Friday, May 07, 2021

Letters to the editor May 1

| May 1, 2021 12:00 AM

Kearns seeks student input

Leanette Kearns, who is running for a position on the Whitefish School Board, is more than qualified and worthy of your vote. A Stanford University graduate, Leanette has relevant experience serving on various prominent boards including the Harvard Mediation Program and our very own Center for Restorative Youth Justice, as evidenced by her extensive resume. Not only is Leanette credentialed on paper, but when met in person her passion and determination is evident.

I can honestly say she is the only school board candidate who I have witnessed seeking direct input from the high school’s student body to help shape her platform. Leanette is skilled in mediation and peacekeeping and is driven to find a solution that satisfies everyone. After several meetings and invigorating conversations, it was clear to me and my fellow students that Leanette has a vital, refreshing perspective and wants to work transparently as she represents her constituents with care and earnest integrity.

I’m happy to say my first vote as an 18-year-old will be cast for Leanette Kearns.

—Harriett Grantz, Whitefish

If it’s not broke...

This is a letter of gratitude and thankfulness to our current School District 5 school board. I have immense respect for your strong leadership, especially over this past year that has been a huge challenge for the entire world. You have had to make hard decisions that have kept our schools open and safe even if it has been difficult for teachers, students, janitorial staff and administration. Because of your hard work our entire community has benefited. I will be voting for Lance Isaak, Sue Corrigan, Rebecca Linden, Kim Wilson, and Amy Waller. Please join me in thanking them with your vote.

Three generations of my family have benefited from this and former SD 5 school boards. I graduated from Flathead High School, my three children graduated from Flathead, four of my grandchildren graduated from Flathead, and two of my grandchildren graduated from Glacier. And I am the very proud grandma of a teacher at Glacier High. I also have many friends who are teachers in SD5 that have all worked very hard at giving our children the great education that they deserve.

Thanks to all of you for your concern, compassion and hard work. I guess my final thought is “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

—Bev Larson, Kalispell

Whitefish School Board election

We are fortunate to have two highly qualified women running for Whitefish School Board and ask you to give Quincy Bennetts and Leanette Kearns your vote.

Quincy Bennetts is a Montana native, raised by public school educators, and benefited from a Montana public education through graduate school. Quincy works as a pediatric physical therapist at Montana Children’s where she collaborates daily with a team of pediatric specialists to make crucial decisions about children’s welfare and futures. She is a strong supporter of science, educators and students, and is passionate about ensuring schools provide an excellent education for young people of every ability level and from every walk of life. Quincy has lived and worked in the Whitefish area for the last 17 years, and wants to do everything possible to preserve what she’s grown to love about our community and our outstanding public schools.

Leanette Kearns is a daughter descended from a family of seasonal crop farmworkers. She worked hard and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in sociology and a minor in Italian studies. Leanette has served on a variety of boards, most notably at the Harvard Mediation Program and also worked in afterschool programming in Boston for Citizen Schools. Currently, she serves on the board of the Center for Restorative Youth Justice (CRYJ). Leanette has the background, skills and education to understand the needs of youth, social-emotional health and be an advocate for at-risk populations. She’s sincere, well-spoken and has reached out to connect with community members as well as high school students in order to understand their needs.

Please vote for Quincy and Leanette. These two candidates know how to listen and navigate working on boards and will work hard for our students, community and families.

—Joan Vetter Ehrenberg, Brenda Moen, Michelle Saury, Kelly Ordway, Kate Berry, Sylvia Magala, Nadine Ordway and Jill Korbin

Silent no longer

For weeks I have stayed silent because I’m not one to retaliate. However, enough is enough.

We have been labeled the “bully caucus” by a group of people who are supposed to represent our public school system. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You have done nothing but rally people to smear us and shame us for standing up for our children; for wanting the best for our children.

We have been accused of being anti-science, anti-mask, anti-public education, etc, all of which are completely false. I’m curious as to where you got your information? Could it be from the people you’ve reached out to from all over the U.S. and beyond to dig up dirt on us?

The truth is, our science is not consistent with yours and you don’t like that. The truth is, we want masks to be an optional choice, not mandated by people who were never elected to be our physicians. The truth is, the non-incumbent candidates running for school board, including myself, have never once disrespected teachers or students. In fact, we love and appreciate our teachers. They work tirelessly for our kids with little to no thanks. You are spreading false information. Stop it. Grow up.

I will never, ever stop fighting for my children. I will never apologize for wanting them free to breathe fresh air and not recycled viruses and bacteria into their pathways in the name of “protecting others,” if that is what they choose. You should know, regardless of the outcome of this election, we are not going away. We will continue to be proactive for the parents and students of this community. We want to see better transparency in school board policy, budgeting, spending and decision making. We will be silent no longer.

—Tina Tobiason, Kalispell

Experienced public servants

Five of our school board trustees are being challenged by a group of anti-science, anti-mask and anti-public school zealots.

The incumbents did a remarkable job keeping schools open during a historic pandemic in the most challenging circumstances imaginable. In-person instruction is so important. Not many AA high schools in the nation were able to do this.

So please, send in or drop off your ballot and vote ys for Lance Izaak, Sue Corrigan, Rebecca Linden, Amy Waller and Kim Wilson. They are experienced public servants who have served us well in the past, and deserve our trust and support.

—George Mclean, Kalispell