Source: Sherman Publications

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2 candidates, 2 seats for school board

by Lance Farrell

August 29, 2012

Aug. 14 was the deadline to register for two open Oxford School Board seats. Two nominees are on the November ballot: current board Vice President Carol Mitchell, and first-time trustee candidate Daniel D'Allessandro. Both are running without party affiliation and without opposition for those four-year seats

Mitchell, whose term is set to expire at the end of this calendar year, has served on the school board for over seven years. She has lived in the district for about 26 years, and has had three children graduate from Oxford schools.

Mitchell is a real estate expert at the local John Burt agency. She wants to return to the school board because they have recently initiated many new programs and she wants to see those new programs through as far as she can.

For Mitchell a good education, then, is "a round education. (Well-educated) children are exposed to the arts, to athletics, to academics, (and) we're expanding that every day," she said.

She's proud of the accomplishments the board has made while she has been a member, and wants to expand those opportunities even further. "Each child has some passion," Mitchell said, "whether it be for band, or a sport, or a play. I like that we touch every single child so they have fun, can express themselves and can grow."

While Mitchell has years of experience to draw upon, newcomer D'Allesandro brings a fresh perspective to the board. A resident of Oxford since 1975, D'Allesandro is married with two children who attend Oxford schools. One is senior at the high school and the other is an eighth-grader at the middle school.

He has a four-year degree from Northwood University in Marketing & Management, supplemented with graduate course work at Wayne State University. He worked for a brief time for Oxford Schools in the credit recovery program, a program designed to help students get back up to speed and graduate on time.

D'Allesandro plans on making a positive impact in the community through his service on the board. "A school board cannot become stagnant, he said, "because you have students and parents who are relying on you to come up with fresh ideas, and hopefully that's what I can bring."

D'Allesandro said that Oxford Schools has many strengths which make it attractive to parents and students. Chief among these is the vocational preparation offered. Not only are students prepared to go on to higher education, but Oxford also excels at "giving kids the opportunity and the skills to go directly into the work force," should they choose, he said.

On the other hand, Oxford has a challenge on its hands in trying to communicate modern visions to experienced eyes. "How do you merge what Oxford has traditionally been 10, 15 years ago and the thought processes behind that," he asked, "and the newer families that are moving in and who are expecting more from a district? That's a big challenge."

The election for these unopposed seats will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.