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Opinion

Out-going Norton board member satisfied with district’s future

12/26/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Much as I felt compelled to offer to serve my local government eight years ago, I feel compelled to speak a different message than a local paper has been running about politics in Norton. Living in a community where voices are often loud and sometimes disrespectful can sometimes be discouraging. Math is more my field of expertise than civics, but I believe participation in due process has historically been a tool that builds vibrant communities.

I ran for a school board seat two terms ago because I felt I should put my money where my mouth was. It was easy to expound with a friend about our opinions regarding the educational field in which we are both employed. One of us needed to voice all our brilliant ideas at the table! We were even in number of children at home, but since she trumped me in hours worked, I took the plunge.

At my final meeting as a board member, my voice was hampered by a cold and overuse as I coached my students all day long in preparation for their exams. Even so, I wanted to “speak” some closing words. My goal in serving on the board was just that, to serve. Every community benefits from shared service. I am satisfied with the service that I have done.  

More importantly, I am satisfied that the district is in good hands. We have forward momentum. Rob [Knight], the photographer, was the first person to share with me the vision of building north of the athletic field, as we are now doing. Jason [Sams], with his experience in security, comes into service at a time when schools everywhere are considering how best to keep students safe. Cindy [Webel] continues to have a keen awareness of voices in the community. Jennifer [Bennett], with her experience in matters of law, vocalizes compelling questions. Pat [Santelli], the conductor, hears all the diverse sounds and brings them together, making one voice out of many.

[Superintendent] Dave [Dunn], similarly, is a uniter — a collaborator. He encourages his team to welcome the divergent voices from all those who have a stake in the success of Norton City Schools. We’ve heard community input about coaches, programs, locations and stadiums. One of my favorite things to hear has been commendations of students of the month. We’ve heard from every district administrator and many of the staff. Trust was one of the concerns of the community when I joined the board. Together, these past eight years, a team has come together that welcomes participation of the entire school community and respects what has been heard.  

I leave my years of service Panther Proud! Go Norton!

Diane Farmer, Norton

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