August 26, 2020

Garden and Sustainability Volunteers In Support of Beth Behrend for BOE

To the Editor:

Please join us in voting to re-elect Beth Behrend to the Board of Education on November 3. More than ever, our town needs her experienced and strategic leadership.

As fellow community volunteers and advocates around issues of sustainability and school gardens, we have known and admired Beth’s leadership for a long time, including her work as a trustee of the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative, as Riverside PTO President, as a founding trustee and secretary of the NJ League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and as a trustee and secretary of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

Beth was elected to the Board of Education in 2017 and chosen by fellow Board members as chair in January 2019. Beth’s steady hand during stormy times has facilitated a number of significant accomplishments. Under Beth’s leadership, the Board strengthened its oversight capabilities, enhanced communication, and improved coordination with partner institutions and organizations. The Board also planned and implemented major facilities projects and priority-based budgeting, introduced district-wide Pre-K, adopted restorative justice practices resulting in a 50 percent decline in suspensions, and is developing K-12 racial literacy curricula. Perhaps most crucially, the district hired a highly-qualified interim superintendent and three highly-qualified key senior administrators who are now working tirelessly and effectively as a team to design and execute a comprehensive pandemic reopening plan. 

On the sustainability and wellness front, with Beth at the helm, the Board moved forward on the goal of multi-year, more sustainable facilities planning, which can contribute positively towards our collective climate change actions. This included the hiring of a new facilities director with significant experience in operating, renovating and constructing educational facilities with an eye towards sustainability, and a business administrator who values smart investments in energy efficient technology and practices, as well as long-term planning. Additionally, the Board renewed the food service contract with Nutri-Serve and strengthened its commitment to providing healthy, sustainable, and locally-sourced food that reflects the diversity of students and staff.  

Last but not least, Beth’s leadership style is unfailingly even-tempered, honest, compassionate, and respectful — attributes that are important to model to our children during these tumultuous times. 

We hope you will give Beth your vote again in November.

Stephanie Chorney
Race Street

Jennifer Jang
Russell Road

Amy Mayer
Overbrook Drive

Elizabeth White
Newlin Road