Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Candidate Eric Williams offers views

School Board candidate Eric Williams emailed me early this evening offering some comments about his campaign:

Here is a brief summary of my reasons to run for school board:

1. The students and teachers are our top priority. The classroom teacher is the single most important indicator of student success. The School Board should recognize this and keep this in mind with every decision it makes. In order to attract and keep the best teachers, we need to make sure that we treat them as professionals, compensate them accordingly, and make clear that our goal is to have Concord be among the top places to teach in New Hampshire.

2. Fiscal responsibility is a must. No one wants to see their tax dollars spent unnecessarily. The School Board needs to keep this in perspective with every decision it makes. We must always prioritize students and teachers in making budget decisions. In this economic climate, we know we cannot afford everything we might like, but in a climate of mutual respect among the Board and the teachers, we can accomplish a great deal within our means.

3. Great neighborhood schools are a hallmark of a Concord education. Our venerable schools have some clear issues that must be addressed, many of which have been publicized in the news. The School Board has yet to take a big-picture look at the situation, which is needed to make sure that we make the best choices for education and do so economically. Population projections clearly show that by 2025, elementary enrollment will surpass what it was in 1995, before we had a problem with low enrollment. We should not rush to close schools until we have a complete understanding of how deficiencies can be corrected, how much it will cost, and what configuration will make the most sense educationally and economically.

A little biographical information: I've been a resident of the Concord area for over 20 years and have been working as an Environmental Planner at the NH Department of Environmental Services in Concord for 17 years. Part of my job is to work with community organizations to reach consensus on water quality issues, to evaluate budget proposals, and manage emloyees. I have two step-daughters in Concord schools, one at Beaver Meadow and one at Rundlett. They are the inspiration behind my run for school board.

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