Editorial: Quality creates a good problem in Chesterfield

All four candidates possess leadership, creativity

   Voters in Chesterfield Township will have a hard time April 16 when they go to the polls to chose among those running for the Chesterfield Township Elementary School Board of Education.
   The difficulty is not going to be because there’s a lack of quality among the four candidates. It actually lies in the overabundance of quality.
   Only two seats are available this year, while four talented, caring individuals brimming with innovative ideas are running for those positions.
   After recently receiving the candidates’ profiles detailing their platforms for the election, we were so impressed with the caliber of candidates that we wanted to share some of their best ideas with the public.
   Even those who don’t live in Chesterfield Township will be able to admire the candidates’ ingenuity and perhaps pick up something useful for their own schools.
   Craig Their wants to implement a long-range planning process he hopes will eliminate the need for township residents to vote upon special questions because expenditures exceed the spending limitations stipulated under state law.
   He said he believes that if the district forecasts revenues, expenditures and spending limitations for the school year up to 2005 and periodically updates the forecasts, the board will be able to "proactively manage and resolve expected budget shortfalls or surplus."
   Lynn Peterson-Quinn, after realizing that almost 45 percent of township students who took the ESPA were only partially proficient in math, said she wanted all grades to be tested in math on a regular basis.
   Teachers would then evaluate the test results and a summarized report of the results would be submitted to the administration.
   She said if the plan was successful, and administrators identified the problems students were having in math, she would "recommend that it be applied to all curriculum and that evaluations be done on a regular basis to constantly make improvements."
   Maude Backes Snyder wants to further the sense of community students feel by encouraging them to embrace school activities that work toward a greater good.
   "Working together and feeling a part of something successful helps build self-confidence and will also help our children to learn to be good citizens by learning to be generous with their time and talents," she said.
   Deborah Kelly said she recognizes how enriching and fulfilling extra-curricular activities are to children and believes these activities could be extended even further by volunteer residents who have special fields they can share with students.
   "Examples of possible extra-curricular activities that could be offered to the students are: photography, tennis, astronomy, sewing, specialized advanced art and music classes, to name only a few possibilities," she said.
   Rarely does a group of individuals come along that are so astute and inventive. We believe any of these candidates would be a solid, productive addition to the school board in Chesterfield. And those who are not elected should at least have their ideas considered by the new board after elections.