I’ve lived in the Dixie School District for 30 years.  My wife and I moved here before we were married, before we had children, and we always joke that we landed in the best school district by sheer luck. 

I’m running for the Dixie School Board and hope to be re-elected for a third term.   I’m not running because I have any political aspirations but because I believe in our schools, teachers and our community.   Most importantly, I believe in doing what’s right for our students.  

It’s a challenging time to be on the Dixie School Board, let alone to be running for re-election.  There are many heated exchanges in our community, on social media and at our board meetings about whether or not our district should stay the Dixie School District or be re-named.    It’s pitting neighbors against one another and is dividing our community into “for” and “against” factions.   It saddens me, more than you can imagine.  

Because of this issue, I’ve been asked to declare whether I’m for or against changing the name of the Dixie School District.   

I’m for open dialogue, for listening and for having difficult conversations with mutual respect.  I’m also for bringing our community together to make important decisions.  I’m for inclusion.   And not to sound like a broken record, but I’m for what’s best for our students. 

I’m against bullying.  I’m against people making veiled and not-so veiled threats that have me concerned for the safety of my family.  I’m against people doing whatever it takes to win or to get an edge.  I teach my kids that good sportsmanship is more important than winning.  I think some of our community members need to remember that. 

We all need to take a breath and a step back and to remember we are, above all else, a caring and kind community that wants the best for our children and our schools.   

I don’t know what will happen with this issue.  But I want to work with the community to do what’s best for our students and our schools.   I know there are steps that we can take to make sure everyone is treated with the dignity and compassion we all deserve.  Isn’t that what equity, inclusion and acceptance is all about? 

Remember, we are still neighbors.