I am relieved that Rachel Marrello corrected the record in her letter to the editor last week “D96 board has accomplished a lot,” at least in the online edition. I personally am not making public endorsements of candidates for D96 Board of Education, so to imply the current board is endorsing specific candidates is inappropriate. 

I have worked hard the last two years to facilitate consensus and cooperation among old board members, new board members and administrators and at many times this was difficult. 

The board of education which will be seated following this upcoming election has its work cut out for it. The overpayment of the prior superintendent has not been resolved, and I hope Ms. Marrello’s premature comment does not adversely impact the outcome. 

The policies to implement financial controls are incomplete and other important policy discussions have been postponed due to the dysfunction of the past two years. The transitions at the superintendent and director levels will have to be managed.

Despite these challenges, the district teachers and administrators under the direction of the board have implemented a curriculum based on Common Core State Standards, administered the first iteration of the PARCC assessment, reviewed the technology program, implemented a comprehensive professional development program for staff among many other accomplishments.

It may sound cliché, but the district is at a crossroads and I share the concern that we may make take the wrong turn. Continuing board members will have to work with whoever is elected, and it is absolutely critical that everyone pulls in the same direction to get where we want to go. 

I thank all of the candidates who have stepped up to volunteer their time and energy to ensure the high level of educational excellence we expect in District 96. Our students need and deserve the highest level of commitment from the community and staff.

Art Perry


Art Perry is a member of the Riverside District 96 Board of Education. His term ends with this election.