When I look at District 95's board election, there are two things that jump out at me. First, we should elect John Major and Andrea Rendleman to the school board. Second, we should vote against Elbert Simon and get him off the board.
John Major is a Carbondale native and taught and then was dean of students in the junior high for 37 years (I had him for 7th grade math and he was a good teacher). Mr. Major knows what is going on inside the school district and would give the board perspective from the inside. John is very interested in improving the school district and the energy to push for that improvement. Both in knowledge and passion, John Major is the man to put on that board.
Andrea Rendleman is my choice to serve from the parent end of things. She is a whole bunch of kids in the system and has had for a long time. She has been involved with volunteer, PTA, PTO and Parent Advisory Board. She is very optimistic and passionate about the schools. A good buddy of Sheila's, but she is a good person to represent the parent interests on the board.
In most school districts Elbert Simon could not serve on the school board, because his wife is Dean of Students at the Junior High. Mr. Simon and his wife team up to control many aspects of disciplinary actions at the Junior High. No school board member should be allowed to have such a huge ethical problem. The District 95 school board should change their rules to not allow relationships with huge conflict of interests to exist with board members. With all the problems we have in Southern Illinois with unethical family relationships, this is one that most school districts have already solved by a simple ethically based rule change.
The general slide of District 95 from one of excellence, to a school district that better parents are removing their children from, has to end. It really hurts the town. With new people on the school board, maybe things will start to change for the better. In a town where the main employee bases are Professors and Doctors, the school system shouldn't be sliding toward Cairo.