Candidate Q&A: Rhonda Haines, Dexter School Board

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Note to readers: The Sun Times News has made its media outlet available to candidates running for public office. Articles published do not reflect an endorsement by the STN. Submissions are from candidates who responded within our guidelines. In order to be as fair and equitable as possible, candidates can submit their responses to four basic questions.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why are you running?
  3. What issues do you think are important?
  4. Why should we vote for you?

Candidate’s responses are printed as submitted.

My name is Rhonda Haines. I am running for Dexter Schools Board of Education. I am a hardworking mother of a sophomore at Dexter High School. My husband David and I moved to Dexter 20 years ago. One of the draws for us was the stellar schools. Our son has grown up in Dexter Schools; and, until recent years, we were thrilled with how the district has been running.

I have attended countless School Board meetings over the past two years; and, I have become increasingly dissatisfied and confused about our leaders’ direction for our schools and students. In the time spent in those meetings, I never heard the Trustees talk about academics and how to get our children caught up after the crushing academic blow the pandemic had on them. I have made dozens of inquiries, in person and via email, about how “Covid money” was being spent, making athletic fees more affordable, etc. and I have yet to receive responses anywhere near satisfactory.

It is my humble opinion, and that of many Dexter parents like me, that the School Board seems to have lost its way. Perhaps they have lost sight of the fact that we, the voters, are the ones who put them in their positions. Trustees are required to be open about the goings on in the schools insofar as curriculum, funding, etc.

If I am elected to the Board of Education, I vow to focus on the following issues, in addition to any new business or issues that may arise:

  • I will prioritize academics, curriculum and addressing learning loss experienced by so many of our students as a result of the pandemic. There are many ways we, as a district, can help the kids who are struggling and the parents who may not have the resources required to help their students excel.
  • Parents are a huge part of the education equation in every district; and I believe they can be a valuable asset to the district should we choose to work with them in a mutually respectful manner. A quality education for every student should be our common goal.
  • As a Trustee, I will be voting on issues and contributing to decisions made about our students’ educations. I believe it is imperative that we are all held accountable for how we vote and that we are forthcoming and transparent with parents about how we make those decisions.
  • Perhaps it goes without saying that school safety is paramount. I will be focused on finding ways to help keep our kids safe in our schools. Cameras, resource officers and limited access to buildings are all ways that contribute to keeping our schools secure. I have heard so many stories of people just being “buzzed in” without so much as a question or a glance at the camera. That cannot continue.

My 30+ years of medical sales experience has taught me that people are easy to please as long as you are honest and truthful. I am a straightforward, honest person who isn’t afraid to tackle tough issues. Should I earn a seat on the Board, I vow to always be honest, open and available should anyone have questions or concerns about a current issue presented to the Board. I believe it is my time to serve…I will be a transparent Trustee.

I look forward to November.

Rhonda Haines

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