School board candidates speak out: Melanie Osterman, School Board District 7

Posted: Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Our schools are at an historical low. In Alaska, we have never had to do more with so little. There is neither glory nor gratification in most of what the school board must accomplish.

In the upcoming election, the voters should be deciding which candidate offers the best ideas to get more bang for the few bucks that we have. Voters should be cautious of people who run for the office who have not attended the board meetings or people who see the school board as a way to promote pet projects.

We are in a time of unprecedented funding cuts and declining enrollment. We need original thinkers who don't lack imagination, dedication or the ability to think outside the box. The school board is not a place for political hacks and pundits. It is my hope to do a serious job helping our kids get the best education and help to improve the process for delivery of quality education in years to come.

A school board is exactly that a team that has to agree to get things done. There will always be critics. Everyone can't be pleased all the time. The worst critics are those who only have negative views of the work being done and never venture their own initiative to help and work as a team member.

Our school board, administration, teachers and children face a challenge unknown to Alaskans in the past. Our ability to meet this challenge and still provide high quality education stands before us. We must improve our standards and set an example for the rest of the state on how to make it work.

I am ready to try my best, while my opponent, I fear, has not taken the time to attend the meetings of the school board. I was greatly concerned that at the last board meeting, I saw only one other candidate, Mrs. Pate, who is not already on the board. Are these people only going to be bothered to attend after elections?

I am also concerned that my opponent already has obligations to the Arctic Winter Games and time dedicated to that cause cannot be dedicated to school board matters. I have no other commitments beyond home and work to distract me.

I have no other purpose in running other than I could see that the district is in for hard times and I believe I can be of some help. I need your vote to enable me to help meet this challenge. I will give it my very best effort.

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