I was asked the other day who had my support in the upcoming District 208 Riverside-Brookfield High School board election. I unequivocally, and without hesitation, responded, “Ed Jepson.”

As the parent of a sixth-grader who is looking forward to attending RBHS in a few short years, I, like most community members, am interested in the direction of the high school particularly in light of the challenges ahead.

I am confident that Ed Jepson is prepared to confront those challenges in a manner which will maintain and improve educational quality while demonstrating fiscal integrity.

First of all, in spite of Ed’s achievements and intellect, he is humble. Although those that know him understand that he is highly educated and accomplished in his field, he would never think to tell you. He is down-to-earth, easy to relate to and has excellent communication skills — all which would prove to be an asset in any public office.

Secondly, Ed is a highly esteemed practicing labor and employment attorney. He has been recognized by both his peers and multiple publications for his work. Ed’s vast experience with respect to collective bargaining, arbitration, contracts, and other labor matters would prove invaluable in the school board’s impending contract negotiations with the teachers’ union.

Finally, and most importantly, Ed is a man of integrity. He has an honest and practical approach to solving problems. In this era of hyper-partisanship, it is difficult to find candidates for public office who are straightforward and simply willing to do the right thing and make the tough decisions regardless of pressure and politics. I feel that Ed is one of those rare finds.

I would like to add that, although I do not know Mike Welch or Matt Sinde personally, I do feel that they have done their best to maintain a quality school in spite of less than ideal circumstances.

Cuts had to be made and, by their very nature, would affect one person’s priorities or another’s. It was impossible to please all. The fact that the current board was able to put the school on stable footing without further impact should be commended.

I, therefore, encourage you to join me in casting your vote in the District 208 school board election for Ed Jepson, Matt Sinde, and Mike Welch to continue RBHS’ positive trajectory with the goal of making it an even greater force to be reckoned with.

Lisa Vais

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