Tracie L. Bennitt
There are many ways to make a difference in a child’s life. As a member of the local school board, you are tasked with overseeing a superintendent who is challenged to improve the learning opportunities for the students under their care. He, or she, is challenged to create academic growth and needed improvement in the school district and not allow it to grow stagnant and continue outdated methods of teaching and learning. New opportunities come to light and need to be explored to keep our school district fresh and successful.
Think outside the box. It used to be that students were taught to memorize data and then regurgitate that data for a test to pass a class. In today’s environment, students need to be able to think outside the box to solve problems. This is the foundation they need to be competitive in today’s work marketplace as they graduate and move out into the world.
Read a book. Another great example is having students read books and learn history that might make them feel uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable and outside your comfort zone wakes you up to realize that there are more things going on in the world than what is in your immediate circle of influence. A good example is the book “Warriors Don’t Cry” by Melba Beals. Kids learn from their parents how to treat others. Your example as a parent teaches that child what’s right and what’s wrong and sets their attitudes on how to deal with real life issues. If they read a book and have a discussion with their peers about that book, this enables them to learn from each other and grow as humans.
Be a role model. Teachers in our school district care. They take the time to work with students who may be having issues. They get involved and are there for support and encouragement. Teachers are wonderful mentors and set an example for their students to look up to. Being a teacher in today’s schools is hard. Many have left the profession because there are so many issues to deal with that didn’t used to be a problem. The ones that are here are here because they love teaching and they love their students. They deserve the support of the school district staff, administration and board as well as parents and community members.
Be authentic and honest. There are so many versions of reality being portrayed in the media today that it is often a challenge to know what’s real and what’s not. Do your research. Know the facts, not the “opinions” or “beliefs” surrounding an issue. It’s important for a representative of the school district to be straightforward and truthful when dealing with the superintendent and community. Involvement in local organizations, volunteering and having a presence in the community shows a commitment to not only the school district, but to our village as a whole.
We can never give in to the demands of irrelevancy. All of the above issues and more are important to the future of our community and our world. Look at the people running for Woodland Park RE2 School Board and see who has integrity and lifts others up, not spending time tearing others down. Look at which of them leads by example by being a volunteer in the community and giving of their time and expertise to help others, not pursuing an agenda to restrict or set back improvements in our education programs.
Dale Suiter, Amy Wolin, Misty Leafers and Paula Levy meet these criteria and more. Drop them a note. Give them a call. They would love to talk to you about what a WPRE2 District School Board Member does and how they can fill that role in our community. Please vote November 2.