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First, I would like to thank my neighbors and friends for their encouragement and support as I sought to pursue a position on the Cedar Springs Public Schools Board. My mother taught me the value of education. A rural farm girl who sought a degree in Chemistry during World War 2, she was one of few moms with a college degree, in chemistry no less.
It is my firm belief that public education is for all students, not just those with connections. I have, in my career as an educator, become known as an advocate for those students who don’t come with one.
Having five candidates for two positions seems like a great opportunity for voters, however, it can also make it difficult to make an informed choice. After much consideration, I am withdrawing from this race. It was never my intention to run against Joseph Marckini who has done a remarkable job for Cedar Springs’ students. I misunderstood Joe’s intentions when I submitted my petition. Joe is respected widely for his board work. He has spoken at state and federal levels as an advocate for kids. He is in it for the kids, refusing to allow adult controversy to distract from this focus. This is what schools need today in the hostile finance and compliance environment created by legislation. My name will remain on the ballot, but I ask that you choose between the other candidates.
The Michigan Association of School Boards provides information for local school boards that may also guide in the selection of local board members. Their document, “Essential Attributes of Effective School Board Member,” states that every deliberation, decision and action must reflect the best interests of every student. Board members represent the entire community, not a single constituency or special interest. Listening to understand divergent opinions is important and board members must focus on how the district impacts students to influence the larger world.
Please consider these essential attributes in your selection of School Board candidates. Most importantly, be sure to vote November 8.
Rita M. Reimbold