We are longtime Eugene residents who were proud to send our children to 4J schools. We believe the strength of 4J schools has been, in part, because the 4J board had a strong commitment to putting aside any political or philosophical differences and cooperating to find solutions that work for 4J students, teachers and administrators.
Recently, the 4J board seems to have lost sight of the need to put personalities aside and to keep the wellbeing of students and teachers foremost. We believe the board needs to return to the goal of reaching decisions through dialogue characterized by civility and respect for students, teachers, administrators and each other. That is why we strongly support Rick Hamilton for Position 4.
Hamilton’s experience growing up in poverty, being the first in his family to go to college and, most of all, working with all types of youth in all types of settings from youth sports to incarcerated youth, gives him the understanding and empathy to help the board set policies that can reach across the district. We need board members who can listen and be part of the solution rather than contributing to the rancor and hostility that has become a hallmark of the current 4J board. We need board members who will manage the board’s reserves carefully and conduct its work in public.
We urge everyone who shares these goals to vote for Hamilton for 4J Position 4.
Jerry Lidz and Melinda Grier