Exercise your right in today’s school district elections


Residents across the state have the opportunity today to participate in their local school district elections. They will have the ability to chose members to serve on the district’s Board of Education as well as have their say on their district’s proposed budget.

These elections are more than just local popularity contests — they are important facets of shaping education priorities and of providing our youngsters with the education they deserve. We encourage residents locally — no matter which district you resident in or whether you have children of school age or not — to get out and vote.

There are several local districts that are in various stages of a search for a new superintendent. In these districts, it is up to the board to hire the new CEO — but ultimately, through your votes, it is your decision of who does the selecting. Likewise, districts prioritize educational programs and services through its budgets. There is no better way to change those budgets than by exercising your direct say on them at the polls.

In Rome, we are fortunate to have five candidates seeking three, three-year terms on the nine-member volunteer board. Candidates Elena Cardwell-Reddick; Craig Ferretti; Dr. Stephen Hampe; Felicia James-Williams; and Anna Megerell each have articulated differing views of the board, giving voters a broad selection of options.

Each possesses a different skill set that each hopes to employ as a member of the board; and their distinct views may help shape the
direction of the board for several years to come.

It is up to residents to choose which members they want to represent them and how they want the district to proceed in the coming years. There is little doubt among educators that despite the best efforts and intentions of districts since the start of the pandemic over a year ago that students have suffered at the lack of consistent — and full — in-person instruction. How districts will proceed to meet these challenges remains fluid and uncertain; however, what is certain is that local Boards of Education will have significant input into how local districts seek to meet these challenges and what, if any, remedies they develop and enact.

Over the past week, the Daily Sentinel has devoted significant space to preview these local school district elections and proposed budgets as well as the different poll locations and hours for area districts.

In Rome, polls will be open for in-person voting from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the locations below:

First and Second Wards: Staley Elementary School, 620 E. Bloomfield St.;

Third Ward: Redeemer Church, 129 N. Washington St.;

Fourth Ward: Gansevoort School, 758 W. Liberty St.;

Fifth Ward: Strough Middle School, 801 Laurel St.;

Sixth Ward: St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 1807 Bedford St.;

Seventh Ward: Copper City Community Connection, 305 E. Locust St.;

Eighth and Ninth Wards: Stokes School, 9095 Turin Road;

Tenth Ward: Westernville Library, 9172 Main St., Westernville.

We encourage all eligible residents, whether in Rome or the surrounding districts, to participate in the process. You, your friends and neighbors, and a generation of youngsters, may all be glad you did.


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