September 2, 2020

BOE Candidate Jean Durbin is Deeply Committed to Progressive, Equitable Values

To the Editor:

We are writing to enthusiastically endorse Jean Durbin for Princeton’s Board of Education. We are going through a very difficult time in our state and nation, and many Princetonians are facing serious struggles to simply get by from day to day.  More than ever, the School Board needs steady hands to guide our schools through these uncertain times.

Jean is deeply rooted in this town and knows our schools and our families well from being a PPS parent, a PTO president at Littlebrook, and a fixture for many years with Princeton Little League. Jeffrey has had the opportunity to work with Jean both at Princeton University and on the Executive Board of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization, witnessing first hand her ability to manage inclusively, build consensus, and work efficiently to get things done. Her background in policy making, strategic planning, and contract negotiation will help her add to the strengths of the current Board and its very capable leadership. Perhaps most importantly, she will bring to the job a deep commitment to the progressive, equitable values we share as a community.

Our schools face a myriad of longer term challenges as technology constantly evolves and rising enrollment puts ever more pressure on our aging facilities. These are not just planning challenges, they are pedagogical ones. It is important to us as PPS parents that our leaders see these challenges for what they are — opportunities for our community to think creatively about how to invest in the future and advance equitable goals, not to simply coast indefinitely on the successes of the past, assuming that we will be fine because “this is Princeton.”  While we must maintain Princeton’s standards of achievement and excellence, that alone is not enough — we must always strive to be better and better for everyone.

Our town and our children deserve no less.  That is why we are so delighted to support Jean’s candidacy for School Board. We hope you will too.

Jeffrey and Tara Oakman
Valley Road