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“A Team”

Dear Editor:

Over recent weeks, we have read several letters to the editor endorsing the “Bs” (including Brooks Lindner) as candidates for school board. However, we believe it’s important for voters to understand the true challenges of this position and why Tim Taylor is best suited to continue the tireless involvement he’s shown over the past 16 months.

We’ve lived in Pagosa for four years. Coming from suburban Illinois, it was easy to love Pagosa Country, but the deciding factor was finding a school system that would support and challenge our children. We had recently been told our son tested as being gifted and, despite residing in a top Illinois school district, the staff informed us there were no resources to support enhanced learning. Consequently, our single requirement for relocating was finding a community with high-quality education. While many believe Archuleta schools are failing our children, we offer a different viewpoint.

Our schools, despite decreasing funding, still provide students with art, gym and music. Our buses run, and our cafeterias provide healthy meals — claims many schools cannot make. Our teachers, despite the challenges of mandated testing, are the most dedicated educators we’ve ever seen.

Make no mistake, our school district is not perfect. Our teachers work in worn-out buildings and indeed are worth more than we can pay. But to someone who has witnessed the effects of a lagging economy and loss of individual responsibility in the “outside world,” Pagosa is doing pretty well. Our son recently achieved the highest NWEA math score ever recorded in our district, due in no small part to the attention his teachers provide. Our schools are standing firm against a tide of mediocrity, but this strongpoint can be overlooked when no counterpoint is provided.

These successes happen because certain individuals are intimately aware of the challenges, and Tim Taylor is one of those people. Tim has been involved for years in numerous school-related committees and co-founded the Foundation for Archuleta County Education. He is also a current school board director. Tim has a Ph.D. (biochemistry) with lifelong involvement in education, having worked at such institutions as Yale, CU, CSU and the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is an exceptionally wise individual who understands the pressures on our educational system. He has demonstrated his commitment by regular attendance at school board meetings over four years — a claim his competitor cannot begin to make.

It’s easy to campaign based on change/fresh-air, but when it comes to making a difference in our children’s future, Tim is the candidate who truly understands how to move our educational system forward amidst continuous challenges.

As involved parents, committee chair for Cub-scouts, Girl Scout leader, Cubmaster and Scoutmaster, we urge you to remember that our children’s success is our future’s success. We urge you to vote for the candidate who has the qualifications, commitment and experience to make solid and tangible progress. When you receive your ballots this week, rather than vote for the “B Team,” vote for the “A Team” candidate — Tim Taylor.

Joe and Laura Foster

This story was posted on October 17, 2013.