Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 22
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
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“We’re Working On It”: Committee Assignments, Sustainability, Discussed by School Board

Ellen Gilbert

“We’ve had lots of competent people on this board, but we’ve never been in a situation where we had a finer collection of people,” observed President Alan Hegedus at last week’s Board of Education Meeting where new committee and liaison assignments were announced.

Board members, representing a “mix of talents and dedication” accepted their assignments “readily and enthusiastically” according to Mr. Hegedus, who noted that these behind-the-scenes efforts are “where the work really gets done on this board.”

As chair of the Finance Committee, Township resident Dorothy Bedford, who is also a member of the Personnel Committee and liaison to the John Witherspoon Middle School PTO, assumes the position held by former board member Joshua Leinsdorf. In her report on Tuesday evening, Ms. Bedford said that while the retirement of a district debt service may offer some taxpayer relief, increases in health care costs may make themselves felt in next year’s budget.

Borough resident and Board Vice President Rebecca Cox is a member of the Personnel and Program Committees, PTO Council liaison, and Negotiations Team Liaison to the NJSBA/MCSBA. Personnel Committee chair Walter Bliss is also a member of the Facilities Committee, and Liaison to the Special Education PTO.

Tim Quinn, a Borough resident who is a member of the Program Committee, will continue to serve as liaison to the Minority Education Committee.

Director of Plant Operations Gary Weisman will continue to serve as liaison to the Facilities Committee; Business Administrator Stephanie Kennedy remains the Finance Committee liaison; and Assistant Superintendents Lew Goldstein and Bonnie Lehat are liaisons to the Program Committee.

Facilities Committee Chair, Township resident Mia Cahill, is also a member of the Personnel Committee and Negotiations Team, and liaison to “municipal/institution bodies,” and the Community Park School PTO. Facilities Committee news at the meeting included the announcement that K-2 “smart rooms” in each of the elementary schools are near completion.


“Most excitingly,” Ms. Cahill noted, is the committee’s recommendation that an in-district Sustainability Committee be created, to include teachers, students, and representatives of other local organizations. “Many sustainability-related efforts are already underway in the schools,” she noted.

Superintendent Judy Wilson also spoke about sustainability concerns in her report, noting the appearance of Sustainable Princeton representative Diane Landis at the March board meeting, who encouraged greater school participation in conservation efforts. “We’re working on it,” said Ms. Wilson, noting that the district was attempting to form partnerships with local farmers and vendors to provide foods for improved school lunch programs. Although this effort was not, she said “the work of the Board,” she does expect forward movement on it through the work of the appropriate committees.

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