Former Cranbury Board of Education members Ash Hadap and Jennifer Cooke were honored during the board’s May 8 meeting. Together, they served the community for nearly 13 years.
Both attended the meeting and later addressed the crowd that showered them with applause in the Cranbury School’s auditorium.
“I’ve never seen a mic I haven’t seized,” Hadap joked when given a chance to speak.
He said sitting on the board was “probably one of the most wonderful, meaningful things I’ve done in my life. It was truly a privilege to be a part of this community and to serve it in my own little way. I truly miss it.”
Cooke thanked “everyone for their support over the years, the teachers, the community, for your faith in me.”
Earlier in the meeting, Chief School Administrator and Principal Susan L. Genco feted Hadap and Cooke. She recalled that Hadap, who was chosen to fill a vacant seat on the board, interviewed for the opening.
“With Ash, every answer he gave was a child-centered answer and that was something we were looking for,” she said. “He was interested in how he could make a difference for students.”
Hadap served on the board for three-and-a-half years. He did not run for re-election last year, citing professional reasons.
“This is a wonderful community,” he said. “We should all be very proud of being part of it.”
Of Cooke, Genco said she had served stints as board president and vice president during her nine-year-tenure. During that time, the board hired Genco, in 2011, to lead the district.
“I will always be indebted to you for believing in me,” Genco said to Cooke. “Over the seven years I have known Jennifer, she has done nothing but bring joy to the job. No matter what time, no matter how long it took, she got the job done.”
Cooke did not seek re-election in 2017. Hadap and Cooke were succeeded on the board by Amy Dixon and Lisa Rue, both of whom were elected in November.
Later in the meeting, the board recognized 10 years of service by board member Evelyn Spann, who is also Cranbury’s representative on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education. Spann missed part of the meeting in Cranbury because she was in Princeton for a board meeting, before returning to town.