Princeton played its part in the sweep of elections across the country on Tuesday night. Princeton's own competitive race was one for seats on the Princeton Public School District Board of Education as well as the town's council. Beth Behrend, Michele Tuck-Ponder, and Jessica Deutsch '91 won the three vacant seats on the board. Democrats David Cohen and Leticia Fraga ran uncontested with no Republican challengers for the town council.
“I’m excited to have been elected, and I’m very thankful for the support shown to me by the voters,” said Tuck-Ponder. “I’m looking forward to serving on the school board and addressing some of the issues I’ve raised in [the] campaign and some of the issues already on the table.”
According to unofficial results sent to the 'Prince' by the Princeton Clerk's Office, Behrend, Tuck-Ponder, and Deutsch ran in a field of six candidates, winning with 3199, 2983, and 2773 votes, respectively, although about 800 mail-in ballots have not been counted yet. Other candidates included Jenny Ludmer, Julie Ramirez, and James Fields.
“Princeton Schools are in good hands with Beth, Jess and Michele,” Ramirez wrote in an email. “Princeton is very lucky to have them and I’m sure they will each make an impact in their own way.”
This school board election was of particular importance with impending decisions regarding overcrowding and the acquisition of the Westminster Choir College campus. Just last week, the entire faculty at Westminster received , and in , the school board unanimously decided to allow the district to look into acquiring the 23-acre campus.
A former mayor of Princeton, Tuck-Ponder says her two main priorities coming in will be to address educational equity and overcrowding. But, because she is not an educator, she first wants to learn the lay of the land.
There are 10 members on the school board, as well as two student representatives. Both the town council and school board positions have a term of three years.