President, Board member Molly Chrein praised his “insight, maturity, and methodical thinking.”

Ms. Cox led a chorus of “bittersweet” farewells and thanks to departing Board member Walter Bliss, who was leaving after serving three consecutive terms. Ms. Cox described Mr. Bliss as “an advocate for our children, especially those who begin their lives with a disadvantage.” Presenting him with a seat in the Princeton High School auditorium, she noted Mr. Bliss’s particular accomplishments in addressing bullying among students, and advocating for more teacher training.

Thanking the Board, Ms. Wilson, and Assistant Superintendent Lew Goldstein, Mr. Bliss described the importance of “good leadership” to the success of public schools.

Later in the meeting Ms. Wilson announced that a new school “messenger system,” with software enabling simultaneous text, phone, and email messaging in the event of emergencies like a school closing, will be implemented this summer.

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