Three incumbents secure seats on Lawrence school board

Scott Jacobs
Animals were lively at Colonial Lake Park in Lawrence Township on Nov 2.

Lawrence voters gave the nod to three incumbent school board members to serve additional terms on the Lawrence Township Public Schools Board of Education in the Nov. 5 general election.

Incumbent school board members Jonathan Dauber, Pepper Evans and Michelle King defeated two challengers to serve full, three-year terms on the school board.

Evans was the top vote-getter, with 2,866 votes, among five candidates seeking a full term. Dauber earned 2,857 votes and King received 2,610 votes.

Challengers Heather L. Camp and Adena Romeo-Ratliff received 2,218 votes and 1,695 votes, respectively.

All election results are not official until released by the Mercer County Clerk.

Cathy LeCompte, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the school board earlier this year, ran unopposed to fill out a one-year unexpired term. She received 3,609 votes.

Dauber is a seven-year resident of Lawrence Township, and a former administrator in the school district. He was the principal at Lawrence High School before becoming a principal at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North.

Dauber’s two sons attend the public schools.

Dauber said he wants to ensure that the needs of students and their parents are being met. Instruction should be tailored to each student. Mental health and social growth is critical, and the school district should find ways to connect with community agencies to help and support students.

Evans has lived in Lawrence Township since the 1980’s. Her daughters are graduates of Lawrence High School.

One of the major issues that the school district must address is the cost of special education, she said. The district is training teachers so they can teach the students in-district and avoid the need to send them to costly private, specialized schools.

King is a 21-year resident of Lawrence Township. Her daughters attended parochial schools in grades K-8, and The Pennington School for high school.

The school board and the administration have undertaken a broad evaluation of the special education programs, she said. Issues have been identified and will be addressed over a three-year period.

LeCompte, who ran unopposed for an unexpired one-year term, has lived in Lawrence Township for 21 years. Her sons are graduates of Lawrence High School.

Keeping children safe in school is important, LeCompte said. The district has added safety vestibules in each school. She would like to expand the character education program in all of the schools to teach students to be respectful and accepting of everyone.