Letter: Vote for steady leadership in tumultuous times

Editor,

In 2019, I left the Oak Harbor school board after a dozen years, choosing not to run again for health reasons. I was fortunate to witness profound improvements in all our schools during my time on the board. If you did not live in Oak Harbor about 15 years ago, ask someone who worked or had children in our schools back then about the limited educational opportunities.

But thanks to community foresight, teachers and staff were provided the necessary tools to roll up their sleeves and make fundamental, positive changes in our kids’ lives. Record graduation rates — well above the state average — and sustained excellence in student achievement became the norm. Oak Harbor schools have become regional leaders in public education, an unimaginable feat in the not-so-distant past.

When I left the school board, I had absolute faith that this positive trend would continue without interruption. The non-partisan school board members worked well together, were thorough in their research, and were thoughtful and respectful in their decisions. John Diamond led the board as president and Erik Mann as legislative representative. Then, in 2020, the world changed with the pandemic, and our schools raced to learn how to best deal with this monumental challenge.

This school board election has become a critical decision point for our community. Today, our entire country is fractured, and we stand in constant disagreement. No significant decision seems possible without vigorous dissent. In this election, Oak Harbor’s students risk losing the hard-earned advances of more than a decade of substantive progress. Now, more than ever, we need steady leaders with calm resolve and reasoned maturity to consider all points of view while keeping student safety as their number one priority. John Diamond and Erik Mann are those steady leaders.

Please re-elect John Diamond and Erik Mann to the Oak Harbor school board.

Peter Hunt

Oak Harbor

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