Saline School Board To Discuss Candidates To Fill Vacant Seat Tuesday

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The Saline Area Schools Board of Education will have a baker’s dozen of candidates to consider to replace the recently departed Trustee Aramide Boatswain, Tuesday evening. Boatswain resigned because her husband’s job required the family to relocate to California.

“I was pleased to see so much interest in the Trustee position. That speaks volumes to the caliber of the district, passion to help our students and support for public education. It’s clear we have a lot of talent available to us in Saline,” Board of Education President Jennifer Steben told the Sun Times News after the meeting.

The district doesn’t seem to be lacking for candidates who are already engaged in the district. Saline Area Schools has weathered the Covid-19 storm fairly well with its hybrid learning model. Whoever Boatswain’s replacement will be will have to hit the ground running as the district plans on how it will start to go back to normal, which it plans to do next September.

“One of the things I didn’t get in high school was a … knowledge of the day to day things,” the eighth candidate who spoke said. He said that as an IT professional he valued college preparation greatly, but wanted to reemphasize other post-Saline options for students in the trades, saying that “it’s ultimately the child’s decision” on what they want to do after they graduate.

Student mental health during the stress and isolation of remote learning has become an issue brought up at previous board meetings. How the Board helps students transition back into normal is something that that candidate – who spoke seventh – said motivated her to apply.

“Just last week we had two sixteen year old’s attempt suicide,” at the emergency room where one of the candidates works, she explained to the Board. “I would like for them to be well prepared for the next year.”

The boards finances, candidates experience, how the district is preparing Saline’s children for eventual employment and the implementation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion board were all brought up by candidates. The candidates come from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives; from fiscal conservatives to candidates who emphasized how they liked Saline’s commitment to diversity and inclusion; and from long time Saline parents, who had just about finished raising their children through Saline Area Schools, to newer parents who said they moved to Saline specifically for the school district.

“I didn’t grow up in Saline,” the final applicant said. “We picked it for the school district and we moved in when we could.”

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