August 3, 2016

Five Local Residents Will Contest Three Available School Board Posts

Five Princeton residents will be competing for three open seats in Princeton School Board elections on November 8.

Ravi Bala of Valley Road, Deborah “Debbie” Bronfeld of Dodds Lane, William D. Hare of Jefferson Road, John Alexander Martin of Hun Road, and Gregory M. Stankiewicz of Jefferson Road filed necessary papers last week and will be seeking to replace outgoing board members Molly Chrein, Tom Hagedorn, and Andrea Spalla, whose terms expire at the end of the year. Ms. Spalla is currently serving as Board president. 

Mr. Hare, a patent lawyer with three children in the Princeton schools, commented on the importance of the schools and the upcoming election. “Having five people running for three spots hopefully will cause this race to be more noticeable on everyone’s radar, bring attention to the importance of this institution, and result in the election of three well qualified individuals who will make a positive contribution to our schools.”

Expressing his gratitude for the excellent school system — in academics, sports, clubs, and the arts, Mr. Hare added, “If elected, I would like to help with fiscal planning, contribute a commonsense voice to our school system’s growth, and be accessible to others’ concerns.”

Ms. Bronfeld, who has worked in non-profit organizations for the past ten years and is the mother of a 2015 Princeton High School graduate and a current junior, decided to run for the school board after becoming “increasingly concerned as a citizen and a parent” about two years ago during the prolonged contract negotiations.

“I realized it was time for me to get involved,” she said. “I was worried about whether my younger son and the children of my neighbors and friends were going to get the same opportunities that my older son got. I felt strongly about the school system and was interested in education for all the children at all levels — the advanced kids, but also the middle and lower levels. You want to make sure that important things aren’t cut from the program.”

Ms. Bronfeld concluded, “I want to make sure that the district continues its excellent tradition, but as the population grows and changes, I want to make sure that we as a school are able to grow and change also.”

Mr. Bala, Mr. Martin, and Mr. Stankiewicz were not available for comment at press time, but will be consulted for a more comprehensive, pre-election story in the coming months.

Board of Education members serve for three-year terms and are not paid. The most important functions of the Board include setting and maintaining policies, approving the annual school budget, representing the community’s educational philosophy, and hiring and annual evaluation of the superintendent.