Education

Make Your Case for the School Board Candidate(s) You Support!

Written by Don Pogreba
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There are a couple of momentous votes coming up for the Helena School District in the next few days, with votes on a bond to begin the process of giving our youngest students the kinds of classroom space and facilities they need to be safe and better educated and a vote to replace two long-serving members of the Helena School Board.

I have strong feelings about the bond (pass it! pass it now!) and one candidate I definitely intend to endorse for the School Board, but I’m interested in learning why others are supporting the candidates they do. Other than one candidate who likely will not get my vote given his weak answers to the newspaper this week, I am entirely open-minded about the other candidates.

If any of you have strong feelings in favor of one or more candidates, consider this an open thread to promote the candidate(s) you think will best guide our school district. The Facebook page is also a great place to respond.

You can also certainly drop me an e-mail at dpogreba@gmail.com with a brief opinion or a piece you’d like published here. This is a chance to persuade the Rhetoric teacher, so I expect quality argumentation if you want to win the day. 🙂

I plan to publish my endorsement on Thursday of this week. You’ve got a few days to influence me before I do.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

3 Comments

  • Don:

    You should support Annie. As you know, she is one of the most intelligent, hard-working people in existence. If you haven’t already, you should watch the IR candidate forum. Annie dominated that event. She also is one of two candidates with educational experience.

    If you have any doubts, watch the forum.

    Murry

    • Having educational experience can be useful for people on school boards , but it can also be a hindrance. Many retired educators that end up on school boards are still friends with many of the district employees and find it hard to make tough decisions based upon information given to them in favor of past allegiances. They also tend to take the side of teachers and administrators in discipline hearings instead of being an impartial judge of what occurred. On the other hand though some business people join boards and then want to manage them as though they were a business, it’s all about the bottom line. There are good people in both of these groups and there are also some pretty bad ones. The best way to find out who a good board member is, is to be present at an expulsion hearing, some sit and say nothing, others just look to the administration for answers, and others ask questions and look for answers and a fair resolution. Unfortunately these meetings are generally closed to the public, so the next best thing is to attend one of these forums. If someone has all the pat answers and fawns all over the district employees, or they are sure everything is being done wrong and that money is just being thrown away, you may want to look at another candidate. The first question a board member must ask themselves when making a decision is, is this in the best interest of the students. The wishes of the parents, teachers, administrators and community are secondary, just remember, if not for the kids, schools would not be needed.

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