To the editor:

Here we are again, campaign season. Two years ago I worked hard to earn your trust and your vote to be one of seven school board members to represent the taxpayers in our community to help ensure fiscal responsibility and increase academic success. I’m proud to serve another two years for you. I’m proud of the work this board has accomplished and are continuing to improve on for our community.

There is no doubt that this has been a very difficult and stressful year for our entire community. Whether you are a member of the staff, community, or board, change and its process are never easy. It needed to happen. Statutes and laws are the basis for our operation. Whether it’s curriculum review, requests for proposals, contract approvals, or academic proficiency to name a few, the board of education has a responsibility to ensure that statutes and laws are followed. The board of education is the layer of government that protects the interest of the public tax dollar. It’s a big job with a heavy burden. I walked into this job needing to cut $2.1 million because the last board majority did not do its job. Simply put, being a rubber stamping board and not asking questions is poor oversight. Not seeking accountability is poor oversight. Falling academic proficiencies is poor oversight. Our children and our community deserve better.

We are finally on the path to better outcomes. We are working on policies and processes to ensure proper approvals are in place. We are working to ensure statutes are followed regarding curriculum review. We are working to ensure academic proficiency increases. We are working to ensure the budget is balanced. We have a new administration that is a great collaborative partner planning for a successful future. I see good things ahead.

Please join me in supporting Tim Brewington, Bill Gilles, Dawn Beavers, Sarah Stivland, and Mike Ptacek for Stillwater Area School Board. We need board members that will continue the quest for results and accountability; ones that will value due diligence and not move us backwards.

Tina Riehle

Stillwater

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