There are four candidates vying for three seats on the Fairmont Area School Board this year. They all deserve praise. Being a school board member is tough. The state sets most of the rules for how schools operate. The state controls most of the funding. Cities and counties can raise taxes, but school boards have to go to voters for extra funding. In many ways, being a board member entails having all of the responsibility with none of the necessary authority. If all of this were not enough, school board members deal with the most sensitive issue in their constituents' lives - their children. You want to light a fire under a voter? Decide something that affects their kids' futures.
In considering our endorsements for the local school board, we looked most seriously at which candidates have made the biggest commitments to the thankless task before them. Dan Brookens and Julie Laue are both incumbents who want to serve again. We think that says a lot about them. Both have been involved in setting up the district for future success:?building sites have been consolidated and upgraded. Both support the referendum that will be on the ballot this fall. When it passes, Fairmont Area will be able to continue offering excellent classes and programs to students.
The other two candidates - Nicole Green and Rufus Rodriguez - are courageous newcomers, willing to step in at a difficult financial time for the school district. We believe Green has earned the right to take a seat on the board, given her involvement in parent-school groups and as a classroom volunteer for 12 years. Green also initiated a program in the schools to allow high school students to visit the elementary school to help teachers dealing with large class sizes. That bodes well for her future leadership.
It is for the reasons presented here that we encourage voters to cast their ballots for Brookens, Laue and Green.