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Margaret Dobson

Why are you running for the Sheridan School Board?

                I want to serve and give back to our #YJNation community in a meaningful way. I am passionate about education, our youth, and our schools and I think the school board will be a good place for me to serve.  I believe my skills will benefit the school board and I welcome the opportunity to help influence the future of our schools and community.

 

What are your qualifications?

                I am a lawyer, business owner, and mother of three. I have 18 years experience practicing law, 19 years personal experience as a student, and 15 years as a parent of students. I know the value of a good education, engaged teachers and staff, and active parental involvement, and have seen the problems that can result when you don’t have those.

                Our school is a huge employer with a large budget.  We need to be transparent in our operations and to spend the taxpayers’ money wisely. Over the last 18 years, I have managed my own business, run a budget, managed employees, and advised many other businesses, including two cities, on a variety of similar issues.

                In my law practice, I help people resolve problems. I listen to my clients, investigate facts, evaluate issues from all angles, research the law, apply the rules (fairly), and advocate for my client’s best interests. I believe the school board can benefit from my experience in these areas.

 

What do you see as the greatest concern facing our school district and what would you do to fix it?

                 Schools are critical to the success and growth of a community.  We have a large district (geographically and numerically), but still need to provide the personalized interaction with students and parents that occur in smaller schools.  

                We must balance financial demands to provide both good facilities and excellent staff, while staying focused on providing a first class education to our students.  We need to focus on increasing our reading and math scores.  We need sustained professional development for our teachers. We need to continue to incorporate new strategies to equip students for success in the digital age.  And safety is always a concern.

                We also need to be transparent.  I will seek a detailed strategic plan for the next five and ten years, built on solid data, addressing how we intend to accomplish our goals.

 

What is your general philosophy regarding public education?

                “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.” —John Dewey, educational philosopher, The School and Society, 1907.

                We must make it a priority to supply our future with men and women qualified to serve the public with honor to themselves and to their country.  An excellent education for our youth through the public school system is the surest foundation of the happiness and success of our families and our communities.

 

Why should East End residents vote for you? 

                I grew up in Redfield, which is part of the White Hall School District.  Despite the higher average scores of the Redfield students, Redfield was often overlooked for facilities, resources, and accolades.  Proximity to the administration building should have no bearing on the investment a district makes in its students and its schools.  I will represent every student, every teacher, and every parent regardless of the location of their campus.

                I am heavily invested in our youth, our schools, and our communities. I have handed out dictionaries to third grade students, played “Yertle the Turtle” in mock trials for our fifth graders, and been a guest speaker numerous times in our junior and high school. I have worked with Boy Scouts and my church’s Youth Group.  I have raised my children here and am proud to be part of #YJNation.

                 I would be honored to represent you and your students on the school board.  Thank you for your consideration.