Vote Gamble, Hinton and Mitnick

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, October 30, 2014

To the editor:

In a few days, Suffolk voters will choose five School Board members. As an education advocate, I submit there is a dire need for educational systemic reform in Suffolk Public Schools.

Suffolk’s fast-paced growth has caused many of the same socio-cultural and economic challenges faced by neighboring cities throughout the region. These demographic changes require a new way of thinking and innovation attained only through strong, open-minded leadership and courage.

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As such, disruption of the status quo and change in leadership at the governing level are needed.

Failing students and their families, teachers and taxpayers deserve leadership with deliberate focus, understanding, empathy and courage to represent their interests in a system with myriad levels of dysfunction.

Current educational disparities loom larger than ever, and low-income students are less likely to gain access to advanced courses and experienced teachers. Performance reports show students failing at various levels with little remedial support, essentially denying them opportunities to excel.

Voters should elect committed leaders who understand these disparities firsthand and also recognize the need to build stronger, supportive and productive relationships across all sectors.

The candidates I support have records of community service, the empathy to put students first and an understanding of the needs of their constituency.

I ask you to consider the following candidates:

Dorothy Gamble: Gamble’s education and experience would be a meaningful asset to the board. Her passion for early childhood education, with the simple premise of children learning to read early, would help increase the likelihood for success. Her commonsense approach to planning and problem solving would serve the board well.

Thelma Hinton: Hinton deserves an opportunity to rejoin the Board. Her willingness to take on the tough and sometimes controversial issues demonstrates courage to get outside of the proverbial comfort zones, bringing diverse thinking to the board. Her personal and professional experience should not be squandered.

David Mitnick: Mitnick’s commitment far exceeds his 30+ years of educational experience. Aside from his care and compassion for students, he is also a strong leader and mentor. Mitnick’s leadership skills have been nationally recognized, and he has consistently taken on roles of responsibility in the Suffolk community.

These candidates, if elected, would collectively redefine quality education. Please give leadership, integrity and courage a chance and vote for Dorothy Gamble, Thelma Hinton and David Mitnick in the Chuckatuck, Suffolk and Sleepy Hole boroughs, respectively.

Robert E. Stephens