The most significant impression left on attendees at any of the school board candidate forums was that while the incumbents were busy telling us what they have done, the challengers were telling us what they will do.

For the incumbents, that is business as usual – no different than the “giggle time” (not my term but I like it and it fits) reserved at the end of each club meeting. That’s when the trustees speak about the school plays, concerts, and ribbon cuttings they attended since the last meeting.

It was the status quo vs. a vision.

After three forums, the incumbents served only to provide us with confirmation of what we already knew: It’s time for new leadership on the school board.

We need – our kids need – trustees who do more than just show up for study sessions and board meetings and who attend school plays while ignoring the train wreck that has been the last several years of the current administration.

We need trustees who reject the old CSBA mandate of taking an executive position and staying out of the process. That is getting us nowhere. Actually, no, it’s sending us backward.

We need trustees who understand that it’s time for a new approach – one that has them rolling up their sleeves and getting a firmer grasp on what is presented to them by the staff. The old way results in the rubber stamping we have seen for decades. The new way opens up discussions on subjects like best practices and it prompts accountability and benchmarking questions so that we understand when something is working, when it is not, and when it may be time to stop.

The current trustees have been the chief enablers of the most costly, most outrageous string of blunders in all of the 32 years I have lived in this area. This many wild mistakes is not a coincidence, they are the result of lax oversight and a failure of accountability. You know it as bad management.

The hands-off approach to district management has outlived its usefulness: Trustees must initiate. Each of the following four candidates understands this:

Michelle Murphy in Area 2:

Murphy Head Shot

Dr. Gina Nick in Area 4:

Gina Nick

Michelle Barto in Area 5:


Ashley Anderson in Area 7:


We will not get the meaningful progress we need until we get new people on the board. These four are a great start.

Steve Smith