Education Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: New faces needed to bring change to school district

Looking ahead to the various elections of 2022, I generally find myself with a headache and the classic introvert response to groan. The past few years, both nationally and locally, were trying and no matter how much we talk about “returning to normal” from the pandemic or “seeking unity” across party lines or even across our school district, the trust factor is simply missing. And regardless of anyone’s intentions, the impact of our conversations remains division and community buy-in remains low.

So how do we change this? How do we move forward from this impasse into a less jaded, more optimistic future? On a national level, I genuinely have no idea; but at a local level, that’s a horse of a different color.

Reflecting upon the discussions following the ACSD unification, the facilities master plan meetings and the many back and forth volleys of concerns from town to town, board member to community member, the current dynamics leave no room for trust. As is, the board seems to have a singular voice, while our communities, however, do not. So in keeping the board as is, our smallest towns remain effectively voiceless in a consolidation process that can be described as bitter at its best. In maintaining the board members as is, our seven towns can’t achieve the “unity” or “equity” that so many recent letters to the editor have called for.

If these calls are to be genuinely perceived and answered, then our school board must represent a sense of collaboration. And that collaboration comes only with the election of Joanna Doria and Jamie McCallum.

Their fresh eyes breathe the possibility of “other” into an otherwise discouragingly black-and-white status quo. Their unique perspectives ensure that the diversity of our towns are represented and not muted. Their commitment to research, explore and exhaust all options before rubber stamping closure as a foregone conclusion creates an opportunity for acceptance that is currently unattainable. Simply put, their election generates trust.

You want unity? You need trust.

You have trust? You get buy-in.

You want buy-in? You need to vote for Joanna Doria and Jamie McCallum.

Without them, nothing changes and nothing is gained. Whatever that “gain” turns out to be, Joanna and Jamie are the key to getting us there.

Jaime Cammack

Ripton

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