Princeton school board results not finalized, but two incumbents appear to be re-elected

Voting on Election Day, voting ballot

Princeton voters appear to have returned two incumbent school board members for another term, and elected a newcomer to the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education in the Nov. 3 general election.

Based on preliminary results updated on Nov. 7, which was current as of press time on Nov. 11, incumbent school board member Michele Tuck-Ponder is the top vote-getter with 5,279 votes. Incumbent school board member Beth Behrend placed second in the vote tabulation, earning 5,127 votes. Newcomer Jean Durbin received 4,217 to take the third seat on the school board.

Eight candidates are vying for three seats on the school board, including former school board member Bill Hare. He received 2,368 votes. The term is for three years.

In addition to Behrend, Durbin and Tuck-Ponder, candidates Adam Bierman received 3,004 votes; Hendricks Davis earned 1,445 votes; Paul Johnson garnered 2,864 votes; and Karen Lemon picked up 2,639 votes, as of press time.

The vote tallies are unofficial and have not been certified by Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello. The deadline to count all votes is Nov. 20, which includes 710 provisional ballots in addition to the vote-by-mail ballots. The deadline to certify the election results to the State of New Jersey is Nov. 23.

Behrend has lived in Princeton since 2001. She has three children, and worked for 20 years as a corporate attorney who advised companies on finances, joint ventures, governance and regulatory matters.

Bierman grew up in Princeton and graduated from Princeton High School. He is a teacher in the state Division of Children and Family Services, working with at-risk students in Trenton. He has one child who graduated from the Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton.

Davis has lived in Princeton since 1973. He has no children in the public school district, but he has worked on behalf of students as the executive director of the Princeton Blairstown Center, and with Corner House and the Princeton Unified Middle School.

Durbin is a 14-year resident of Princeton, and has two children. One child graduated from Princeton High School and her second child is a student at the high school. She leads the contract management program in Princeton University’s Office of Finance and Treasury.

Hare, who served on the school board from 2017-19, has lived in Princeton since 2008. Two of his three children are graduates of Princeton High School and his third child is enrolled at the high school.

Johnson, who is a fourth-generation Princetonian, has three children enrolled in the Princeton Public Schools, two at the Community Park School and one at Princeton High School. He owns a sports training and mentoring company that specializes in student athletes.

Lemon, who moved to Princeton 10 years ago, has two children who graduated from high school before the family moved to Princeton. She retired from AT&T, where she was a vice president and general manager responsible for running large corporate IT networks.

Tuck-Ponder is a 29-year resident of Princeton and has two children. One child graduated from Princeton High School and her second child attends the Princeton Unified Middle School. She is the executive director of Destination Imagination Inc., which is a global creative problem-solving program for young people.