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Vol. LXV, No. 50
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Student Interest in Sport of Fencing Results in New High School Program

Ellen Gilbert

They may be too young to remember swashbuckling movie heroes like Errol Flynn, but Princeton High School (PHS) students will be welcoming a new fencing program to the school’s roster of sports in the near future.

“We’re very excited,” said Princeton Regional Schools (PRS) Athletic Director John Miranda in a recent interview.

Once a fencing coach is hired and equipment purchased, PHS student fencers will have regular practices and participate in area-wide competitions.

Mr. Miranda noted that because of recent cuts in school budgets, the parents and students who are interested in fencing have agreed to purchase the épées and other necessary equipment, and to pay the coach’s salary for the first two years of the program.

“It’s a trial run,” observed Mr. Miranda, who reported that interest in fencing had been running strong for at least a year. “It really began with the students,” who got the process rolling with the preparation of a proposal for adding fencing as a sport. A “long series” of after-school planning sessions followed, and the program received final approval at last month’s Board of Education meeting.

“This is a beautiful example of the Princeton Regional Board (PRS) partnering with parents to establish great opportunities for our students,” said Superintendent Judy Wilson. “I am thrilled to see the fencers get the support they deserve in order to compete statewide and wish them the very best.”

A number of students already have the required protective equipment for fencing, and have promised to share it with others. Fencing practice will take place in PHS’s all-purpose room, which Mr. Miranda described as “blocked off” and therefore safe.

The creation of the fencing program supports PRS’s philosophy on physical education. “Participation in interscholastic athletics and related co-curricular programs contributes to the health, physical skills, instructional maturity, social competencies, and moral values of our students,” states the website for PRS sports. “Athletics extend the educational experience while developing responsibility and cooperation. Consequently, we encourage students to participate during three seasons of a wide variety of individual and team sports.”

— Ellen Gilbert

County Election Board

Developing New Map(s)

On Wednesday, December 7, the Mercer County board of Elections held a special meeting at the Princeton Township municipal building to discuss the process of establishing election districts for the consolidated Princeton community. The meeting was the first of three special meetings that the Board will conduct in Princeton as it develops an election district map for the new municipality.

At the December 7 meeting, the Board provided the public with a general overview of the election districting process, including a presentation by the board’s engineering consultant.

“The importance of this exercise cannot be overstated,” said Board spokesperson Dominic Magnolo. “The Board recognizes that the establishment of election districts for a new municipality is an opportunity to organize similar areas in the community into coherent election districts, something that was not previously possible due to existing geo-political boundaries. The Board anticipates the development of a draft map that accommodates as many public concerns as practicable while adhering to statutory requirements for election district map drawing.”

The Board’s next meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Township’s municipal building. At this meeting, the Board will review draft map(s) prepared by its engineering firm. The Board encourages public participation in this review so that the Board will be able to consider and, if appropriate, make adjustments to a draft map that can be accepted for adoption at the Board’s final public meeting on December 19.

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