Throughout the course of this BOE campaign I have met many wonderful people from different backgrounds, all contributing to our community. Whether they support a civic or charitable organization, pay taxes, raise families or work at or own a business, each are valued. Some of our neighbors have college degrees and some do not. Each person is equally important nonetheless. Sometimes though, this truth is forgotten particularly when we take a look at the programming options we offer to our high school students.

Many of the jobs our children will hold in the future will require a college degree and this is the preferred path for many. For those students we need to continue to offer the best programming possible. But it is also true that there are careers that will not require a college degree. As a district, we seem to have a singular focus on sending all students into the college route. While this is an admirable goal, it is not realistic. The reality is that some students are ill-suited for college and some students will be unable to go to college due to extenuating circumstances.

Creating an environment that places higher value on the college path over the workforce path is unfair and is a disservice to our young people. One path is not superior to another. We all have different strengths, there are a variety of intelligences among us. We can show our commitment to this belief by proudly offering expanded options for vocational/technical education for students who choose the workforce over college upon graduation. We must offer more comprehensive options for those students to earn marketable, industry-recognized skills while in high school and also place equal merit on these programs.

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Join me in asserting our pride and support for all the students whichever path they choose. By electing me to the Board of Education you can be certain that I will strongly advocate for the well-being of all students, I will strongly advocate for the expansion of vocational/technical education programs and also for any other programs that will help our youth find their path to success.

Questions or comments can be sent to karenfornutleyboard@gmail.com