September 2, 2020

Behrend has Vision Required for Leadership, And Process Skills to Get the Job Done

To the Editor:

Even though we are all navigating uncharted territory every day, we  know we need to stay focused on the things that matter, and on continuing to make progress in our public life despite these challenges. That is why I am supporting Beth Behrend for a second term on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.  

We can all be proud of our public schools in Princeton, which are the envy of the state and the nation. But we also know there is still room for improvement, to make things better for all our children. Beth shares this attitude of seeking out constant improvement, and has the experience and vision to keep our momentum towards an excellent, but fair and humane, school system that reflects our highest aspirations as a community.

In her three years of service on the Board, using her experience as a mother and an attorney, Beth has proven adept at both having the vision required for leadership, and the process skills to get the job done. The many accomplishments of the Board during Beth’s tenure as Board president included the introduction of free Pre-K, advocacy for and advancement of a restorative justice approach to discipline, initiation of an extensive review of Special Education services in order to improve how students and families are served, the inclusion of racial literacy in our curriculum, and beginning the successful rollout of building improvements approved in our recent referendum. On the process side, she helped navigate the shift to remote learning, secured a talented interim superintendent, hired three key senior administrators, and increased Board training and community transparency.  

We live in a time of great stress and great negativity in our political discourse. There have always been detractors of quality public education, even in an education-centric town such as Princeton. But we need to recognize the public servants who are getting it right: seeking transparency, fiscal responsibility, collaboration, and most importantly, positive change for our children. Beth is such a public servant, and if you care about quality public education and about results, then Beth deserves your vote in November.

Patrick Sullivan
Pardoe Road

The writer is the former president of the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.