From a strong slate of candidates, The Journal editorial board today endorses incumbent Perla Alarcon-Flory and newcomers Miyuki Nelson and Jeremy Saint for Sioux City Board of Education in Tuesday's election.
Appointed to fill a school board vacancy in 2013, then elected to the seat in a special 2014 election, Alarcon-Flory is, in her professional life, owner of a business offering certified court Spanish interpreter and translator services. Informed and committed, we have watched Alaron-Flory grow in her time on the school board. Gifted with infectious enthusiasm and genuine passion for our community and public school system, she strikes us as an individual who works hard, studies issues with purpose and listens to input from others.
Armed with intellectual depth, an inquisitive nature, and deep knowledge of education-related issues, Nelson is prepared for this next step in her progression as a local education leader, having served as a Parent Teacher Association officer at two schools and on school district committees like the Education Equity Committee and District Advisory Committee. She earned a college degree in biology and professional experience in the field of food safety.
A local attorney whose work in real estate matters includes representing citizens in assessment appeals and the product of public school-teacher parents, Saint possesses a balanced understanding of both property taxpayer concerns and classroom demands and challenges.
Among the key qualities we considered in our Board of Education endorsements were these:
- A breadth of knowledge about issues facing the district, including budget, contract negotiations, infrastructure and curriculum.
- Respect for both teachers and other employees of the district as well as for property taxpayers.
- Support for involvement of the public throughout discussions involving proposed changes to curriculum and instructional programs.
- Advocacy for openness and the public's right to know the business of the school district.
- Willingness to ask questions and demand answers about proposals from the administration.
In our view, these three candidates possess the strongest package of those attributes and the background, experience, knowledge and skills necessary to meet the demanding responsibilities of school board director and to discuss and make decisions on a broad spectrum of issues at what is a challenging time for education within our district and state.
Finally, this: We encourage all voters of the local school district to demonstrate proper respect for the importance of this election by letting their voices be heard on Tuesday.