Exceptional Delaware Endorsements For 2017 School Board Candidates

Now that all the surveys are up, it is time for endorsements!  I’ve known who I was going to endorse in a few elections for some time.  Some I changed my mind on.  Some I have always known who I would NOT endorse.  Some I wavered back and forth on.  Some races won’t get an endorsement from me at all.  I don’t always go with the “popular” candidate.  I look, as best I can, at the issues facing education and which candidate is willing to stick their neck out and do what is best for students.  The biggest thing is if the candidate knows what the issues are.  Without further ado, here come the endorsements:

Red Clay Consolidated: Ashley Sabo.  I know, you are all shocked.  This was the only candidate I openly endorsed pretty much the second she filed.  Hell, I encouraged her to run as did many!  If Sabo wasn’t running, I would endorse Thomas Pappenhagen.  But Sabo is running.  So the choice is easy.  While it would be amusing as hell to listen to Red Clay audio recordings with Henry Clampitt, the risk is far too great for the district and perhaps the entire state.  Sabo is so involved in so many different aspects of the district it isn’t even funny.

Christina, District B: This one was tough at first, but then I got the surveys back from all three candidates.  Angela Mitchell is the way to go Christina voters!  Not only is she an awesome mom, but she knows LOTS about this stuff.  And she will be a firm advocate for students with disabilities.

Christina, District F: This one was easy, but things happen.  As much as many people rave about Meredith Griffin Jr., I feel he is too embedded with the Rodel crowd.  Many are in Delaware education.  Doesn’t mean I am going to praise you for it.  I get the whole “being at the table” thing, but Rodel is one dangerous table in my opinion.  While Griffin is no longer on their advisory board, I believe their presence lingers.  I would go with Kimara Smith for this race.  She is young, African-American, and just might be exactly what the board needs whether they realize it or not.  But despite a few attempts, I have never heard from Smith aside from she wants to talk to me.  I was backing Jeff Day, but after what came out a few days ago, I can’t find myself endorsing anyone in this race.

Brandywine: no endorsement.  Can’t find anything on the candidates.

Appoquinimink: Keinna McKnight, by a landslide!  Read her survey to find out why!

Capital: My first instinct was Andy Ortiz since I faced him as a candidate last year and know where he stands.  But being that he didn’t even respond to The Dover Post, and I really like what Joan Lowenstein-Engel wrote in a lot of detail, she WILL get my vote because I live in Capital.

Caesar Rodney: In a three-way race, you would think at least one person would want to get that edge by sending a survey back.  But none received.  As well, I have to immediately wonder about a conflict of interest with one of the candidates as he openly states his daughter is an assistant principal at one of their schools.  When I have to figure out who the best candidate is based on three questions asked by The Dover Post, I really can’t lend my support to anyone.

Smyrna: no endorsement

Milford: Ronald Evans, if I lived in the district, would definitely have my vote.  This guy has it going on.  He knows the landscape and he will not be a rubber stamp.  He is vastly intelligent and I believe he is exactly what the Milford board needs.

Lake Forest: I gotta go with Austin Auen.  Third time is the charm, right?  Austin is a good guy.  I see a future in him.  The school board is the logical place to start for someone at his age.  Plus I can’t wait to hear those board recordings with him on the board.  I’ve known Auen for a long time (by Delaware standards).  He is very smart and he is ready.

Seaford: One candidate praises the district’s Smarter Balanced Assessment scores.  The other doesn’t believe in opt out.  No endorsement.

Woodbridge: no endorsement

For those districts with no endorsement, with a couple of exceptions, it is in large part due to all the candidates not sending a survey back.  Something to remember should you run again.  I asked specific questions for a reason.  Many of those questions aren’t always asked in debates or in the local newspaper.  I am not your typical education guy.  I see a lot of things many don’t.  Not trying to be cocky, but the whole point of this blog is so people can see beyond the curtain of Delaware education.  The behind the scenes stuff is often more fascinating (and unscrupulous in some cases) than the show they put on.

For the voting citizens of the races for board seats: Please make sure you get out and vote this coming Tuesday, May 9th.  Find out where the polling stations are in your district.  There is a lot at stake with this election.  Decisions made by school board members WILL affect you this year, more than you might already know.  It is pathetic when school board elections have low turn-out.  It is my stance that you lose the right to complain about anything with your local school district when you fail to vote.  I’m not saying, if you are unable to vote, you should.  But most people can and SHOULD.  So please, get the word out to your neighbors and co-workers that school board elections are probably just as important as your district State Representative or State Senator.  Except school board members are elected volunteers.  They don’t get paid to serve  your district and community.

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