In the fall our son will enter Riverside-Brookfield High School as a freshman. While the well-being of the entire District 208 community hinges on having an academically strong and vibrant high school, our family will soon have a more personal stake in the matter.
It is in this light that I strongly support Edward Jepson for a second term on the RBHS board of education.
The qualities you want in a board member are a strong work ethic, the ability to think independently, and a sound moral character. Ed has demonstrated all these qualities in his work on the RB board over the last four years.
You also want someone who shares your values and ideas about what is important in a public high school.
Ed understands that an excellent academic program is the foundation upon which a good high school rests. But he also knows that while an excellent academic program is absolutely necessary, it is not sufficient. Ed supports a remedial program to identify and assist students who enter high school lacking basic skills, a strong vocational program for students who are not inclined towards a four year college, strong programs in music and the arts so students can develop their artistic talents, and a strong sports program for students who enjoy playing sports.
Ed is a lawyer who specializes in labor and employment. The essential requirement for a good school — more important than facilities and technology — is a highly skilled and dedicated staff.
In this context, Ed’s deep understanding of labor and employment law is a valuable asset to the RB board. During Ed’s tenure, the RB board and the RB teachers’ union successfully negotiated two contracts which are fair to teachers and affordable to the community.
Beyond all this, Ed understands that governing a complicated institution like a high school is a delicate balancing act, especially in this era of perennial fiscal distress and uncertainty.
To ensure a high quality of education for all the district’s students, to attract, retain, and motivate excellent teachers and administrators, and to do this in a way that the community can sustainably afford requires walking a razor-thin line and occasionally making tough decisions.
Ed has shown that he has the ability to do all of this, which is why I support him for another four years on the RB board.