I voted for Lehman and Vessels. Here’s why.
“Seriously, Mom. How bad ARE the schools?” Son Eric posed that question last year while considering moving his family from Alameda, California to another location. Marietta made the list. Marietta was quickly removed from the list. Not just for schools, though that was the top consideration.
When I moved to Marietta in 1973 the pride in schools and community was in the air. The Wall of Sound was 110+ strong and competing nationally. Athletics were successful and had an abundance of parent supporters. The list of National Merit Scholars was a badge of honor. The “new” high school was still a topic of conversation and interest for its bold design. You get the point. Marietta was a warm and fuzzy place to raise a family. A community with a sense of pride and accomplishment. A community with a bright future.
I was younger then but smart enough to seek the wisdom and experience of those with demonstrated accomplishments to point the way. My 14 years at the chamber of commerce and 5 years on the Marietta City School Board were blessed with the company of strong, accomplished board members who brought expertise and leadership to their board roles.
Our state grading of schools speaks to a system no longer at or near the top performers academically. In fact we are headed in the wrong direction. The condition of our facilities indicates we have lost much of the pride we once had. The warm and fuzzy in the air is all but gone. Our professional educators and staff keep it alive. On life support.
The current election for board candidates could not be more important. The future of our communities is at stake. We must make wise choices. It is not a popularity contest.
A drive through our community enables us to see many refurbished and preserved properties thanks to Mr. John Lehman. Not to mention the many enterprises that employ local workers and create jobs. His skill set extends to education, having served both the board at Washington State
Community College and Chairing the McDonough Leadership board at Marietta College.
His years of coaching are relatively below the surface as are his many significant contributions of equipment and other needs of our schools over a long period of years. Warm and fuzzy? No. Accomplished? Yes!
Much of what a local school board does is to set both legal and operational policy for its administration. What better asset to serve on our board than a practicing attorney? Mr. Ethan Vessels is more than that. He’s a leader and a person of action. Graduating from West Point gives him the needed skills to help lead this district to higher performance. His support of public education is evidenced by having funded a scholarship at WSCC for veterans looking to further their education. Warm and fuzzy? Perhaps not. Accomplished? Yes!
We are fortunate to have such people of demonstrated accomplishment and leadership step forward to serve our community and our schools. I am proud to have cast my votes for John Lehman and Ethan Vessels.
We can return to our days of pride, accomplishment and progress. And regain warm and fuzzy. Our bright future!