Vail Daily letter: Kirchner for school board | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Kirchner for school board

I’d like to start by saying I support Tessa Kirchner for the Board of Education, will vote to re-elect her and this is why. It was my great privilege to have been chosen as a director and past president for the Eagle County Schools Board of Education on which I proudly served for 10 years. This privilege is one that the voters of Eagle County bestow among those whom they feel will best represent their interests to guide policy making decisions for our school children here in the Vail Valley. And yet it is so much more. I’m also thrilled to see so many candidates interested in holding a Board of Education seat as it’s one of the most challenging yet most rewarding volunteer positions I’ve ever held.

Past election years haven’t seen this kind of interest from our community and when term limits brought my service to an end I spent a great deal of time searching for someone I wanted to endorse and ask to consider such a position. Someone whom I felt could best represent the needs of all students and their parents — not just a single school community; support and help strengthen the talented educators responsible for each student’s learning; understand the intricacies of the diverse governmental entity called education, be able to interpret school finance, state reporting requirements, district initiatives, preschool regulation, facility, maintenance and resources issues; embrace community partnerships and realize their importance; be a prepared responsible board member — read the agenda, supporting materials and ask questions as needed, listen intently and know that if something isn’t working to be brave enough to suggest and/or support a change; realize that our diverse demographics are not just challenges but beautiful strengths and strive to close the achievement gap; enable the superintendent (the board’s only employee) to move Eagle County Schools forward in educating our students for global success and grasp the importance of being a collective voice of seven vs. pushing the agenda of one.

I found this individual in Tessa Kirchner and I hope that you will too. Prior to the beginning of her current tenure, none of the other community members I know (with the possible exception of Michael Cacioppo) attended and were genuinely interested in our numerous board meetings as often as Tessa. She wanted to understand not only the “why” but the “how” Eagle County Schools did things. From the beginning of her service, Tessa has been knowledgeable, thoughtful, engaged district-wide and in times of serious budget cuts worked hard to keep monies in teacher’s salaries. While some of the candidates may be your friends, neighbors or co-workers that you may want to support, please ask questions as to their experience, knowledge and desire to serve. Educate yourself and, out of curiosity, you might also want to ask if they’ve ever attended a board meeting (not counting any within this election season). Please join me in voting to re-elect Tessa Kirchner to a second term for Eagle County Schools Board of Education District A.

Connie Kincaid-Strahan