Letter: BOE votes with an interest in achievement
Op-Ed · August 23, 2013

In less than three weeks, voters in the West Branch Community School District will go to the polls and make choices for the school board. I respectfully request your support to keep our schools moving in the right direction.

Every decision — every one — by our board members has been driven by a genuine interest in encouraging achievement by our students and offering them opportunity in a safe, healthy and respectful learning environment. This has made my seven years on the board especially rewarding.

Our teachers and administrators work tirelessly to improve curriculum to meet the demands of the world our students will enter. Our board has supported this forward-looking approach on many fronts, not the least of which are the 1-to-1 laptop initiative and a standards-based grading system that will better define for students, parents and teachers where we are and where we need to be. We hired a superintendent who has the energy and steady hand to push where we all need a push, and protect what we want to keep. Our community has stepped forward time after time to support our positive course — not just with bond and levy votes to improve our facilities and learning, but with invaluable volunteer hours that make so much possible for our students.

All of these efforts keep our direction and commitment strong to assure we deliver a collaborative partnership to provide learning opportunities that our students can use to become effective community members. That is the crux of our mission.

In this election there are two open seats and three candidates. I encourage you to learn about all three of us, ask questions, see which candidates are focused on our mission, and then choose the two you believe will fulfill it. Please, use both your votes. They are both important in school elections, which frequently have low turnouts.

An important point: If you are registered to vote and live in the school district — not just inside the city of West Branch — you may vote. If you are not registered but are eligible to vote, you may register at the polls.

I invite you as I have for all these years to contact me with your questions and concerns ( or 643-5714). Let’s keep our students first, and our district on a positive course.

Thank you for your consideration.

Mike Owen, West Branch

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