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Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Next Step Is Important...

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt

Our great community has undergone remarkable tests of character and strength over the past few years. Alexandria has made significant improvements in the public school systems through great persistence and determination. Yes, there have been many bumps in the road, and even a few roadblocks. Though a lot has been accomplished, there is even more work still to be done to take us to the next level.

It is crystal clear that every person is involved for the same reason: to provide our children the greatest possible opportunity to succeed, Period! From the administration and teachers; to the parents and children; to the tax payers and leaders, the goal is a common one: ensuring the absolute best opportunity is provided to our children, the future residents and leaders of Alexandria.

I was delighted with the new School Board, selected by the voters of our community. It is a board that brings new faces, while also offering a wide range of experience and new views. The board is incredibly well rounded, with many diverse skills and assorted personal and professional backgrounds. I really feel strongly that the new board is a great representation of our community and we should embrace them as they lead our community and schools to the next level.

No one would argue, we have had a difficult few years, mostly due to growing pains. Now is a great opportunity to start fresh and make inroads. The new board has great momentum to build upon and really accelerate the improvements inside our classrooms, while breaking down walls and barriers that exist with the community. The next year is an important one as it provides the foundation on how effective we can be in executing upon many of the great plans set forth by the candidates in this election.

As the board begins their three year tenure, one of the first decisions they will make is one that will really send a message to the community, selecting a chairperson. Though the chair is more of an administrative title at the end of the day, the selection at this time can send a message to the community. This message is important as it can set a tone that will either continue the ongoing struggles or really empower our great city to work together.

I ask the newly elected members to really look at all of the great candidates that were chosen by the community, and really think about what kind of message you want to send. Though every person on the board is qualified, as they were elected, I feel it is important that you take the time to find the right candidate that will embrace the community and really listen to each side equally and bring the great leadership on the board together. Please take the time to find the candidate that does not have a specific agenda, and that will act as that conduit that we so sorely need to listen to all parties and ensure the board really represents the whole community.

I strongly suggest, It is not the person with the most votes that should be the de-facto selection for chairperson. It is not the person that has the most experience on the board either. It is not the person that knows Roberts Rules of Order either. It is the person that will embrace the community and will really set this board out on the right path. The selection should be a person that represents the broad spectrum of Alexandria and all the views of the many voters, parents, educators, administrators, and tax payers.

The community is ready to give unconditional trust to the leaders as they undertake a new era for us. We only ask for the board to start us on the right foot.

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