October 29, 2014

Expressing Support for Shamsi and Spruill For Terms on PRS Board of Education

To the Editor:

Afsheen Shamsi and Fern Spruill are running for School Board. We know both of them through our mutual work in Not in Our Town, and as well they have become personal friends of ours. They are two of the hardest working individuals we know and each has a fierce commitment to the well being of the children in our district. This is a natural extension of their devotion to and advocacy on behalf of their own children and also in Fern’s case, grandchildren, and is demonstrated by their involvement in serving the children and families of Princeton. They each have unique and needed perspectives that are important for Board deliberations and policies.

Afsheen is completing her first term on the Board of Education. She is the mother of a Princeton High School student. She brings her incisive mind to Board issues and has been particularly focused on making sure that the educational needs of all our learners are met. She is very attuned to the needs of different learners and is a strong advocate of the recent initiative to redefine success and to measure what really matters. As a member of the Student Achievement Committee she successfully led the district’s review of anti-bullying policies which resulted in the implementation of bullying prevention strategies. Her work on advising nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, fund raising, board development, and public relations has been very valuable to her role on the School Board.

Fern served as the leader of the Minority Education Committee and in that capacity reached out to parents of children who were at risk of not being successful in school due to language barriers and/or socio-economic challenges. She brought together a coalition of parents, school officials, community leaders, and Princeton residents to develop a series of programs for parents on the vital importance of their involvement in their children’s educational lives. She and her husband, Larry, have been tireless as volunteers through their program, “Committed and Faithful Princetonians,” which reaches out to youth at risk to motivate them to achieve educational excellence and to develop their social skills. Fern’s collaborative style and heartfelt concern for children has earned her respect from all she has worked with including school personnel, community leaders, police officials, and youth themselves.

Please consider supporting Afsheen Shamsi and Fern Spruill when you cast your votes for members of our Board of Education.

Wilma Solomon

Tee-Ar Place

Barbara Fox

Cedar Lane