The below information is a part of the Eye's Elections 2011 series to provide information to voting citizens and does not represent any endorsement by the Middletown Eye or any of its authors.
After many years of being an active parent in Middletown schools, I’ve decided to run for a seat on the Board of Education. With all that is going on in our school system, I don’t feel that I can stand on the sidelines while others make the decisions that will affect our children’s education. Education is on the brink of big changes and I want to be one of the people helping to decide what is a good change for our children and what is not. This year I have a junior in the high school, an eighth grader in the middle school and my youngest in kindergarten. This is the right time to throw my hat in the ring.
I have spent most of my life involved with schools: First as a student, then as a high school Spanish teacher and then as parent. I taught high school Spanish for 12 years before leaving to raise my family. While I was a teacher, I also became head of the World Language Department and worked creatively to have that district begin a Foreign Language in the Elementary School program that is still running today. As a parent I have been involved with all the schools that my children have attended. I have helped out in the classrooms, I have helped with all sorts of activities, planned dances, chaperoned and baked more goodies than I can remember. When I haven’t liked something, I’ve spoken up and tried to fix it. I have always been an advocate for children. A few years ago, shortly after my youngest was born, I volunteered to sit on the BOE as an extern (a community member who attends meeting, has a voice, but no voting rights). That was an eye-opening experience. It gave me the opportunity to better understand how the BOE works and how important each member’s input is.
As a parent and a tax-payer I would like to see a school system that works well for everyone. It should be a safe, nurturing environment for our students while providing a world class curriculum, a safe, fair and respectful environment for our teachers, and an open place for parents to share their concerns and get support. I want to see a school system that has a place for everyone and a school system that positively reflects Middletown’s commitment to quality education. I would also like to see a community that has an open relationship with our schools so that the school’s successes are the community’s successes. We all have a vested interest in making Middletown’s schools great schools, regardless of whether we have children in the school system or not.
In seeking a position on the BOE, I’m aware that I will be stepping into a really big job but I am qualified to take on the challenge. I understand what we as parents, taxpayers, and teachers want and need from our schools.
I hope you will put your trust in me and let me be your voice on the Board of Education.
Franca Biales for BOE 2011