October 30, 2019

School Matters 10/30/19

Safe Routes to School Wins $674,000 Federal Grant

Major improvements are on tap for two key intersections, Harrison Street and Franklin Avenue and Harrison Street and Hamilton Avenue, with $674,000 of federal funds awarded to the Safe Routes to School Program.

Replacement of traffic signals at the two intersections, along with pedestrian upgrades, better ramps, and other improvements, including automatic light changes for emergency vehicles, will make walking and biking safer.

“Princeton is fortunate to have a culture where many of our students walk and bike to school,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert in announcing the improvements last Friday in conjunction with New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, along with Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman.

“We know from local surveys that even more of our students would walk and bike if they felt safer doing so,” Lempert continued. “And that’s why the Safe Routes to School Program is so important to us here in Princeton.”

Lempert also praised Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton “for being such a huge champion for walking and biking infrastructure in Princeton” and her “enlightened Engineering Department.”

Evelyn Spann Steps Down from BOE

Cranbury Board Representative Evelyn Spann will be stepping down from her position this week after almost 10 years as sending district representative to the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE).

On the agenda to be sworn in Tuesday, October 29 as the new Princeton BOE Cranbury representative was Peter Katz, a member of the Cranbury BOE, attorney, and father of three, two at Princeton High School (PHS) and one at Cranbury Elementary School.

In accepting Spann’s resignation, the BOE was planning to offer a tribute citing her “voice of inclusion and respect for our district’s mission” and their gratitude “for her leadership, service, time, and energy during her years of gracious service and many contributions to our community and school district.”

Princeton BOE President Beth Behrend noted, “Evelyn’s patient wisdom, advocacy for good board process, and passion for students and the PPS mission will be missed around our board table.”

She went on to praise Katz’s experience in law and School Board service. “We look forward to benefiting from Peter’s professional expertise and dedication to students,” she said.

Third Annual PHS Hackathon on November 2

HackPHS will be hosting more than 200 high school students from across New Jersey to collaborate, innovate, and create in a 24-hour, student-organized hackathon in the cafeteria of Princeton High School (PHS) from Saturday morning, November 2 through mid-day Sunday, November 3.

The free event will feature workshops, prizes, and free food, with the opportunity for new and experienced hackers to learn about new technology, to build innovative solutions to real-world problems, and to share their creations with the community.

JWMS Edible Gardens Revitalized

With volunteers from the schools and the community, Princeton Schools Garden Cooperative (PSGC) has deconstructed 12 old garden beds — then built, moved, and filled 12 new bountiful boxes garden beds in the allée between the school wall and the chain link fence along the soccer field at John Witherspoon Middle School.

In a nine-hour period on Saturday, October 19, the volunteers, with a proclamation from the mayor and support from Small World Coffee, Whole Earth Center, Terra Momo, Nutri-Serve Food Management, Terhune Orchards, and Lillipies, completed the edible gardens project.

Next on the agenda are a small storage shed, drip irrigation hoses, a produce-washing sink, maybe a garden gate at either end, seeds, seedlings, and garden gloves, according to PSGC co-founder Karla Cook.

Spanish Embassy Chooses Local Teacher’s Translations

The Embassy of Spain has selected two published play translations by Karen Leahy, Princeton Charter School Spanish teacher, to be part of a promotion of contemporary Spanish theater in the United States.

The Embassy held staged readings of the two works, The Border (La Frontera) and The Lost Children (Los Niños Perdidos) by Laila Ripoll, on October 28 at the former residence of the ambassadors of Spain in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Artistisas Espanoles en Nueva York, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain, and Estreno Contemporary Spanish Plays as part of Spotlight on Contemporary Spanish Theater: Women Dramatists.