When I put my name on the ballot in February, it was for a myriad of reasons, none of which were from a political base. Over the years of doing PTA at the County and State levels, I privately appreciated, that as a leader, I chose not to endorse major political candidacies on an ethical basis. This stance allowed me to sit at the table on both sides as a representative of the largest advocacy group for children in the world.
I believed whole-heartedly in the non-partisan designation of the school board race. Our children, the students who are in the care of the school system, deserve a Board of Education that puts politics aside and throws their whole focus on creating potential and outcomes that help every student reach the success we desire. I had my opinions on how that could be done and afforded within our current financial scope, and over 2,400 folks came out and affirmed my views.
I want to thank the folks that voted for and supported me, stood out on the street and waved with me, stumped with me, hugged me and shook my hand. I want to thank my friends, family, church family, PTA family and people who I just met and count as new friends, who showed up at polls to work for me. It was a good campaign that stayed non-partisan, and I think opened a few eyes. I feel I am a better person for the experience. I encourage you to look very hard at the two candidates moving forward. Probe them with the hard questions, find out where they stand, because one of them will represent you for the next six years. But as I leave this stage, I want to impart a few thoughts.
We need to find a way back to where we start speaking with each other again. We have gotten to a point where if you are not in my group or party, we tend to not share ideas or concerns. Our greatest strength as a community is reciprocal conversation where we listen before speaking, let everyone have a say and then reach for answers.
We need to address mental health at an early age. We need children to know that there are better ways to deal with their issues than violence. We need to be a guiding force as a community; a constant drumbeat that threads their entire life with constant reminders, of love, kindness, empathy, and compassion.
As our community says goodbye to some exceptionally talented and compassionate people, we need to come together, reflect, seek answers and resolve to make changes. Positive changes need to transcend political parties and agendas to begin to heal our country.
Goodbye for now…