September 16, 2020

Behrend is a Proven Leader at a Time When Leadership is Crucial

To the Editors:

We are extremely pleased to write in support of Beth Behrend’s run for a second term on Princeton’s Board of Education. In her first term, Beth demonstrated her collaborative approach to problem solving, an unwavering dedication to securing the well-being of all of our district’s children, and her commitment to planning responsibly for our future. Her experience on the Board of Education has shown both vision and a deeply professional, practical ability to get the Board’s work done in the most effective, equitable, cost-efficient manner. 

During her Board presidency, Beth Behrend has led collaboratively by bringing diverse people together to tackle a series of difficult challenges. As one example, at the start of Beth’s term, the district faced a growing student population and school overcrowding, along with widespread ambivalence about a proposed referendum. Beth was instrumental in the School Board’s decision to rethink its approach, and ultimately find a successful path to advance the most urgent issues, including the recent HVAC installations and upgrades that are proving critical to the district’s ability to provide ventilation and COVID-safe environments.

Beth Behrend is that rare leader who is able to simultaneously steward public schools through present challenges, while paving the way for future success. She believed a community-driven process could ensure that solutions to overcrowding would reflect the town’s deeply-held values for excellent education and affordability. Toward those goals she led the Board to organize two citizen committees, the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (in which we have been involved) and the Future Enrollment Committee. In facing complex decisions, Beth’s leadership shaped a process whereby the community can review options, provide ideas, and help make choices based on expert analysis of trends in our town’s demographic and other data. In all these efforts, Beth has worked with town leadership — Council, mayor, planning office, and other departments — to collaborate and find creative savings.  The ability to plan effectively for curriculum, facilities, and co-curricular activities is greatly enhanced by this collaboration ensuring that resources are wisely deployed for the town as a whole and Princeton’s children in particular. 

Through her work on the Board, Beth Behrend has demonstrated time and again that she cares deeply about Princeton’s students now and into the future. Beth doesn’t just care for a child’s experience in kindergarten today, she is looking ahead to ensure that child is as well-served by Princeton Public Schools as possible along every step of their journey, through high school graduation.

Beth Behrend is a proven leader at a time when leadership is crucial. From helping the district obtain resources for urgent needs like HVAC, planning for increased enrollment, leading the process of hiring an experienced interim schools superintendent, to securing the needed technology and support for the district to achieve equitable, best-quality online learning, Beth has been able to get things done during challenging times. A vote for Beth is a vote for proven leadership that guides us through today’s challenges, while caring deeply for the children’s futures by planning ahead.

Ginny Bryant
Western Way

Robert Freudenberg
Palmer Square West

Alison Isenberg
Prospect Avenue

Chris Sturm
Riverside Drive