The Cranford Fund for Educational Excellence – Supporting Innovative Educational Initiatives in the Cranford Schools

For nearly 20 years, a group of Cranford residents and educators have served as a resource for teachers throughout the district to provide funding for initiatives that haven’t been funded through traditional budgeting.

The CFEE raises money through a variety of methods, including an annual Trivia Night, which will return in February after a two-year absence. Tara O’Connor serves as a co-president of the organization and she joined me in one of the projects funded by the CFEE.

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Tara O’Connor, Nikki Savino Mulcahy, Bernie Wagenblast (left to right) in the new Cranford High School podcast studio

New Wind Sculpture in Hanson Park Honors the Life of the Late Jan Lilien

Jan Lilien’s life touched many. When she died in 2021, her husband Richard Brown wanted to continue her legacy through the creation of the Jan Lilien Education Fund. The fund has worked with the Hanson Park Conservancy to provide educational programs on sustainability and environmental awareness.

Richard also wanted to memorialize Jan with something permanent in Hanson Park which might give comfort to others suffering from grief. That dream became a wind sculpture which was installed this month in the park.

On this episode of Cranford Radio we hear from Richard, as well as Ellen McHenry, the president of the Hanson Park Conservancy and Rabbi Renee Edelman of Temple Sha’arey Shalom in Springfield.

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Richard Brown & Jan Lilien

Section of Lincoln Park to Become Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe Reading Garden

Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe was born and raised in Cranford before becoming a nationally-recognized educator. Dr. Wolfe will be recognized with a reading garden that is being constructed in a corner of Lincoln Park where Old Peppy once stood.

TV35 and Cranford Radio spoke with Mayor Kathleen Miller Prunty, Pat Pavlak and Betty Crawley about the project and Dr. Wolfe’s legacy.

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Pat Pavlak, Bernie Wagenblast, Mayor Kathleen Miller Prunty, Betty Crawley (left to right)
Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe