Board of Education Responsibilities and Why I am Voting for Jessica and Jim
Scarsdale10583 May 13, 2021
To the Editor: Jessica Resnick-Ault and Jim Dugan, the SBNC-nominated candidates, are my choices for the Board of Education.
The Board of Education has significant influence on the education of children in our community. Among its many important and impactful responsibilities, the Board establishes the District’s vision, sets District policies, is responsible for the Budget that funds every aspect of education in the District, and provides oversight of the Superintendent.
Board members are elected to bring about the best outcome for children’s education. At times this may mean supporting school district administration’s advice, but it may also mean challenging the administration to consider additional information or perspectives. In my view, Board members should exercise oversight with sensitivity, while at the same time engage in open discussions to reach the best result and inform the community about rationales behind decisions.
Under New York State law, the Board of Education is required to conduct board business in public; therefore Board discussions and deliberations are required to occur at the public meetings the community can attend or watch, with only a few limited exceptions. I believe it is part of the job of Board members, as elected officials, to engage in transparent and informative public discussions.
Throughout my years as a volunteer in Scarsdale, I have worked with community leaders and elected officials at all levels of government. I believe the most effective leaders are those that speak even when it is not easy, approach issues with an open mind, and are transparent with the community. They bring their energy to all issues before them and are approachable and accessible. They foster an open dialogue, even when there is disagreement, to ensure there is constructive engagement with all stakeholders.
I believe Jessica and Jim embody these qualities. They have each taken on impactful roles in the community. They have shown good judgement, possess strong qualifications for service on the School Board, and will bring a “yes we can” attitude. Jessica and Jim have focused on being available and accessible throughout the campaign, hosting meet-and-greets and attending numerous public events so community members could speak with them directly. They are transparent about who they are and have shown their willingness to discuss issues.
Jessica and Jim are fully committed to furthering our excellent schools through an accessible, transparent, and collaborative approach. I hope you will join me in voting for Jessica and Jim, the SBNC-nominated candidates, on May 18.
Note: The author is a member of the Scarsdale Board of Education, but this letter expresses the author’s individual views and not the opinion of or on behalf of the School Board.