Candidate in the Belleville School Board Primary Election - William Monroe
The Tuesday, February 16, 2021, election includes a primary for Belleville School Board
February 11, 2021
Occupation: Registered Piano Technician/Piano Restoration Expert
Years lived in district: 16
Have you been on the school board or held any other public office before? If so please describe: No
Why are you running for school board? I am seeking a seat on the Belleville School Board because I believe in our students. It is important to me that students continue to have a school district they are proud of, a district in which they feel that their concerns will be heard, and their needs will be met, so that they may continue to flourish and develop into the best versions of themselves. As a school board member, it would be a priority to see our students graduate not only with accumulated knowledge, but also with the ability to think and reason, to understand how to gather information from various sources, weigh that information, and choose the direction their life will take.
I am seeking a seat on the Belleville School Board because I believe in our teachers, support staff, and our administration team. I think we have great people in place to keep the Belleville schools strong for a long time to come, and I think it is important that we continue to create an environment that will attract, and keep, the best educators, and the best administrators.
I am seeking a seat on the Belleville School Board team because I have a profound belief that public schools are vital when it comes to creating a vibrant, healthy, high-functioning community. I am also deeply committed to the idea of public schools and the idea that a strong public school system makes for a strong community – a community that people want to move to, a community with schools that people want their children to attend.
What issues do you find most important to the school board? How would you handle these issues? The District’s response to the COVID pandemic has been highlighted thus far in this election, and that is perhaps unfortunate. I think the role of a School Board member is much larger than that, and I believe that school board seats must be filled by persons aware of and focused on the myriad other topics that the school board must deal with. Focusing on COVID related issues is looking backward to an extent. While we will be dealing with fallout from the pandemic for some time, we are unable to go back in time and change how we chose to cope with the pandemic.
Instead, I believe we need to look ahead. Attention must be given to maintaining and expanding the educational experience for our students, to guarantee that they are prepared for their next steps in life, whether they immediately enter the community work force, pursue further training in technology or skilled trades, become apprenticed, or attend a college or university. We must ensure equity in our educational system for all our students, not just those opting for college. We must pay close attention to student achievement, and to appropriate resource allocation for our students.
As board members we will have to make important financial decisions very shortly, so budget is an issue that concerns me. We also need to put some effort into ensuring that after we hire high-quality educators, staff, and administration, that we retain them. To this end, it is imperative that the board begin working to repair and strengthen the shared relationship of trust and respect that must exist between the board, administration, educators, staff, students, and community.
Handling these issues will, by requirement, be a team effort. We must make efforts to engage the community we serve, utilize data in our decision making, and recognize that no one individual will make policy. Therefore, it will be incumbent upon any elected board member to be willing to work as part of a team, to be willing to make compromises, and to keep the focus on ensuring the best interests of all our students are kept at the forefront.
Any additional comments? I acknowledge that I do not have the answer to everything. I am not an expert in medicine, education, administration, transportation, athletics, or in child development. But I am well-organized, learn quickly, I synthesize many types of information well, and I am skilled at thinking critically. I would be there to listen to people who are experts in their respective fields. And I would be there to listen to the residents of Belleville: those with and those without children in the schools. I will commit to making decisions that are not based upon my emotions or my self-interests but are reflective of the best information and facts available – and I will utterly refuse to allow pressure from individuals or special interest groups to influence my decisions.
As a school board member, I understand that I would be a representative of the community and a leader of the district. I recognize that I would be acting as a steward of my district’s children and its tax dollars. I am an advocate of public education and of an educated public. It is a tremendous responsibility to be part of the team that will help define school district policy in this way. I am up to that task, and I am asking for your vote. Thank you, William R. Monroe