When choosing a school board candidate, voters should measure that candidate against the key criteria needed to be an effective board member. They should ask if the candidate will:
1. Focus on student achievement.
2. Use data to make informed decisions.
3. Understand fiscal responsibility.
4. Watch return on taxpayers’ investment.
5. Engage the community.
I believe that Sandi Kruel is the one candidate who will exceed expectations on all five characteristics. She, more than any other candidate, has the history, knowledge, experience, passion and strength of character to outshine all candidates in every category.
The capital “S” in Sandi could stand for “students.” She knows the mission of the school district is to educate every student and insists on academic excellence for all. She voted for Advanced Placement courses, smaller class size, Spanish K-12 and the IB Program. She supported the hiring of the best candidates and willingly paid for that quality.
She helped pass major building projects to give students state-of-the-art learning facilities. She voted to increase co-curricular programs in art, theater, music, science and travel.
Her commitment to athletics is legendary. The middle school gym, Pierson fields, tennis and volleyball teams are a few of her contributions. Sandi envisions a school district that educates her three sons, and all students, as a whole person: mind, spirit and body. To quote David Brooks, Sandi Kruel believes schools should produce young people who are “acceptable at a dance; invaluable in a shipwreck.”
Sandi knows that budgets reflect the school mission. For 20 years, she has been involved with the budget process. She is a bulldog when it comes to spending taxpayer money. Her famous line is, “Which services are we providing for students, at what cost, and what benefit?” Sandi will spend money but questions every penny spent.
Sandi wants the Sag Harbor community and parents involved. Students need their parents, and the district needs all its members to share in shaping the vision, goals and priorities of the district.
Board members also must display character. Sandi is a loving wife, devoted mother, true friend. She is a natural born leader, independent thinker and strong communicator. She is honorable, confidential and can be trusted with sensitive executive session issues. She possesses a relentless work ethic and studies agendas, policies, contracts and the law.
Being a board member isn’t easy. Issues may be controversial and messy. Yet, it is one of the most important jobs in our American democracy. Sandi gets an A++ on the requirements needed to be an effective board member.
The world, nation and schools face serious issues today. Boards need serious people for serious times. The Sag Harbor School District needs Sandi Kruel.
Ms. Holden is the former superintendent of the Sag Harbor School District — Ed.
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