The Dominion Post is endorsing Sara Anderson, Melanie Baker Rogers and Mike Kelly for Monongalia Board of Education.
Anderson, the mother of two, who attend local schools, is a professor of education at WVU.
Her focus on early childhood education is right in step with one of the most promising aspects of public education in our state and elsewhere.
West Virginia is one of the nation’s leaders in access to preschool education programs and offers pre-kindergarten to all 4-year-olds.
She supports the expansion of pre-K programs across Monongalia County, both in our schools and through outside partnerships.
She also espouses the importance of physical activity and healthy meals for students, while attracting and retaining the best and brightest teachers to Monongalia County.
Baker Rogers’ school of thought is embodied in education and counseling degrees with a doctorate in educational leadership studies.
She is a psychotherapist who often counsels young people in her practice and sees a seat on the BOE as a good fit. And so do we.
Her education and background lend her a wealth of insight and understanding of children and adolescents, not to mention she’s a parent too.
She supports the need for having security in place in schools, but believes providing emotional security for students is also essential.
As she puts it, there’s a real need in our schools to get closer to the core of those students who need help addressing emotional issues.
Kelly, an incumbent, has served the Monongalia County BOE off and on since 2005, being appointed to a number of vacated seats and winning elections to fill full and unexpired terms. He is a product of the local school system, having graduated from University High. He is also a parent of three children.
As much as the continuity and experience he brings to the BOE, he also insists on the need to be adaptable.
That is, recognizing that students bring wholly different baggage to school today than they did even 10 years ago. A sizable percentage, for example, of children today come from foster homes or are being parented by grandparents.
It’s also important we note here that all these candidates rallied behind school teachers during the recent work stoppage. Like the teachers themselves, these candidates are student-centered, but they also realize that educators are integral to the future, too.
These candidates for school board offer students, teachers and our community not just the best hope for success.
Indeed, they come to the BOE with the hearts and minds that make them well schooled for the roles they need to play.