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Board candidates are financially focused on kids

 

As someone who manages a $400 million budget, I can appreciate the complexity of managing multi-million dollar budgets. With a tight budget comes difficult decisions, especially when it affects the education of students. The school’s budget can be very complicated and challenging. One responsibility of the Cedar Springs Board of Education is to review the budget and ensure it is in order, while following the districts’ goals.

A BOE member also needs to be aware of the State’s educational budget and how it affects the districts students. That requires attending legislative meetings and advocating for public education with the local, state and federal government. It requires asking difficult questions and being persistent to get results and in the end, doing the right thing for the greater good.

For this CSPS Board of Education election, voters should take both of these into account when selecting which candidates they are voting for. I strongly believe Heidi Reed and Joseph Marckini both exemplify the ability to do both without a personal agenda. Heidi Reed has years of experience overseeing budgets and business acumen on the government level. Joe Marckini has years of experience advocating for the children of CSPS on multiple levels of the government. Both are financially focused for the kids of this district and want ensure the school’s money is used to benefit all learning styles of CSPS.

As a CS Red Hawk, I encourage you to please vote on November 8, for Heidi Reed and Joe Marckini. They both put kids first.

Michele Tracy, Palmyra, Pennsylvania

Formerly of Cedar Springs

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Candidate possesses wisdom and leadership

 

I am writing this letter in support of someone who has impacted my life immensely, and whom I hope can be given the chance to do the same for the community that I grew up in.

Ted Sabinas is full of endless positive attributes, but wisdom, and the leadership that is derived from that wisdom are two prominent ones. I had the honor of being an athlete under his coaching, which was both a privilege and a life-altering experience. I attribute many of my foundational skills, both on and off the track, to his guidance, advice, and care.

Specifically, I’ll always remember one particular time during my sophomore year of High School. We were sitting on the tailgate of his truck while the team finished their cool-down, and I had an injury that had kept me out of running for months. He told me that it’s during the hardest times that the strongest athletes and people are made, and I believed him. I believed him because he never gave me a reason to not put 100 percent of my trust in him.

He was the kind of coach who showed up and genuinely cared for the people he was around, and I know he is the same way in any role he possesses.

Coach Sabinas re-measured our cross country course way too many times because he is the most honest person you’ll find.

He encourages the youth because it’s in his nature to teach, to teach others something more than just measurable skills.

He pours out a sense of love and pride for two things: his family and his community.

It would be an honor for Cedar Springs to have someone like this lead us in molding a community full of strength, wisdom, and love for one another.

The future of our wonderful town can be, in part, in the hands of someone who will handle it with the greatest care. What a wonderful chance that is for us.

Kenzie Weiler, Nelson Township

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Candidates will help bridge communication gap

 

I have known Ted Sabinas for over 35 years. I have witnessed him give the majority of his life to serving the students and families of our community. I find him to be an honorable man possessing integrity. Even though retired, he again feels called to serve.

I have come to know Mistie Bowser over the past several months and witnessed her commitment and honesty. While a widowed mother of four, I appreciate her willingness to serve.

They both assured me they would respectfully ask the difficult questions, do their own research, and talk with our trained/experienced educational team for real answers. I believe they will serve as a trusting and transparent voice for all tax payers, educators, and most importantly our students.

Based on my direct conversations with Ted and Mistie (no rumors or hearsay), I am convinced they are the best choices for school board representatives. I believe Ted and Mistie’s motivation is based only on their commitment to making CSPS a place where children will become all they are meant to be, and will help bridge the current communication gap between staff and administration in a respectful way that will ease the current division and concerns of staff and help the administration find ways to connect and rebuild unity for the good of our kids.

For this important decision, I would ask that you gather accurate facts directly from Ted and Mistie before you cast your vote.

Tim Wolfe, Nelson Township

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Another vote for Reed and Marckini

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.

 


 

 

Another vote for Reed and Marckini

Dear Community Members of Cedar Springs,

I am voting for Heidi Reed and Joe Marckini because I believe in healthy change and district advancement. We all want Cedar Springs Public Schools to grow and for our students to succeed. Change is essential for growth.

I am the daughter of David and Heather Wolfe. Both of my parents were born and raised in Cedar Springs and graduated from Cedar Springs Public Schools. I was born and raised in Cedar Springs and also graduated from Cedar Springs Public Schools. I love our district, and am proud to be a lifetime Red Hawk. I want to see our district succeed, and the election of our board members is a key component to that success.

The Michigan Association of School Boards outlines Indicators of Effective Board Members. Heidi Reed and Joe Marckini possess all of the traits valued by the association. They both have decades of experience collaborating with people of all different backgrounds and viewpoints. Our district thirsts for additional board members who are willing and able to work well with others.

Heidi Reed is focused on staff morale and student achievement. She is an advocate for curriculum that supports children of all learning styles and backgrounds. She is an active community member and can be found at nearly all fundraisers and events within our community. Heidi has seen the issues our community faces first hand, and will use her voice to ask questions consistent with the present issues.  She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and will be a warrior for our school board.

I am excited about the direction our district is heading. I choose to look forward, and think positively about our district’s future. I choose to believe in, and support our leadership. Cedar Springs Public Schools’ students deserve the best.

Please join me in voting to make kids our district’s top priority by voting Heidi Reed and Joe Marckini.

Bayley Wolfe, Nelson Township

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Familiarity can be dangerous

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 

Familiarity can be dangerous

John Mellencamp’s song, Small Town, is now 30 years old. It’s strange to think that I’ve spent more than half that time as a coach, teacher, minister, friend, and family member here in this “small town.”

I’ve sung it many times myself, “I can breathe in a small town.” And this town, with all of its “big sky,” as a friend of mine says, is still a great place to live, work, and play.

But I’ve seen it all in a small town.” That’s a line one could hear in any town USA. More recently in this town, some have felt emboldened to proclaim that line in protest. We’ve become a community of division, dishonesty, suspicion, and spite. Indeed, we need unity, integrity, togetherness, and support. That is why school board elections are so important.

As a business owner, I know that the longer one is a client of mine, the less they know about what I do. Whether familiarity or comfort, I need to remind them often of the scope of my practice for the same reason I tell my wife and kids that I love them. Familiarity can become dangerous. Being comfortable with personnel and systems and objects so woven into our daily routine can make most things invisible. It takes a wise friend to uncover the blind spots—lack of skill for a position, ineffective procedures, or character trumped by convenience.

We are a community standing at a precipice where the “sky is big” but the bottom is one misstep away. Having consistent, balanced, and engaged leadership, better financial focus, and community centeredness through true collaboration are critical. I believe Heidi Reed represents these commitments. Returning to the “glory days” is always a mirage. Instead, let’s create something strong and pioneering, the basis for building an educational legacy for years to come. That is something worth voting for, and maybe one day worth writing a song about.

In the chorus Mellencamp says, “I cannot forget the people who love me.” This small town would do well to join that chorus, and remember Heidi Reed on Election Day.

Chad Wight, Courtland Township

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School Board election concern

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 

School Board election concern

Teachers are treasures of CSPS! They impact student’s lives daily. It’s come to my attention teachers are being asked to sign a letter in support of school board candidates running as a duo. It’s concerning they’re asked to choose “sides.”  How is that collaboration? Why are only “chosen ones” acknowledged as collaborative? Using trusted teacher position to sway votes from those who may be uninformed of facts feels like an intimidation.

Over 70% of CSPS teachers don’t reside within the district. It’s troubling that individuals unable to vote are being asked to influence the outcome. Why is this? The individuals pushing this letter are friends and/or relatives of former employees and members of the SOS steering committee who perpetuate the CSPS broken unity since the hiring of Dr. VanDuyn. They concentrate on the past, which doesn’t allow CSPS to unite and work together to move forward. Several members of the SOS steering committee are also at the forefront for the Sabinas/Bowser Campaign.

Current administration is transforming CSPS with positive change everywhere! Changed leadership has brought accountability and transparency in areas needing repair. Services have moved closer to students. Teachers have the same medical insurance at a cheaper rate. New tracking by HR of teacher PD assists them with their certification. Financial budgeting being moved to each building gives teachers a voice and allows collaboration between principal and teachers to ensure clearer financials to protect the fiscal health of everyone at CSPS.

Quoting Steve Seward’s Twitter “When struggling w/change is it resulting from: control, ego, consciousness, competency, &/OR your values & beliefs (identity)?” Teachers’ services are valued, please value parents’ freedom to research and choose leaders for the school board. Voters please consult with Mlive’s voters’ guide and CS Post candidate questions to see qualifications, business experiences and volunteers’ experience.

After this debate is over, people will leave CSPS but the school remains. Let’s leave it intact. Teachers your community loves you, and wants to give you tools to be successful in educating our children. Please allow everyone the freedom to vote and work together for the children of CSPS.

Stephanie Morris, Solon Township

Community Member and Concerned CSPS Parent

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We owe positive change to school board

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 

We owe positive change to school board

My sons received an excellent education at Cedar Springs Schools. Even though they graduated several years ago, I still attend school board meetings to keep abreast of the strides our district is making. There are so many things happening which are benefitting all our children. The district is moving in a positive direction and we owe much of that change to our school board. Children are always the first consideration when our board members make decisions.

I have great pride in knowing the Cedar Springs School district has high standards and is very passionate about the education of our students. With such a responsibility, it is important to carefully vote for candidates who will continue to help improve our educational system. This is exactly why I believe Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed are the perfect choices for Cedar Springs School Board. On November 8, make the right decision and vote for our students—vote for Joe and Heidi.

Sally Smith, Nelson Township

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Marckini and Reed the best candidates

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 

Marckini and Reed the best candidates

I am fairly new to the Cedar Springs area. Prior to this summer, I knew nothing about ANY of the School Board candidates. I was a relatively blank slate.  I recognized that I needed more information, so I researched the candidates and the politics surrounding the School Board.

As part of my research, I attended two Sabinas & Bowser Meet & Greet events.  I had hoped to hear them speak about their student centered vision.  Instead, I heard Ms. Bowser & Mr. Sabinas misrepresent information regarding district finances and the administration.

The outcome of this election will have a direct impact on my child’s/our children’s education and future.

Therefore, I want to share with you the truthful FACTS I have learned from my research.

Sabinas & Boswer False Statement:  Between January and August 2016, 55 Staff have left.

Truth:  I have reviewed every BOE Minutes from January through August 2016, and have identified only 53 names that have gone before the board. Of those 53, 6 were internal moves, and still employed by the district, while 7 were temporary positions and/or coaches. The remaining 40 names I have categorized for analysis.

Licensed Staff – 6 (15%); Certified Teachers -7 (18%); Non-Certified Roles -16 (43%); Retirees -11(28%)

As you can see, the actual number of TEACHERS who have left the district is 7.  ONLY 7!

Sabinas & Bowser False Statement: The Board does not meet with community members.

Truth:  Mr. Sabinas sent an email to the board, and requested a meeting with each board member.  However, it is a violation of the Open Meetings Act for board members to individually meet with the same person on one issue.

For additional examples how they have misrepresented the facts, including “Where is the 1.3 Million over budget”, please email CedarVote@gmail.com with subject line – Post Article.

My research has proven to me that Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed are BY FAR the best candidates for our children, our school board, and our community!

Please vote for Joe Marckini and Heidi Reed on November 8th!

Thank you, Linda Keim, Nelson Township

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A hidden agenda?

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 

A hidden agenda?

I am writing because I am concerned that there is a hidden agenda afoot. The school board candidates that are running as a team I believe are intentionally misleading voters. They apparently want to fire our current superintendent and bring back the past deadwood, including the previous athletic administration. The past administrations were less qualified and fiscally irresponsible. I believe the past days of the “Good Ole Boys” network are gone and have no place in our schools. We need to restore integrity in our school system. With our current superintendent we have taken the correct steps forward and we will continue those steps forward by electing Heidi Reed.

Tom House, Nelson Township

Senior citizen/Volunteer at school

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An Advocate that puts kids first

NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

An Advocate that puts kids first

The quality of a child’s education will have a lasting and powerful impact on their future and the future of their community. Working as a licensed social worker with families and children, I have seen the evidence of this firsthand.

As an alumna of Cedar Springs High School, my hope is that every child in the Cedar Springs Public School District receives an education that serves as a solid foundation for success. In order for that hope to be a reality, the children of Cedar Springs need a school board member who will put their needs first.  Our children deserve an advocate who will ask the tough questions and who recognizes the complexity of today’s educational environment.

When I first met Heidi Reed years ago she was raising three young boys, working full time, and still finding a way to strongly support a group of CSHS Varsity softball players. She was an avid supporter of extracurricular activities, recognizing that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom.

In the years since, Heidi Reed has only deepened her commitment to the children of CSPS and the community.

As the wife of a current CSPS teacher and the mother of three young gentlemen, including two current CSPS students, she has firsthand knowledge of the current successes and challenges of Cedar Springs Public School District.

As an active member of our community, she supports local organizations that have a direct, positive impact on our children. She already has a proven record of putting the kids of CSPS first by regularly attending school board meetings, serving on the Sinking Fund Committee since 2010, and working on the 2016 District Improvement Team.

The children of CSPS deserve a school board member who will put them first. They deserve an advocate who knows the current needs of CSPS students firsthand. Heidi Reed will be that advocate.

On election day, please consider putting the children of CSPS first by voting for Heidi Reed.

Heather DeLine, MSW, LSW, Nelson Township

CSHS Class of 2007

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