May 10, 2023

Put More Faith in Elected Board Members to Do Heavy Lifting

To the Editor:

In line with Ms. Benson’s letter [“Showing Support for Hard-Working Princeton Board of Education Members,” Mailbox, May 3], let’s all take a deep breath and be grateful that we have hardworking School Board members of integrity — who we, the community, elected in fair, open processes. Hats off to the Board members who have dedicated a portion of their lives to serving the community. 

Many have suggested or even stated point-blank that Chmiel has been treated unfairly, and gosh, he’s popular. I have not seen his performance objectives; has any critic out there? I have not seen his evaluations stipulating required improvement in various performance areas; has any critic out there?

Let us put more faith in our elected Board to do the heavy lifting here. Or what, there is some deep state cabal by which the Board will enrich itself? By which they will subvert their duties to serve in order to cause harm to our community’s children, because …?

Full disclosure: my father was a school superintendent in three districts while I grew up, one in New Jersey and two in Pennsylvania. And it is clear there is always a dance between school administrators, the Board, and the community. School Boards are not perfect — what human institution is? But there is essentially zero reason for a Board to subvert a high performing administrator such as a high school principal. The Boards’ unanimity regarding Chmiel, as opposed to some sort of 5-4 vote, suggests we reserve judgement, much less condemnation.

As for me, I will take a principal who meets key objectives and goals over one who doesn’t but is “popular.” Let’s see what we see before judging.

Dana Dreibelbis
Balcort Drive