What made you decide to run? That is usually the first question people ask when they find out I am running to be on the school board. Sometimes it sounds more like ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ Or ‘are you crazy?’. But regardless of how it’s asked, the answer will always be that I have a committment to service.
Growing up, my parents were models of community service. As a contractor with his own business, my dad would donate his time and services to Habitat for Humanity when they were building new houses. My mother, a lifelong educator, volunteered with the Washtenaw Literacy Council teaching adults to read. As a kid, it was just routine that our family would spend at least one Friday night a month working at a local soup kitchen, preparing and serving meals. Experiences like this taught me the importance of contributing what you can to your community.
Every community has needs and all of us have different skills. The challenge is looking at ourselves to identify those skills and then determining how we can match them up with the needs around us. Throughout the years I have lived in South Lyon, I have looked for ways that I can help to give back. Serving on my church’s board of trustees or helping with my son’s cub scout pack are examples of fun ways I found to take part in the community I lived in. But as many of us know, there are a lot of things that make it very difficult to volunteer or get involved. Young kids, crazy hours at work, and projects around the house were just a few of the things that sometimes made it seem like there was not an extra minute for extra-curricular activities. As my children have grown older and (slightly) more independent, my work schedule has left me more time, and my education and work experience have armed me with more tools to take this on, I have realized that this is the perfect time for me to focus on service to this wonderful community by running for school board.
The SLCS Board of Education is something that I have been interested in for some time. Unlike my father, I am not so great at building things with my hands. Trying to help my 10 year old with math homework has shown me that I don’t have my mother’s skill as a teacher. When I earned my Masters in Public Administration, the focus was on leadership roles in public organizations, specifically in local government, so it only makes sense that I would be attracted to the idea of serving on the SLCS Board of Education. This is an opportunity for me to use skills I have developed in strategic planning as the board makes plans and decisions for the future.. As a de-escalation trainer, my conflict management skills will help me address issues which can sometime divide even a tight-knot community in a way that is rational and empathetic.
Our communities are only as good as the people in them and South Lyon is already pretty great. South Lyon Community Schools are an outstanding place for our children to learn and grow. In order to maintain these excellent schools, we need to work together to give what we can. For me, I think that means using my experience, knowledge, and leadership ability to serve as a board member. I hope that you agree and will help get me there by voting for me on November 8th.
I love to write and I'd love to explain where I stand on issues that are important to you in future blog posts. Feel free to email me with any issues that you'd like me to address and check back for future blog posts.
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.