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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | SEPTEMBER 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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Vote for Lewis

I’m writing to urge everyone to vote for Jason T. Lewis for School Board on Sept. 10. For many years we’ve seen the disparities among schools in our district grow, leaving some students behind. This disparity cuts across the district, and fixing it is in all of our best interests, as last week’s heat wave clearly illustrated. While the School Board has begun to take steps to fix this and to build the new schools we need for our growing population, there is a lot more to be done, and we need leaders on the board who can see this process through.

Jason T. Lewis is the strongest and most effective advocate for our kids in this School Board race. As past president of the Mark Twain PTO, he has been a tireless voice for his school and all of the kids in it. As a neighborhood advocate, he has begun with the city to bring a park to the Twain neighborhood. As a teacher and as the director of the Writing and Humanities Program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, he works on a daily basis to help students discover their connections with others. As a board member, Jason will work for the best for all of our schools and all of our kids. Please join me in voting for Jason T. Lewis on Sept. 10.

Eric D. Johnson
Iowa City

Vote for Geerdes

We strongly support Gregg Geerdes for election to the Iowa City School Board.

Geerdes (the father of five children who attend Iowa City public schools on both sides of the Iowa River) is a man of great patience and good sense, qualities essential to one who will not only hear us but truly to listen, understand, and act on behalf of the common good. The future of our schools and our sense of community will be best served by someone with this talent.

The educational issues we face require a clear, fair, and reasonable voice as well. All who have listened as board candidates have addressed the challenges confronting our schools have heard Geerdes analyze with clarity and care both the social and financial realities of our present situation and the choices we must make for the future. The new board will greatly benefit from the wise counsel Geerdes can provide, and our entire community will be well-served by his ability and willingness to help all of us be better informed on the tough decisions we face. Compassionate and calm, well-informed and astute, able to listen and to explain, understand, and act, Gregg Geerdes is the best person to help us move forward together as an informed community and the best person to help us reconcile our values, aspirations, and educational resources.

Joni Kinsey Fields and Wayne Fields
Iowa City

Support Cook, Kirschling, Lewis

Vote for Karla Cook, Brian Kirschling, and Jason Lewis for school board.

Cook offers the only teacher’s perspective when addressing district issues. She has been in all of our schools to visit with teachers and students. She never stops researching, validating, and communicating, whether the topic is programming, facilities, or finances. She has had the courage to make difficult decisions. She is the only incumbent who voted for the facilities plan — a bold initiative to help solve decades of inequities.

Kirschling has visited every corner of this district to listen to voters’ concerns and to engage them in discussions. He will meet with or talk with anyone. He not only has knocked on doors but has also held listening posts, attended forums, and arranged many one-on-one conversations with voters. If you read his blog, you’ll note his broad perspective on educational topics as well as issues specific to this district. He has a strong commitment to programming equity and facilities equity.

Lewis’ life story shows he understands overcoming the achievement gap and rising out of poverty. More recently, he and his family have supported and benefitted from Mark Twain Elementary rather than taking the district’s offer to transfer. He has experienced many of the issues we are discussing in our district and brings a unique and caring perspective. His campaign has coalesced people with a broad blend of ages, neighborhoods, and issues who have bonded to promote Jason and his commitment to equity in our district.

Three candidates, three different perspectives, three you can count on.

Jean Jordison


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