Support for current school board | Letter

We are writing to Lopez community members to request your support and vote to reelect John Helding, Clive Prout, Dixie Budke, and Del Guenther for the Lopez School Board. Our support for them is further affirmed after hearing all the candidates at the League of Women Voters forum Wednesday night and reading the candidates’ public statements in various media.

The main difference between the incumbent and challenging candidates did not seem to be the size of the bond that failed earlier this year; both agreed on cost-efficiency and a significantly smaller bond in response to the majority of the voters’ wishes, with the incumbent candidates humbly admitting the lessons learned and vowing to listen more broadly and deeply.

John Helding and challenger Joe Thornton also agree that Joe could serve on the finance advisory committee to help screen the next school bond if Joe is not elected. Joe appeared to be concerned primarily about bond issues and did not have specifics to offer on how he would improve the school.

The main differences seem to be the qualifications and passion for education. While the challenging candidates did not have much to offer constructively beyond perspectives on finance and school bond, incumbent candidates demonstrated a wealth and depth of knowledge, intelligence, ardor and experience in education in aspects ranging from costs and budgets, state requirements and limitations, holistic educational philosophy, academic performance, empowerment of teachers and staff, and the roles that the school plays in the community and vice versa. The current school board has been effective in improving curriculum, hiring an excellent administration team and want them to continue.

The school board position is so much more than issuing a school bond. We need leaders who understand and care deeply about education to serve on the school board. Candidates with a more narrow focus on the school bond can perhaps serve on the school finance/budget committee instead.

Chris and Chom Greacen

Lopez Island