At the Hopewell Valley Regional School District’s Board of Education tonight, Alyce McClurg (Doldy) will be swearing in and joining the board as one of seven Hopewell Township representatives. MercerMe had the exclusive chance to interview Alyce about why she loves the area, the district and public service and so much more!
McClurg grew up in Sussex County, New Jersey and moved to Hopewell Valley to attend The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) earning a BS in pre-medical biology with a chemistry minor and business concentration. After a 5 year tenure in scientific research, she began shifting her career track to fitness and corporate wellness while attending TCNJ for a masters in secondary education. Throughout her 17-year fitness career, Ms. McClurg, a certified Health Fitness Specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition provided fitness and corporate wellness services to many companies throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as owner of a personal fitness studio. Ms. McClurg specialized in kickboxing programming and co-founded the kickboxing certification for AAAI/ISMA. Other professional education includes certifications in Management and Leadership Excellence through the American Management Association.
Ms. McClurg was elected to the Pennington Borough Council in 2010 and resigned in 2012 to move just out of the Borough into Hopewell Township. During her tenure on Council, she was a member of Personnel and liaison to the Economic Development Commission and Parks & Recreation.
Ms. McClurg and her fiance, Brad Murray, reside with Faith, who attends Toll Gate Grammar and their 3 Timberlaners, Derek, Steven and Kevin.
What do you love about Hopewell Valley? I was blessed to have been brought up in Sussex County, way at the peak of North Jersey. It’s very much like the farm-inspired community of Hopewell Valley, except HoVal has the added benefit of location just a hop and skip away from wonderful places like the Jersey Shore, Princeton, Lambertville, Philly & New York. I feel like I have the comforting rural environment of my youth, with the wonders of the city, the shore and other cultural activities just around the corner to enjoy with my family.
Positive experiences with Hopewell Valley Regional School District you can share? There are so many positive HVRSD experiences to choose from, however our elementary experience and transition to Timberlane Middle School stands out. I have 3 incredibly different children, especially with regard to learning styles. The amazing educators at TGG recognized early on that my son, Derek, now in 6th grade, required a smaller learning environment and enrichment in reading and math. As he has transitioned to Timberlane, he has tested with advanced proficiency in math with drastically improved scores in language arts. Now in the larger, regional learning environment of Timberlane, his grades and first marking period reports from teachers have shown how well he has been prepared for this step up. I cannot possibly express how grateful I am for the care and support Derek, as well as my other children, have experienced so far.
What do you hope you will bring to the board? My life experiences, as well as my career focus provide a well rounded appreciation for many of the challenges of students and their families and how the school district may support the community. My tenure on Borough Council established an awareness of the tax implications of Board of Education decisions and the school budget. My education and expertise in health and wellness affords me a perspective and resources to address critical issues that may impede the education process and ways other communities have enhanced learning. Since I’ve been in a career that services the Hopewell Valley community since 1998, it feels as though I have the eyes, ears and hearts of students, parents, educators and the greater community to draw from when required to weigh in on pertinent decisions on the school board.
What about public service appeals to you? In my experience, the best opportunity to positively affect real change in the lives of your family and the surrounding community is through local public service. The words of Margaret Mead, a local academic anthropologist, resonate with me and encouraged my decisions to run for Borough Council and the Board of Education: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
What are some of your favorite local shopping and eating spots? I feel blessed to have my favorite shops and eateries within steps of my front door. I can walk the length Main Street to buy my gifts at Chris’s Front Porch, my clothes at Linda’s Flutter, my lunches at Jim and Emily’s Cafe, sushi and gelato at Charlie and Sharon’s Sumo and Viva Gelato, Avanti for a special evening and the Pennington staple, Vito’s, my children’s favorite pizza spot.
Name something you love to do on a Sunday afternoon. On a Sunday afternoon, you will find me DIY-ing something with Brad inside our home or in the garden, sometimes with a few extra little hands and the giant paws of our furry children, Dexter and Bolt. Which brings me to another go-to place just around the corner, our local Pennington Hardware, where Maureen and Greg are there to support you with the guidance and tools for when you choose to try to tackle (literally) something yourself.