Princeton school board reorganizes

Kendal, Baglio will continue leading the board in 2024

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Three newly-elected Princeton school board members were sworn into office at the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education’s annual reorganization meeting Jan. 2.

Beth Behrend, Adam Bierman and Eleanor Hubbard were sworn into office for three-year terms. Behrend is beginning her third term. Bierman and Hubbard are beginning their first terms.

Once the sworn in board members were seated, the board elected its officers for 2024. The term is for one year.

Dafna Kendal was elected to her third term as school board president, and Betsy Baglio was elected to her second term as school board vice president. The votes were unanimous.

School board member Debbie Bronfeld nominated Kendal for another term as president, noting that 2023 was a “bumpy” year for the school district.

But under Kendal’s leadership, the school board was able to focus on the most important thing – the students, Bronfeld said. Kendal is “focused on supporting the students, and will also put them first.”

“Dafna’s superpower is her ability to listen to all parties involved and create a solution where each party feels they received something. She has successfully continued open conversations with our three unions, which has supported a positive work environment and a place for our students to learn and grow,” Bronfeld said.

The board may not always agree on issues, but it has unanimously agreed on electing Kendal as school board president for the past two years, she said.

Kendal thanked her colleagues for choosing her to lead the school board for another year. She said that she hoped the board could really focus on the students and ensure that learning is happening at the highest level.

“Now I’m in charge,” Kendal said to laughter, as school Business Administrator Matthew Bouldin handed her the gavel.

School board member Susan Kanter nominated Baglio for a second term as school board vice president.

Kanter praised Baglio for her educational knowledge, keen organizational skills, her respect in the community and knowledge of the community as reasons for Baglio to continue as school board vice president.

“‘Always assume positive intent’ – words that Betsy has modeled as we developed our board norms. We try to have respectful dialogue between all board members,” Kanter said.

Kanter said she believed that Baglio would continue to support the administration “in the best way possible.”

In other business, the school board adopted its meeting schedule for 2024. The meetings will be held in person at the administration offices at 25 Valley Road and online via Zoom.

The next school board meeting is set for Jan. 30.