Contentious school board elections raises concern among students

By Michael Hartt, Alyssa King, and Drew Lovell

Senior Joe Mieczkowski believes that the current school board election is the most contentious one of his lifetime. He attributes the tension not only to the political polarization of the country, but also to the sensitivity of the issues being talked about within the school district.

Some issues candidates are running on include school closures, grade reconfiguration, the district’s return to school plan, inclusion, budget problems and the removal of the science and social studies honors tracks in middle schools.

Government teacher Daniel Gilleran agrees with Mieckowski that this is a very tense election because of disagreements over these issues, but he does not think it is anything unfamiliar.

“When you’re talking about local school issues, people feel so passionate about their schools (and) about education,” Gilleran said. “And that I think sometimes takes over because they’re trying to look (for) what’s best for kids, what’s best for the district and what’s best for (the) area.”

Sophomore Paige Spence says that she feels strongly about all of the issues candidates are running on, but she thinks a few are particularly important.

“I think getting everyone back in school safely is a big concern, but I also think the reconfiguration policy for the middle school should be a main concern,” Spence said.

Mieczkowski has also cited reconfiguration as one of his main concerns, but feels that the issues of inclusion within the district and the closure of elementary schools are most important to him. 

Although many of the issues being debated are based on reversing decisions that have already been made, Gilleran questions whether that is possible, given community involvement and board processes.

“The current board (will be able to) make policy moving forward. But just my personal opinion, I think it’s very difficult to (reverse decisions),” Gilleran said. “It doesn’t mean it can’t be done with a whole new board. I just think it’s much more difficult once you’ve implemented that plan to take it back.”


Did not reply to request for comment: Sherry Betcher, Christopher D’Angelo, Jennifer Goossen, John Steininger


2020 Election Results

Updated Mon. Nov. 23, 2020.