Elections are right around the corner and there are some facts to be shared around this topic.

First the sponsorship of the November 3rd Meet the Candidates Night has been adopted by the Nashville Route 66 Business District Organization. Under Michigan Campaign Finance Laws, Maple Valley Schools cannot provide any staff resources or material resources to support or oppose a candidate or ballot question. The location of the event is the Nashville VFW hall at 7 pm. Additional information can be found on the Route 66 webpage https://www.nashvilleroute66.com/.

This is also a time I want to reflect on what it means to strive for fair, balanced, and universal design for how we help schools to function. I am well aware of the passion that education produces for nearly everyone. It is one of the cornerstones of our democracy that we believe a free and appropriate public education is the great equalizer for creating a free and open republic. Somewhere we have begun to lose the ability to engage in debate and harmonious exploration of ideas. When emotions and passions run high, it is time to take a breath and also remember we are a nation of laws and rules. I rely heavily on our board policy and my administrative guidelines to serve as a beacon for how we conduct governance of our district with sound legal principles, equity, and fairness. As topics or challenges come to the fore, I seek counsel in those same guidelines to help me navigate a course for our children, their families, and the staff of the Valley.

Sometimes, things need to move a bit slower so we can be deliberative, reflective, and engaged in hearing and pondering multiple points of view. This gives time to read, learn, explore and work to develop the best solutions that will benefit the greater good. To that end, I am pausing our work on the Gay Straight Alliance for a month or so to allow time to plan. We have received many inputs which are appreciated on all sides. Now, we can work together within the administrative team to explore how to best meet the expectations and needs of our stakeholders. I will be doing some strategic planning to ensure our students are well supported which was a unanimous statement that emerged from all public comments at our last meeting. At the end of the day, we are here to serve our kids and that is what we will be working to do. If you spoke at our last board meeting, you may be hearing from me to engage in some dialogue which we cannot do in board meeting settings. I hope you will take my call so I can hear and respond to all parties' concerns.

Thank you for giving me the time to organize this work. With profound respect for this community, our kids, and our staff. I am humbled to do this.

Dr. B