Cunningham: Make Your Voice Heard

By ANDREA CUNNINGHAM, Candidate

Los Alamos School Board District 3

 

For those of you who thought we were finished with election season after November, we are not done yet! We still have a very important election for School Board and the UNM-LA Advisory Board on Feb. 3.

 

As with any election, it is critical to participate in our democratic process and make your voice heard. With only 160 votes cast as of Thursday morning, over three different districts, the majority of the community still has yet to participate.  

 

School Board members are your elected representatives. A partnership of School Board, administration, educational staff and community is critical to the effective management and improvement of public education in our district. School Board members need to be effective leaders in order to ensure a collaborative, well-functioning and successful district. What does that mean? What differentiates an effective leader from an ineffective leader?

 

An effective leader is one who unifies; who finds areas of common ground and who partners to create common goals. Open and honest communication is essential, as is soliciting input from all stakeholders, engaging the community and staff, while listening to all viewpoints. It is critical that we are in agreement in our approach to the external challenges that confront our district, such as looming budget cuts and regulations regarding testing. It will take creative thinking to find options to improve our financial situation, while still maintaining compliance with all of the State rules and regulations and retaining quality education in Los Alamos.

 

We must collaboratively define our vision, our goals and our measures of success for our schools. What do we think success is for our district? Is it just test scores and rankings? Or does it include difficult to measure intangibles, such as student happiness, teacher satisfaction and inspiration from the educational process? While more difficult to quantify, these intangibles should be as much, or more, of a priority.

 

By including community, staff, and student input as we approach these challenges, we empower them to be true stakeholders in their future and the future of the district.

 

So fellow citizens, be a part of this process and start by casting your vote for your School Board representative on Feb. 3 at either the Municipal Building or the White Rock Fire Station.

 

Become empowered!

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