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Superintendent's News

Posted: October 30, 2020

Supt. Elder Encourages APS Employees to Vote

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

"Voting gives us the power to influence what happens next in our district. In ordinary elections, that’s reason enough to vote, but in the middle of a pandemic with so many uncertainties, the importance of voting is magnified."

Transcript

Friday, October 30 Video Message to Employees

I’ve been really blessed as a career educator to see public education from many perspectives - student, parent, teacher, and administrator.

My newest role is that of your Interim Superintendent- and not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.

My big “aha” right now is about voting.

At my house, voting has always been a family value. I come from a family of educators, and we have more reasons than most to cast our ballots.

Remember No Child Left Behind? There were a lot of debates at my house about that piece of legislation. NCLB ruled our classrooms from 2002 to 2015. Like all public policies, the act was flawed. But it did change how we approach accountability, and more importantly, how we educate our most vulnerable students.

Swift on the heels of N-C-L-B came the massive push to support charter schools. Another game- changer for public education.

The way I see it, we’re all policymakers. Everything that happens to us in public education is the result of our actions - like voting.

Politicians run for office. They tell us upfront what they will fight for and what they won’t support. We then have the freedom to choose.

Every option on the ballot matters. Key budget decisions, salaries, policies around teaching and learning, school safety, technology needs, and so much more are decided by the people we elect to serve in our state and municipal government.

We need elected officials who know how to work across party lines, are accessible, informed, not tied to a special interest, and determined to protect taxpayers’ investment in public education. Without their support, everyone loses.

I can’t think of anything more empowering to us as educators than voting. We are not helpless. We are not bystanders. We are, or should be, participants.

Voting gives us the power to influence what happens next in our district. In ordinary elections that’s reason enough to vote, but in the middle of a pandemic with so many uncertainties, the importance of voting is magnified.

It’s been a long road. Soon the election will be over. It’s hard to imagine that all the vitriol we’ve all endured will end once the ballots have been counted, but for the sake of our students and our entire nation, I hope so.

Most educators chose this profession because we believe we can change the world. Your kryptonite right now is your ballot. Please vote.