This article can be found published on the Southern Chester County Weeklies‘ website.
CHADDS FORD — The elections may be two weeks old, but it’s never too early to start preparing for next year and on Tuesday, Unionville-Chadds Ford Board of Education members Kathleen Do and Gregg Lindner announced their plan to run on a nonpartisan tickets with Beverly Brookes in the Region C race in 2015.
“We both feel that we’ve made some good contributions and actually, we’ve made different contributions,” Do said. “Gregg has strengths in areas of business and finance and working with employees and my area has a lot to do with policy and curriculum. I think that mutually, we both feel very happy with what we’ve done so far and feel that we earned another term.”
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Joining them on the ticket is Brookes, who has been an active Republican Committee person for over 40 years and was approached to be on the GOP ticket, but after mulling it over, declined.
“I thought about it very hard and went to school board meetings,” she said. “I decided that I, in good conscious, could not run against Gregg and Kathy. I have always been a very honest politician, which is not always the case, and most of all, I’m true to myself. I supported (Lindner and Do). They’ve done a very good job. I couldn’t run against them.”
Lindner and Do were also seeking a third person after current board member Carolyn Daniels decided to join the GOP ticket.
“When we were talking about running for re-election, we actually thought that the three school board members that are currently part of Region C would be the ones that would run together in nonpartisan fashion,” Lindner said.
“We did feel that we worked well together and we certainly tend to agree more than we disagree on most issues,” Do added. “It seemed almost a natural thing that the three of us went together.”
Hearing that there was an open spot on their ticket, Brookes jumped at the chance to run with two people she respected.
“I’ve always felt I would be a good candidate for school board,” she said. “I have political skills, good knowledge, a history with school board, four grandkids in this school district, I care about quality education and I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I run?’”
Lindner and Do needed no time to make a decision and welcomed Brookes with open arms.
The three candidates each bring a different focus to the election and to the school board, if elected.
Brookes, who is retired and on a fixed income, wants to bridge relations with the retired community in the area and their concerns.
“As a retired person, I can connect with the retired people and talk to them,” she said. “I am very concerned about big taxes. … I love education and I think we can find a balance between quality education and affordable taxes.”
In her time on the board, Do has been an advocate of bringing to light issues concerning students with bullying, the curriculum and recently, the wellness of the students.
“Are students feeling like they can do it?” she said. “Do students feel they are accomplishing their goals without undue stress? We have a homework committee and very soon, we’re going to be sending out a district-wide survey. Parents, students and teachers are all going to be giving their input on questions about how much homework is appropriate at different grade levels, as well as at different class levels.”
Lindner has had experience in communications and facilities, and most notably, his business skills.
He was an integral piece in bringing the pilot program of an afternoon activity bus to the high school this year at no cost to taxpayers.
The candidates are hoping that by creating this “fusion” ticket, they will help to change the atmosphere surrounding the elections.
“Our hope is by doing a nonpartisan ticket, we can remove the hostility from the election,” Do said. “That certainly is one of our major goals.”
As the Republican party will presumably find a third person as well, Brookes, Lindner and Do are happy with the ticket they have assembled.
“When Kathy and I ran for the board in 2011, we promised to bring balance and a spirit of mutual cooperation to the board,” Lindner said. “We are proud that we have been able to accomplish this goal and to serve as members of the board during this period of extraordinary achievement.
“As a deeply committed public servant and the grandmother of four U-CF students, Bev will be an invaluable partner in our determination to maintain and enhance our district’s unparalleled reputation for academic excellence.”