Mary Alice Reporting – Three positions are open on the Claymont City School Board of Education with six candidates vying for a seat.
Austin Beckley, Lois Grandison, and Michelle Sproul all note they have a vested interest in the school as they have graduated from the district and have or had family graduate as a mustang too.
The challengers, Cyndy Host, Nikita Richardson, and Michelle Wolf all pointed out the need for more transparency from the board and Claymont district as a whole.
Beckley says he believes in the district and the employees and is looking to serve another term for the students.
“One of the issues that really stood out to me was the district needs to work together. So many times we’ve been our worst enemy. Put stuff on social media. It’s okay to agree or disagree but let’s sit down and try to resolve the issue.”
Grandison is newer to the board, as she took over a vacant seat earlier this year, and explains that her business background brings a different experience, especially when looking at finances, adding that trust and transparency is a major factor.
“All the schools received ESSER funds. We need to utilize that money properly but I would also like a committee formed, some staff, parents, just community members, and we look at it because whatever we do with this, you don’t want to spend it and have nothing to show for it.”
Sproul feels that she has the right qualities to continuing serving on the board; including professionalism, mustang pride, and transparency.
“Trying to keep our district financially sound, continue to advocate for all students so they have the support tools and resources to reach their individual highest potential whatever avenue that may be, and just making sure we have educational opportunities, amenities, and facilities, that every other district can offer, because our kids deserve it.”
For Host, she says her passion for education is why she is running but also what she would like to focus on, especially since that was disrupted last year.
“I believe there is a pandemic education gap. Teachers saw kids coming back this year and the test scores aren’t correlating over to this year. We, as a district, we need to make sure that there is collaboration, there’s communication, there’s transparency in everything we’re doing in our community because the school district anchors the community.”
Richardson says unity is a key factor but also an individual voice when a vote is needed and maintaining personal beliefs.
“I know why I answered that way. I know why I voted that way. I voted in a way that was true to what I believe and true to the research that I did. Ultimately, whenever you vote for me you’re getting a voice whether I agree with your situation or your stance on a situation. I will hear you, I will listen to you, and I will try my best to fight for you.”
Meanwhile, Wolf says that the board needs to be educating themselves and doing their due diligence prior to any vote.
“My goal is to try to include the community, the staff, the kids in all the decisions that they can be included in. Everything that’s gone on over the last few years I think we’ve lost a lot of kids. Whether it was sports related, education I’m not really sure but I would really like to get to the root of that and try to maybe bring these kids back or figure out something to change.”
Early voting for the November General Election is underway with polling locations opening on Tuesday at 6:30am.
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