Get our newsletters

Palisades mourns Carol Clemens


The passing of Carol Clemens, who served for decades as a member of the boards of both the Palisades School District and the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) before her retirement several years ago, was mourned by the current Palisades board at its Sept. 6 meeting.

“Her thoughtful and deliberate service was an inspiration, and especially her unparalleled dedication,” recalled David Haubert.

Scott Freeman, the board’s vice president, noted both he and his father had served with her; board member James Ott recalled her special help during his first years on the board; and Shari VanderGast remembered her extraordinary dedication to education, accentuated by frequent visits to district schools, especially elementary.

In an emotionally charged, special half-hour recognition at a board meeting upon her retirement (Herald, Nov. 14, 2019), both the district and the BCIU honored her for especially distinguished service during 32 years for the district and 28 years at BCIU.

Special presenters included former district superintendent Dr. Francis Barnes, who particularly noted Clemens’ service on the board’s Education and Program Services (EPS) committee, which he referred to as “the core effort in the school district’s mission” to provide exemplary educational opportunity. He also thanked her for challenging district staff to meet the highest standards.

Also at the Sept. 6, meeting, the board recognized the district’s new Big Brothers Big Sisters program, designed to “establish connections between older kids and younger,” as described by staff coordinators Marie Collie and Sandy Shaffer.

“Your own life shines brighter when you help others grow,” offered board President Silvia LeBlanc.

Among a variety of other matters discussed in detail by the board and its staff at the public meeting, district Director of Facilities Alan Crouthamel and Superintendent Dr. Bridget O’Connell responded to board queries about the plan to maintain and upgrade heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) capital equipment.

They especially noted taking advantage of more than $750,000 in special ESSER funding, which mandates project completions by Sept. 30, 2024, by using it for projects that did not require extensive engineering time, while committing to developing a five-year plan by next spring for projects that were more engineering-intensive. ESSER refers to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund passed by Congress after the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.