July 31, 2019

Former BOE Member Dafna Kendal Joins 3 Others in School Board Race

By Donald Gilpin

Former School Board Member Dafna Kendal will join incumbents Debbie Bronfeld and Greg Stankiewicz and new candidate Susan Kanter on the ballot in the November 5 election for three spots on the ten-member Princeton Public Schools Board of Education (BOE).

According to the Mercer County Clerk’s Office, at the Monday, July 29 4 p.m. filing deadline, there were just four candidates for the three positions with three-year terms on the Princeton BOE. Bill Hare, whose term ends on December 31, 2019, will not be running for re-election.

Kendal, a lawyer with a son at Princeton High School (PHS) and a daughter at John Witherspoon Middle School, served on the BOE from 2016 through 2018, chairing three different committees and filling the post of vice president for part of her tenure. She was defeated in a close election last fall, as two newcomers, Brian McDonald and Daniel Dart, along with incumbent Betsy Kalber Baglio, won the three available spots.

“I decided to run again because I am concerned about the financial condition of the district, and the effect it has had on the education of our students,” Kendal wrote in an email. “The school district must right itself financially, without sacrificing vital programs and services for our students, all of whom deserve a school environment that allows them to develop to their full potential.”

She emphasized that the district must seek revenue from sources other than residents who are already bearing a heavy tax burden. She noted her success during her term on the BOE in securing voluntary payments for the school district from the Institute for Advanced Study. She also mentioned her role in “negotiating an 8:20 a.m. start time at PHS, for the health and well-being of our students.”

Kendal described herself as “an experienced, progressive champion for public education who has been steadfast in prioritizing the education of students of all backgrounds and abilities.”

She added, “Responsibly serving our community calls for compassion, transparency, and careful navigation of budgetary constraints, all of which I have demonstrated during my prior service on the Board of Education.”