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Letter to the editor

No regrets in school board campaign

November 10, 2010 - Dear Editor,

Thank you to everyone who stepped forward to offer their support and words of encouragement in my campaign to become a Clarkston School Board Member.

In addition, I want to congratulate Elizabeth Egan on her victory. While I did not win, I believe the children won something in this election – accountability of our board, administration and staff.

In business, customers have always held me accountable and expected if not demanded a return on their investment. Why do we not hold those in education to that same level of accountability?

I was prepared to be held accountable by everyone with a stake in our children's education. I ask not just those of you that supported me, but every resident of Clarkston to hold those that represent us and our children accountable. If we don't, we cannot complain about the results we get.

We must expect independent thought, innovation and improvement – but it has to be done under the goal of being fiscally responsible. Communication and planning must be improved. Transparency and trust have to be more than just words used in conversation. We must engage our local leaders and our community in making better decisions based on financial resources available. We must not wait around for challenges, but rather aggressively prepare for them so that we are ready.

My biggest disappointment is that this was a tangible opportunity to break from the previous administration and bring a new mindset and independent voice to the conversation. As an optimist, I am hopeful for that momentum to continue.

This campaign was a humbling experience. I met wonderful and caring individuals with a passion about the educational direction for our children. People who felt what I felt and shared a vision that our schools should be run for the benefit of our children in the system and not the adults.

I urge those involved to stay involved, and those putting it off to please get involved. I know we are all very busy, but frankly, what is more important than our children?

Speaking of children, my children told me they were proud of me even though I lost. I hugged them and said, "I may have lost, but I just won something even better than the election."

John Schrei

Independence Township

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