Lucky to be in South Lyon
Well, hopefully by now you either know me or have at least heard about me. Perhaps you've seen my name on green signs around town, or maybe you even got an awesome pinwheel from me at the Pumpkinfest Parade. I've leaned into the shamrocks and the green because I really love to embrace my Irishness... Irishicity... being Irish (read to the end to see how serious I am) but the shamrocks are also a nod to how very lucky I have been to call South Lyon home. I feel lucky to live in an amazing community and be able to send my kids to great schools. In the years I have lived here, I have been fortunate to get to know so many friends and neighbors that make South Lyon the awesome place that it is. The excitement of Pumpkinfest is a prime example of just how great this town is when everyone comes together. To me it really marks the beginning of another great school year for the kids.
Luck Isn't Enough, Though!
South Lyon's continued growth presents us with tons of opportunities. A growing community means more ideas, more talent, and more opportunities to make our schools even better than they already are. It's important to take advantage of these things. As we continue to experience growth, we can't rely on luck alone to see us to success. We need strong involvement from parents and the community if we want our schools to stand out as leaders in their field. Additionally, we need leadership in order to take advantage of the many great things that South Lyon has to offer. In order to be the best, we must capitalize on the tight-knit community full of talented folks who want the best education for our children.
How can we build on the foundation we are so lucky to have?
I am running because my experience in leadership in a public organization, my education, and my connection to this community give me the tools necessary to give back and help build on that strong foundation. Here are some of the ways I would do that:
1.Make some noise at the state level about the inequities in school funding
Not all schools are funded the same. Even though the state doles out tax dollars to fund districts, that money is not distributed evenly. Some districts (like South Lyon) get the minimum amount. Other districts in the same county are getting three to four thousand dollars more per pupil. It's complicated and it isn't as bad as it used to be, but it's still not equitable. As a board member I would work with state legislators to find more equitable ways to fund school districts. In fact, just this week, I had a conversation with State Representative Kelly Breen on this very topic.
2.Work hard to retain the awesome teachers we have and recruit new ones by making SLCS a desirable place to work
Teachers are in high demand and short supply. The fact that teachers leave South Lyon to go to other districts means that we have quality teachers that other schools want, but that we cannot keep them here. We need to find ways to show our teachers that they are valued and respected. This requires a combination of pay and benefits that is attractive along with other things that make the district appealing (professional development, appropriate access to resources, etc.).
3.Expand opportunities for all students.
As South Lyon continues to grow and become more diverse, we need to recognize that we can compete with the best districts out there. To do that, we must be sure to have course offerings at all levels which are in line with - and better than - neighboring districts. This could mean expanded access to career and technical education, growing our Advanced Placement offerings, or finding other innovative opportunities to help children grow and learn. It is important to identify the ever-changing opportunities our students need in order to be successful. It is even more important that we do whatever we can to provide access to those opportunities so that South Lyon children are receiving the best education in the region.
When we first bought a home here almost twenty years ago, we thought it was kind of a fluke. We had been looking at other areas and stumbled upon a home here. It seemed right because it was smack dab in the middle of where my wife worked and where I worked. Coincidentally, it was where my parents lived when they first got married. As time has gone by, I've realized it was the luck of the Irish that brought us to this amazing community. We couldn't imagine calling anyplace else home. But I am not going to let my luck run out by just hoping for the best in our schools. I am excited to get to work as part of the board of education team and do what it takes to help this district succeed and excel. I hope that you will vote for me on November 8th. I would love it if you would share my name with your friends and neighbors as the election nears. As always you can reach out to me via this site, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.facebook.com/electpatrickmaguire
Need info on all the candidates?
Visit vote411.org, input your address, and see what all the candidates for SLCS School Board stand for. There are two different races this November. One is a six year term with four candidates running for two spots. That's Patrick's race! The other is a two year term with two candidates running for one spot.