Allison McConnell will continue to lead .
The Board of Education voted unanimously at a hearing Tuesday night to grant McConnell tenure in the position of principal.
The proceedings, known as a Donaldson hearing, provided a chance for McConnell to prove to board members she deserved to be tenured in the position of principal. She had been recommended for tenure by Superintendent Walter Hrycenko, but board members said they had questions about McConnell that they needed answered before effectively locking her into the principal's position indefinitely.
A majority of board members voted against her tenure in April.
"My mission has been, and continues to be, providing the necessary skills and abilities for them to realize their hopes and their dreams," McConnell told board members, of her philosophy towards teaching her students.
"I have made it my life's work to be the professional I am today."
McConnell's attorney, William Nossen of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, also spoke at the meeting, saying his client "has done all that we would want to ask a building principal to do."
McConnell described to board members programs she has initiated since becoming principal at Drum Point, including reading competitions and charity events. She also said she has obtained grants and saved the district money through her efforts to increase efficiency.
For their part, board members said they did not doubt McConnell's ability in the classroom, but had questions over how she managed internal personnel issues.
"We had some questions about bullying among the teachers," said board member Larry Reid. "We got a letter from one of the teachers … in Drum Point School that said there was bullying going on among the teachers."
But for Reid, the voice of the community helped allevite his concerns.
"The real difference was the parents, the students," he said. "Their comments made a real difference for me, personally."
The majority of board members echoed Reid's comments, saying they had questions about the same internal management issues.
Board members said they would have loved to talk to McConnell informally before a tenure vote, but state law forbids them from speaking with McConnell about personnel issues outside of a formal process.
"I apologize that you had to endure such a procedure," said board member Len Cuppari.
"The achievements were so lengthy, and your energy, seriously, God bless you," said board member Kim V. Terebush, explaining why she would vote in favor of granting McConnell tenure.
Hrycenko was on the verge of tears as he formally recommended McConnell's tenure to the board. Following a motion and a second, the unanimous 'yes' vote was taken.