Argi and Robyn are the most qualified of the candidates

To the Editor:
As a parent with two children in the Voorheesville district, I will be enthusiastically casting votes on May 17 for Argi O’Leary and Robyn Willoughby for board of education. I will also be voting “yes” on the ballot proposition to allow a non-voting student member to sit on the board.

After attending the PTA-sponsored “Meet the Candidates” forum on May 2, it was abundantly clear that Argi and Robyn are the most qualified of the candidates for the two board seats that are up for election.  As a current board member, Argi O’Leary has time and again shown their ability to be a patient listener who asks necessary and relevant questions.

When asked during the forum to describe themself with one word, Argi unhesitatingly said they were “measured,” a welcome and valuable quality in today’s atmosphere. Argi also left a favorable impression when they made clear that, while individual board members may have personal opinions on a variety of topics, both the board’s function and its members’ roles are limited by the law, boundaries that the candidates running against Argi and Robyn did not seem to be aware of.

A teacher in a neighboring district and a Voorheesville parent, Robyn Willoughby would bring a unique perspective to the board as a district taxpayer who is keenly aware of the challenges facing teachers and school-related professionals who have dedicated their lives to our children's well-being.

At the candidate forum, Robyn described themself as a “helper” who supports social-emotional growth and learning, and who has in-depth experience as an educator and department chair listening to others’ concerns and making difficult decisions.

Though certainly not an indispensable qualification for a school board member, a candidate who has experience of being in a classroom on a daily basis, and knowing the day-to-day effects of school board decision-making, is a voice that we as Voorheesville voters and residents need on our board of education.

On the ballot with these two fantastic candidates is a ballot proposal to allow the board to have a high school student member. If this proposal is approved by the voters, we will be giving invaluable experience to those students who serve on the board, and at the same time we will benefit from their insight and voice on behalf of the student population.

On May 17, I encourage you to join me in supporting Argi O’Leary and Robyn Willoughby for the Voorheesville Board of Education, as well as in voting “yes” on the proposal to permit the district to have a student member on its board of education.

Matthew E. Bergeron


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