This year I have stayed away from endorsing candidates for the Madison School Board because I was concerned that the media seemed to focus more on who was supporting whom than on the candidates themselves. The recent endorsement editorials have forced me to take the step of being much more public about my views – especially since the consequences of this election could have such devastating affects on the east side.
I support, wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, MARJ PASSMAN for Seat 5. Marj understands the big picture of the role of the schools in our community and in our democratic society; she has a deep commitment to the success of every child we serve; she has been an advocate for those who are disenfranchised – many of whom she has invited into her home – or visited theirs. She taught at Marquette Elementary and is committed to maintaining neighborhood schools.
Marj is independent; she is clear about her positions and the reasons for those positions. We do not always agree (I would be horrified if we did). I expect we will have spirited discussions on the issues. I know that she will base her decisions on what she believes is right, not on which Board member presents, or supports, a proposal.
Marj, as a former middle school teacher, has had to be creative and innovative in order to bring out the best in her students. She understands the difference between ideas that are “out of the box” and those that are merely “off the wall.” Most importantly, Marj has the courage to admit when she is wrong. This community, the district and the Board need the type of leadership Marj will provide.
I am also endorsing BETH MOSS and JOHNNY WINSTON, JR – I have worked with both of them and value the different perspectives each brings to the Board. Beth has been an effective advocate for children with special needs as well as other children who are not served well by the district. Johnny, in his 3 years on the Board, has been creative and innovative. I do not always agree with Johnny’s views – but I am impressed by his ability to grow and change and acknowledge when his idea isn’t going to work.