Oct. 16, 2014 08:38 PM

Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child's teacher. They know!

In recent years, I have found that many voters vote with a blind eye; voting based solely on what an organization endorses or who they know rather than on their own personal views and research. I believe this is why our country, community, and namely the Lafayette School Board is in such a disarray and the public is in outrage. I see many people today following the same path and I plead with everyone to do their research in every position.

I currently am an instructor at University of Louisiana Lafayette, a Realtor, and own two businesses. Lastly, but certainly not least, I am a mother of five, two being students at Milton Elementary. Needless to say, I have vested interest in the outcome of the school board elections. I attended Milton Elementary way back when and am still "smitten" with the school. It is part of who I am along with my entire family, including my father who attended Milton. It is truly a gem and the last thing I want to see is it declining in performance, losing students to other schools (private and charter), and splitting the Elementary from Middle school.  

I hear many candidates talking about the pure numbers of the business side of the school board. I do believe that there are business aspects of the board. However, I do not want my son and daughter to be considered assets or just a figure. They are my children with needs and wants. They want to be able to eat without scarfing their food down in order for someone to have a seat and they want to be able to run and play on the playground. Isn't recess everyone's favorite subject?

I want to speak specifically about the School Board District 9 candidate, Brian West. As a colleague of Brian in the College of Business, I have seen the business side of him as well as the educator side. He is currently on committees, boards and organizations that have demanded balanced budgets, business decisions, and marketing plans, which he has provided. He has sat on many search committees at the University and hired the perfect candidate. He sits on the student discipline committee at the University and has heard BOTH sides unbiasedly. As an educator, you are called to go above and beyond your job title in order to serve the students better and he knows that better than anyone. He was the chairman of the Association of Information Technology Professional Student Regional conference where he hosted 500 students from the surrounding 6 states. He didn't do that because he got paid. He did it because he knew it was good for the city and the university and GREAT for the students. He also sat on many Lafayette Economic Development Authority committees as the university representative in order to recruit large technology companies here in Lafayette. He knows business, strategy, marketing, and EDUCATION.

Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child's teacher. They know!

Marguerite Blanchard, Milton

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