Informed vote

Dear Editor:

It is great to have competition for the two school board positions that will be filled this November by a mail-in ballot. I urge all voters to seek and examine the views of each candidate and make an informed vote.

I have worked with two of the candidates, Bruce Dryburgh in District 5 and Brooks Lindner in District 1. They are both running for their respective seats on the board of education as public servants who will seek and listen to the concerns and ideas of students, teachers, administrators, the district’s support staff, parents, other school board members, and the community at large.

I have worked with Bruce as a member of the school district’s Facility Committee. During the time I have served with him, I have seen him grow in his understanding about the needs of the school district and, most importantly, putting student achievement first. As a prospective school board member, he knows the school board must set and monitor its own goals in regard to student achievement and establish a process to revisit the goals throughout the school year. Although fiscal responsibility is his signature concern for all public entities, he also knows the critical charge of each school board member is to provide policies that ultimately support the teaching and learning environments to bring the best education to all students.

I worked with Brooks in his capacity as an excellent kindergarten teacher at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. I found him to be a professional who worked extremely hard to meet the needs of all of his students. I have experienced him as an extraordinary thinker. He listens to all parties and makes his decisions based on available facts. He is able to bring sides together by his ability to look through the lens of the opposition and in turn have dissenting individuals and groups see the possibilities of other views by looking through his lens. Brooks has an understanding of both public and private schools. These diverse insights will help lead discussions at the school board level that will help advance the school district. Public schools have many mandates to follow, but looking outside of the box at the school board level will help meet the needs and strengths of all students and staff.

If elected, both Bruce and Brooks will challenge and invigorate their colleagues on the school board by their questions, ideas, and energy. This type of involvement will bring about policies and procedures for the school district that will move the school board beyond its current and past accomplishments.

Please return your ballot on time and please consider the potential of Bruce Dryburgh and Brooks Lindner to help move the school district forward. To do so will be to make an informed vote.

Bill Esterbrook

This story was posted on October 10, 2013.