The ballot for the November school board race is final.
Smita Nagpal, Diane Friese, Paul Hynek and Karen Delhey are running for two seats currently held by Lisa Slawson and Chuck Lesch. The terms are six years long.
Nagpal is a psychologist who owns Still Waters Counseling Services. Nagpal has been invovled in several initiatives in the schools, including Saline Alive! and a student summit held last year.
Friese retired from teaching after more than 30 years in the profession. She authors and illustrates children's books. Her husband, David, served on school board until he was defeated in the last election..
Delhey is senior director for The Guild of Artists and Artisans, a non-profit artist membership organization that produces art shows, including the Ann Arbor Art Fair. She is vice-president of the Foundation for Saline Area Schools.
Paul Hynek is a technical consultant working for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He served on school board from 2006-2010 before he was edged by Todd Carter in an election.
The four candidates have divided themselves into two teams, with Friese and Nagpal on one team and Delhey and Hynek on the other.
According to a press release issued by the Nagpal-Friese camp, their objectives are: to:
- Promote cutting edge techniques to maintain and improve the quality of education in the district.
- Promote policies that are financially sustainable.
- Promote a stimulating and positive school climate for all students.
- Promote great teaching by measuring both the science and the art of teaching (go beyond test scores).
- Promote an environment that fosters civility and collaboration.
The Delhey-Hynek camp described their reasons for running in a statement:
Unprecedented activities in Washington and Lansing over the past year have seen and will see the pressure on local school districts become even more intense. Change is rapidly occurring and those changes are making their ripples felt (sometimes tidal waves) throughout the district. Coming up on the horizon are the district employee evaluation process, continued fiscal issues (MPSERS retirement solution, etc), declining enrollment, class sizes and continued refinement of 21st century skills for our students. A plan for district infrastructure concerns will need to be addressed by the Board within the next few years.
Now, more than ever, we need non-partisan and independent thinkers who have no agenda other than to work hand in hand with all stakeholders to continue the excellence of Saline Area Schools. Karen and Paul look forward to representing the community on the Saline Area Schools Board of Education.
Slawson originally announced plans to run with Dawn Ducca as a team. She recently decided against running and Ducca reconsidered.