Endorsing Zaino & Vitulli

I am writing to endorse the two candidates with educational experience, Judi Zaino and Joseph Vitulli. As a practicing school psychologist, I am fully aware of how necessary it is to have educational leadership with actual experience and education in the field of education. We are living in an age where people without the proper knowledge or training are making budgetary decisions that affect our schools. These decision-makers claim that their choices are being made for the students, but unfortunately, these individuals do not know the detrimental effect that some of these choices have to those are on the front line: the teachers and the students. Moreover, many of these decisions are not evidence-based, are not planned out properly to be effectively and appropriately implemented, or are done in a manner where cutting the school budget is the primary motivation.

It saddens me that our school district is currently in disarray. It seems to be a place where many no longer want to come to work and even choose to leave our district in favor of a more collaborative work environment. It is important for the next school board members to acknowledge the toxic culture and negative morale that is occurring. Instead of placing blame and not working collaboratively with the side that feels like they aren’t being heard, it is important to open the lines of communication with those who understand education (and especially the diverse needs of special education, where the superintendent and board chair have no training).

Placing blame does not fix the problem. Blocking and limiting public comments does not fix the problem. Making decisions without valuing the input of staff does not fix the problem. Opening communication, working with all stakeholders, and being able to think objectively are important to right the ship which is currently sinking. Electing individuals without educational experience who may wear blinders and only view the budget bottom line is what got us into the situation we are currently in. We cannot make the same mistake again. I encourage you all to support our schools by casting your vote for the only two candidates running for school board that actually have teaching experience and education: Joe Vitulli and Judi Zaino.