Garden acknowledges boss’s passion – Essex News Daily

Photo courtesy of Dirk Phillips
Past and present Glen Ridge BOE members stand together in the pocket garden of Elizabeth Ginsburg, shown in the foreground, fourth from right.

A flower garden, along part of the Central School’s front façade, was dedicated to Glen Ridge Board of Education Chairwoman Elizabeth Ginsburg for her more than 20 years of continuous service leading that governing body.

The ceremony was scheduled to be held in 2020, but was disrupted due to the epidemic, and the ceremony was held last July.

“To honor Betsy for her service, and recognize her love of gardening, we planted a fun and colorful ‘pocket garden’ of perennials in front of the newly renovated Central School,” said BOE member Duval Graham, who participated with his fellow board member. Tracy St. Auburn oversaw the creation of the park.

“Plantings included rhododendron, purple sage, red, yellow and orange echinacea, iris, jumbo and blue fescue,” Graham said. “We also interspersed the bed with some bright annuals including begonias and asters.”

In a phone interview, Ginsburg said the park was originally an idea for its 20th anniversary in 2020, and was constructed in 2021.

“The party was organized by Superintendent Dirk Phillips prior to the July board meeting,” Ginsburg said. “He called the board members and supervisors I worked with.”

Former supervisors John Mucciolo and Daniel Fishbein attended the ceremony.

“The garden was a wonderful surprise,” Ginsburg said. “It’s beautiful and I appreciate it. But seeing these people who have made meaningful contributions all these years has been the best part.”

She said the garden was especially important to her, because she is a gardener herself. In fact, Ginsburg writes a popular weekly gardening column for this newspaper called “The Gardener’s Apprentice.” I’ve written approximately 1,332 consecutive columns, and only one column has been lost. The same applies to her presidential term. In 20 years, she has only missed one monthly meeting.

“I walk near Central School all the time, and it makes me happy to see it in all classes,” she said.

Ginsburg, who grew up in western New York State, said she received her appreciation for gardening from her father, who was a “great gardener.”

As for chairing the local school board, Ginsburg said she was previously involved with the Home and School Association and was on the board of directors for Christ Episcopal Church Nursery, in Glen Ridge, and is a founding board member for the preschool at Middleton Early Learning Center. , in East Orange.

“As a school volunteer, I became interested in politics,” she said. “The Board of Education seemed like the logical thing to do.”

St. Auburn said that during the pandemic it has made it difficult to publicly honor Ginsburg for her service.

“Superintendent Phillips dedicated a small plot at Central School so board members could create a garden in her honor,” St. Auburn said. “A number of perennials and small shrubs were planted. The board members who planted the garden were credited with creating a simple, sustainable garden to honor a loyal public servant who also happens to be a great gardener.

More than 20 past and present board members attended the ceremony, which included the unveiling of a plaque, St. Auburn said.

Before the July Board of Education meeting, Phillips arranged a small reception to dedicate the park with more than 20 past and present board members in attendance.

“A number of the three principals and superintendents who served during Betsy’s tenure as board president also came to honor her dedication and commitment to our schools,” Auburn said.

The dedication on the plaque begins, according to Graham, with an Indian proverb: “All tomorrow’s flowers are in today’s seeds.” It continues: “This garden is dedicated to Elizabeth Ginsburg / Glen Ridge Board of Education Chairman / for her long service to our school community / Board of Education member since 2000.”

Glen Ridge Public Schools is fortunate to have Ginsburg serve on the Board of Education, Phillips said in a statement.

“Her dedication to the schools, respect for families and dedication to students helped the district thrive all year long,” he said. “Her leadership and educational insight have helped guide the district through some of the most challenging times in education. President Ginsburg has consistently demonstrated a deep appreciation for being a part of Glen Ridge Schools and enjoys serving the community.

The garden dedicated to Glen Ridge Board of Education Chairwoman Elizabeth Ginsburg.

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