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Dear Red Brick Town,
Today I write in support of Kelly Booz- the only incumbent running for ACPS School Board in District B. I have sat next to Kelly at every Board meeting for the last three years. There have been many times we argued with each other off-microphone about the issues at hand. Her opinion always sheds more light on the issue and re-shapes my opinions and perspectives. This is important, and it is not something that fits on a campaign sign or in a candidate questionnaire submitted to one of the local media outlets.
With Kelly on the Board, we can always have confidence in a few things:
- Kelly will listen to anyone and everyone in the City who has a point of view and something constructive to offer- even if she at first might not agree with the perspective. (Kelly is actually much more “community input” oriented than I ever have been.)
- Kelly is open to having her mind changed- I think I’ve even been successful a few times. This is such an important trait in this job.
- Kelly will cast her votes for the path she thinks is best for students, even when it might not be popular. I’ve seen her do this, and then jokingly whispered in her ear that she just got herself voted out of office. Now is the time to use one of your three votes on the ballot to show that good leadership is not a popularity contest. Even if you have not liked her choice on one issue or another, we should all appreciate her refusal to vote for the politically easy choice.
- Kelly’s moral and ethical compass is solid. Students always come first in her approach. That may sound simple, but it is not. It could be easy to get wrapped up in important matters that affect ACPS like financial perils, City-ACPS relations, State funding inequities, etc- and before you know it, you forget that there are students- actually young people at the center of it all. Kelly is always a voice that brings us back to that.
There have been plenty of times when I disagreed with her on the substance of an issue, but I never for a moment questioned her ethics or her focus on our students. The debate always resulted in a better outcome. That is the type of colleague I have always valued and it is the kind of Board member we need up there for another 3 years.
There will be new faces on the Board next term, but ACPS would be losing out if Kelly did not get re-elected.
Finally, after the election is over and regardless of the outcome, please do your part to support our schools and our students. They are doing great things every day, many of them despite enormous challenges. They need this community to support them. So many people and businesses in the City already do; for those that have not, find a way.
– Justin Keating
The views expressed here are the writers’ own and should NOT be interpreted as official statements by the Alexandria City School Board.
(Image via Facebook)