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SOUCHERAY: Get out and vote

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Next week, the District 833 School Board election will take place. I know. It's an off-election year, not much is happening, so why should we bother going to the polls if it's only for the school board? "What does the school board do, anyway," you might ask? And what if you don't have children in Woodbury schools anymore? Or what if you send your children to a private or parochial school? Why should you bother going to vote if the election doesn't affect you or your family?

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The health and well-being of our city's schools affects each one of us, whether a family has children in the Woodbury schools or not. The health of the schools is a reflection of the health of the community. When the young people of a city are appropriately challenged and encouraged to be all they can be, the entire community benefits. It is then that the community itself becomes more vibrant and alive.

The role of a school board member is to determine the direction of the schools within its district, as well as the scope and depth of the learning that will take place there. It is an enormous responsibility and one that must be undertaken with great commitment and concern for each and every family that lives within the district's boundaries. It is not just the schools that are of concern with School Board elections. Such an election affects the entire community.

With this said, it is likewise the responsibility of each adult member of the district to become a well-informed voter, in order to make a thoughtful and knowledgeable choice. Becoming educated about the caliber of the candidates and their commitment to the betterment of the community can pose a problem for voters in such an election. Coming to understand and know about each candidate can be difficult, as those running for office are public figures, but not in the sense of the candidates running for a national or state office, with which we are more commonly familiar. We may have a more challenging time finding clear and accurate information about each candidate, so that we are able to cast a responsible vote.

The Woodbury Bulletin is providing information regarding each candidate running for School Board in this issue of the newspaper. You will similarly find further information on the paper's Web site (www.woodburybulletin.com). If you are able to make the time to visit the Web site, you will find a video of several of the candidates as they explain their position on the issues facing the school board in the present and coming years. You will likely find the information found there to be informative and insightful, as you will have an opportunity to see and hear each candidate discuss the issues most important to their successful bid for office.

Next Tuesday, November 3, it is our civic responsibility to go to the polls and cast our votes for those School Board members we believe will make the best and most positive impact, not only on our schools, but on our community, as well. If we value the city we are all helping to build, through our presence and daily commitment to making this a lasting and wonderful city for generations to come, we will make time to prepare ourselves and vote next week. It could be seen as a gift we give in the present that continues to give into the future. This requires our time to become well-informed about the candidates, followed by our commitment to vote.

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