OPINION

LETTER: Our gift, our schools

Peter Im

To the editor:

Over this past year, we have all witnessed the important role the school board plays in ensuring a safe learning environment. Our educators, administrators and staffs collectively demonstrated the resolve and courage to meet these challenges in order to ensure the success of our children.

At the recent open house and parent-teacher conferences, I was reminded of the blessings that our schools supported by our community.

It takes great families, faculty, facilities and foresight to be the beneficiaries of this gift. Not all communities have schools that enjoy such support.

It is absolutely critical to board leaders who will not only represent the entire community, but who will listen, support and set conditions for teacher success, which is basis for student success.

Our educators are the frontline to the future and can be enabled and energized by the wise decisions of our leaders and support of the community. Our educators are our neighbors, friends and members of our community.

Choosing leaders who are genuinely committed to educate the next generation is our obligation and therefore we need leaders who are independent, open-minded and driven by a culture steeped in a Kansas sensibility that values community, collegiality and connection.

Addressing academic achievement is hard work. It is a wholesale effort by the community and requires a board that is responsive to the concerns of the multiple stakeholders. They must listen, learn and apply the critical thinking and reasoning for the greater good. They must hold themselves accountable for actions and be transparent in their decisions.

They must be curious and unafraid to ask tough questions in search of the best solutions. They must be the bridge between the community’s concerns and those charged with educating our children. They must be grounded in reality of today while keeping an eye to the opportunities of tomorrow.

This requires leaders who are engaged and prepared to lead. Board leaders must have the critical thinking skills and be models of learning leadership. They ultimately must actively be involved in the stewardship of finite resources of our time and treasure.

As you carefully study the words and actions of our candidates, Mr. Roy Foster, Mrs. Beth Stevenson, Mrs. Susie Werth and Mrs. Carla Wiegers represent outstanding choices for the USD 469 Board of Education. They will not only be great leaders, but great caretakers of the trust we place in our future. Exercise the privilege of your vote on Nov. 2.

– Peter Im/Lansing