But the big question people are asking me is… Why?
It’s definitely not glamorous. It’s definitely a lot of work. It’s definitely thankless. So, why would I run for school board, why not something else?
And the answer is simple. I’m not running because I want to be in office. I’m running for my kids, my neighbors and the future of the district. I have zero aspirations beyond the school board, I would just be honored to serve.
I’m running because of my kids first. We need people on our school board who will actively represent what is best for our kids. And how we do that, is having people on our school board who will actively represent parents. Call me old fashioned, but parents should have the ultimate responsibility for their kids. We should have oversight on what is taught. We should have the authority to ask questions, and demand answers. Our schools should support the community values. Parents should have the continual freedom to be actively involved in their kid’s education, and their involvement should be supported and encouraged.
Second, I’m running for everyone else’s kids. Our districts have a finite amount of resources, and we need to constantly watch how those resources are spent, and if they are being invested wisely in our kids’ education.
And, yes, whenever budget issues come along every school board threatens to cut the football program and kindergarten in order to guilt parents into supporting them and drive through tax increases. I despise that game. Any school board needs to constantly make hard choices about funding, staffing, focus, services and more. But it should be without politics. It should be about what is best for the education of future generations. Period.
And third, I’m running for opportunity. Specifically, the opportunity for our kids. Too many times we don’t look beyond the budget in order to see what we can offer our kids. But there is so much more out there. I am a firm believer in the value of private-public partnerships with businesses in the region, that can add to the depth and breadth of the educational offerings, without adding to the costs.
For example, I work for a science-based company in St. Louis and know many other similar companies and organizations in the area. And they all have programs that go into schools, at no cost, in order to invest in the kids. And, in my opinion, the utilization of those programs is much too low.
I will focus on bringing programs like these, and more, to the Windsor School District. We have to, in order to ensure our kids have the best education and the best opportunities ahead of them.
You can find out more at www.facebook.com/markisutherland.