PENNSBURY >> Pennsbury School Board member Jacqueline Redner of Falls Township has resigned just a little more than two months shy of the end of her second four year term on the board.
In a resignation letter delivered to School Board President TR Kannan and announced at Thursday night’s school board meeting, Redner, a public relations consultant, cites a move from the district as the reason for her departure from the board.
School board Vice President Christian Schwartz made the motion to accept Redner’s resignation letter “with deep regret.” The motion passed unanimously.
Redner, who represented Pennsbury’s Region Two including Tullytown and part of Falls Township, first won election to the board in Nov. 2011. Four years later she won a second term in Nov. 2015.
Redner was elected president of the board three times, the first in December 2013 leading the board through 2014. She was again named president in July 2017 in an unusual mid-year leadership change and was subsequently re-elected in December 2017, serving as president in 2018.
Under her leadership, the board implemented an aggressive anti-drug program aimed at the opioid crisis, which continues to claim not only the lives of Pennsbury graduates at an alarming rate, but young adults throughout the nation.
The district brought drug counseling and other services to district schools and began offering lessons on reducing anxiety, bullying prevention and other measures designed to lessen drug abuse and addiction.
Redner led the effort even while grieving her own son’s death due to an overdose death in September 2017.
The board also implemented a district-wide full-day kindergarten program under Redner’s leadership.
“About six years ago she was made board President and one of her first orders of business was to bring full-day kindergarten to the school district and she pressed on to get it,” said Schwartz. “She fought hard to get that.
“A few years went by and she noticed, through her children and their friends, that there were some underlying issues among children in society and the district. It’s a nationwide epidemic now,” he said of the opioid crisis. “She pushed on to get more counseling for our kids, not just for the opioid epidemic, but for medical illnesses and bullying and everything associated with anxiety and stress.
“She definitely exemplifies a person who left this board in a better place then when she got here,” said Schwartz. “And I think for those two things alone she’ll be remembered and I’m grateful to have been here and to have been a part of some of that.”
Under state law, Kannan said the school board is obligated to fill the opening within 30 days despite the number of months remaining in the term.
Kannan said residents living in Region Two interested in serving out Redner’s two remaining months on the board are encouraged to send their resumes and letters of interest to the attention of Christopher Berdnik, 134 Yardley Avenue, Fallsington 19054 or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for letters to be received is Thursday, September 26.
The school board plans to fill the vacancy at its October board meeting.