The Primary Election is tomorrow, May 16th. In less than 24 hours, you have the power to send a strong message to the Octorara Area School District about the things that are important to you: property taxes, academic performance, closing the achievement gap, accountability, and transparency. Before adding my final thoughts, I want to thank all those who will go out and vote tomorrow, and all those who have encouraged, supported, and helped to inform me over the years. I also what to thank all those who follow my blog, whether we agree or disagree.
I suspect that most voters already know who they are voting for as Octorara Area School Directors in Region 3, and why. However, if you are still undecided, I would have you consider the fact that the School Board is not an innocuous government body. The decisions made by the Octorara Area School Board of Directors will affect everyone. The decisions impact a retiree’s ability to stay in their home, whether a young family chooses to live here, and the children we are charged with educating. A School Director must work for the entire community and in the best interest of all students, not just a few.
Critically Important Issues
Issues that are critically important to the Octorara Area School District include property taxes, debt, labor costs, academic performance, the achievement gap, and transparency. The decisions made by our School Directors not only affects the education of our area’s children, but also our local economic development, home values, local job creation, and more. Our school district, both directly and indirectly, impacts our community’s prosperity and economic development.
Over the years, I believe that I have been effective informing citizens about topics the District has either downplayed, spun, whitewashed, or simply ignored. I have used facts, data, and statistics front-and-center. This is information that was once in too few hands and difficult to find. I also provided some common sense ideas for fixing our District’s crushing property taxes, improving academic performance, and providing transparency.
Send a Strong Message
It is only by sending a strong message to the Board and the Administration that we will change the way the District does business. Together, we can demand a culture of accountability. We need a Board and Administration that takes ownership of outcomes, both the good and the bad.
What qualities do we need in our School Board Directors?
- Vision – We need School Directors that are willing to address the achievement gap, raise expectations for all students, and will develop budgets that will consider the impact to the whole community.
- Optimism – We need School Directors who are willing to focus on what we can change, rather than complain about what we can not. Our Board needs to stop blaming the municipalities, Harrisburg, and Washington for their own failures.
- Integrity – We need School Directors who are candid and forthright, and who treat everyone equally. Moreover, we need a Board that is more open and stops hiding behind process.
- Supportiveness – The best organizations create an environment where it is safe to take risks, to tell the truth, and to speak up… without risking punishment or retaliation. Our teachers need to be able to speak freely about their needs and bring their ideas into the discussion.
- Confidence – Ultimately, the reason our Board does not tackle the hard issues is out of fear. This can not be an option. Effective leaders know that their team can do anything, and that confidence can drive people to succeed.
- Communication – Knowledge is power. We need School Directors who will provide complete and straightforward information about the District’s goals, performance, successes, and failures. Additionally, they must actively solicit and consider ideas for improvement.
- Decisiveness – One of the most basic duties of a School Director is to make decisions. We need a Board that has the political will to make the tough calls when there is a compelling reason.
Why Vote for Timothy Alexander and Rocco Pirozzi Jr
Tomorrow, when you vote for Timothy Alexander and Rocco Pirozzi Jr, you will focus a spotlight on the Octorara Area School District. You deserve more than you have been getting from our elected officials. They are the stewards of your tax dollars, entrusted to govern on behalf of the community, and mandated to provide proper oversight and accountability. At the end of the day, only the citizens can hold the School Board responsible.
Send a clear message to the District. Tomorrow, May 16th, please vote for Timothy Alexander and Rocco Pirozzi Jr as Octorara Area School Directors in Region 3 (Parkesburg-South, Londonderry, and Highland). Your vote will ensure retirees, who cannot continue to see their property taxes go up, have a voice. Your vote will help the young family who wants to live in this community, but is being forced to buy their home somewhere else. Your vote will support the children who need a school district committed to accountability at every stage of schooling, affirms higher expectations for all students, and is committed to closing the achievement gap.