WALL TOWNSHIP — When she assumed the position of Wall Township Public Schools Superintendent on July 13, 2020, Tracy R. Handerhan was immediately confronted with the challenge of balancing student health with academic needs in the midst of a global pandemic.
In her second day on the job, she attended her first Wall school board meeting, which was conducted via Zoom, and quickly realized that it would take time to develop relationships and build trust with the community.
During the virtual meeting, she sought to explain the legal and health issues behind the mask mandate as a resumption of in-person classes was planned that September. She also addressed parents’ frustration over the educational limitations of virtual classes during the preceding pandemic school year.
“Whether you’re learning in the online environment or whether you’re coming to your in-person program, we want your education to be equitable,” she said, addressing parents and students. “We’ve been working very hard to accomplish just that.”
In an interview with The Coast Star this week, she reflected on the tension she sensed during that 2020 meeting.
“It was just really difficult because I didn’t have the trust. Looking back, I underestimated that importance at the time,” Ms. Handerhan said. “Over time, I hope to develop the trust of the community through my actions and deeds.”
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