Passion for WB Schools prompts a run for BOE seat

To the editor:

Last July, I went to a meeting at West Branch that changed my life. It was a community forum about the financial future of West Branch. It got inside my soul.

I love this school and the people that make this school a place I want my child educated. I love the experiences and opportunities here.

There are many positive programs and choices for today’s kids at West Branch. There are always things you can find to improve in any setting. If an educational establishment does not continue to evolve and grow with the children it services then it won’t help them achieve their maximum potential. Professional development programs are essential to the continuous process of performing at the highest standard of learning.

I want our kids to always have a district that thrives and matures right along with our kids. I want them to have to meet high expectations and to have encouragement to help them.

I was a keyboard warrior for the levy attempt in November. I was passionate about the topic and I steadfastly tried to explain the needs to the public. We had an amazing levy committee leader. He laid the groundwork and worked hard to educate the community on the district’s needs.

After the levy failed in November, I was more tenacious than ever to get it passed. I was invited to jump in and take the reins and I was chomping at the bit for my opportunity to head the committee.

I spent hours doing research and presenting facts and answering questions. I used the false feedback I received from the community to build countless myth vs. fact memes to help get the truth out. I was often bashed publicly for being honest. I did not back away from the cold,hard facts because I believe in our childrens’ futures. I will always fiercely defend their rights to a solid education.

When the May levy did not pass, I felt defeated. I went deep inside myself to see if I could find some fight. What I found was a need to find a way to have more of an impact.

People have mentioned running for school board to me throughout this campaign and I really didn’t know if I had what it took or if I was qualified. I didn’t even know if I had community support.

Through this campaign, my knowledge base has grown exponentially. I have pored over finances, records, definitions, procedures, job descriptions, etc. I promise you I could debate with the best of them right now because I have done so much research.

I have gotten to know many new people. Some definitely like me better than others. I am a straight shooter. I will not sugar coat the facts and I will not sugar coat how I feel. I will present the facts to those that are shaky on the information. I will find an answer if I don’t have one. I will seek advice from the proper people.

I believe firmly in the chain of command. If there is an issue with a person at the school, it does not belong on Facebook. I support working your way to the top to resolve your problems. Use your voice! Email, call, attend meetings – the people of the district will help you if you contact them directly and work through your issues together. Open, honest communication solves more problems than Facebook ever will.

I have chosen to run for school board because after this campaign that is what I feel in my heart is my next logical step. I need to be in a position where I can make a difference in the lives of our children. This is where I can be the most effective!

My platform is built on things I pulled from the levy campaign that I feel this district needs from our leaders.

Transparency — Improve community turnout for meetings and forums in order to have productive dialogues.

Transparency — Set up a dashboard that is easy to navigate for district finances.

Transparency — Public broadcast of board meetings and forums.

Positive Communication — Work with the community to find a way to increase the funds that the district has to work with so we can bring back busing and minimize additional cuts.

Please support me in my journey! I am running for our children, our community, and our future!

Stacey Aldridge,

Beloit

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