October 5, 2017

Parents Say Beth Behrend Has Been Beacon of Light at Riverside Elementary

To the Editor:

We are writing this letter together to endorse Beth Behrend for the Board of Education.

We are fellow parents of children who have attended Riverside Elementary, JWMS, and PHS with Beth’s children over the past 10 years. Beth has been a beacon of light for all folks at Riverside. From new families to second generation Princetonians, all have felt the warmth of Beth’s welcome, her genuinely collaborative spirit, and her infectious enthusiasm for community and in particular for our beloved Princeton schools. Beth has been an advocate for all schools in Princeton; she has been an especially dedicated champion of our schools’ gardens.

We have all worked as volunteers with Beth in her role as PTO president of Riverside and PTO vice president garden chair — a position she held for seven years! We can vouch for Beth’s impeccable integrity and her boundless energy. Not only is Beth a hard worker, she is accountable when she promises results. Beth gets things done! While serving in a PTO leadership role at Riverside, Beth developed new ways to welcome families to the school, worked with teachers to bring new arts residencies, and completely overhauled the PTO finances to make them more transparent. She was a driving force behind expanding the garden program, not only at Riverside, but district-wide. Beth also instituted the end-of-summer “kindergarten playdate” for entering kindergarten children and their families to welcome them to Riverside and to give them an opportunity to get to know each other before the rush of the new school year. That is typical of her approach: finding a way to bring more people together, foster a sense of community, and a feeling of belonging.

In addition to her years of volunteer service and her in-depth knowledge of the district, Beth will bring 18 years of corporate legal experience managing and working with corporate and nonprofit boards of directors to the Board of Education. Her legal training means Beth makes decisions based on facts and always listens to all sides of any issue. She confronts issues head-on and works tirelessly and collaboratively to find solutions.

At this critical point in the future of the Princeton Schools, Beth’s experiences as volunteer leader, parent, and lawyer, her leadership skills, her energy, her vision for a school system that is welcoming and inclusive, creative and stimulating, and, finally, her dedication to Princeton schools and Princeton families make her a perfect fit for the Board. Join us in voting for Beth Behrend for the Board of Education!

Betsy Armstrong

Hartley Avenue

Mary Jo DiBianco

Woodside Lane

Alene M. Frankel and Matthew B. Frankel

Prospect Avenue

Mary Ellen and Larry Granozio

Philip Drive

Melissa and Tom Grzymala

Mason Drive

Wendy Wilton

Longview Drive