Over the past few weeks I’ve been out knocking on a lot of doors. Having that opportunity to meet voters face-to-face, and talk about the issues that they care about, has been invigorating.
What I continue to hear from voters is that they want to see more support for mental health services, funding that is equitable and serves all students, and more than anything else, they want to see a school board that works together to get things done.
This last issue was a major theme in the recent Candidate Forum as well. There is a sense that our school board isn’t working, that teachers and community members need to feel more like they have a seat at the table, and many of the audience’s questions that night seemed to point to that.
Soon after the forum I attended the March 11 SDMA meeting, and I could already sense that something had changed. The new school board president, Amy Riddle-Swanson, brought an openness to the meeting’s proceedings, and the discussion amongst the members—in particular, when they discussed 4-K funding, which has remained lamentably flat for many years—was productive.
The difference wasn’t night and day, but it was clear that, no matter the outcome of this election, the discussions that have come out of it are already having an effect.
I am hopeful about the direction this district is taking going forward. I think everyone running, and everyone currently serving, has our kids’ best interest in mind.
If I am lucky enough to get your vote, I promise to work with all members of the board, new and old, to continue to seek out productive conversations with community members and teachers, to see to it that all of our students’ needs are met.