None of us want a rubber-stamp board member

To the Editor:

This is addressed to my fellow Berne-Knox-Westerlo voters.

You and I might not agree on every issue facing our school district. We may even have voted for different candidates in recent elections.

But when it comes to how the BKW District should work and the qualities of a good school board member, I'm pretty sure we share a lot of common ground.  If I am right about that, if you love BKW  but share my frustration  and concern  with high taxes, low achievement on standardized tests, and high per-pupil costs,  then we are indeed on the same side.  

On the third Tuesday in May, we will be voting on a school budget and school board members.  I urge you to re-elect Vasilios Lefkaditis.

It is important to understand that no member acts alone. To effect any change, a majority of the Board (three out of five) must agree to the action.  While  I served with Vas on the board, with majority support,  he led the way:

— Renegotiating the clerk of the works’ contract, saving over $100,000 for the district;

— Bringing the Teacher of the Year award to BKW;

— Fast-tracking the prescription provider changes while board president by working directly with our attorney which, in just 30 days, saved over $250,000 this year alone; and

— Revamping the bus-exchange policy, permanently saving the district money when buses are traded or sold.

Vas is a family man who is very active in the community.  You may have seen him at the BKW morning program, school concerts, sporting events, father-daughter dances, serving at the Not Eating Alone Tonight dinners, or as Jacob Marley in the Hilltowns Players' production of Scrooge.

Those of us who attend school board meetings know Vas to be passionate, fiery, outspoken, and a whiz with numbers.  None of us want a rubber-stamp board member.

We need a person who is capable, concerned, and has the courage to ask questions and stand up for us.  I believe that person is Vasilios Lefkaditis.

He is one of the finest people I know.  I ask that you cast your vote for him on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

Helen M. Lounsbury
East Berne

Editor’s note: Helen Lounsbury is a retired Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Board member and teacher. Although she is the sister of Joseph Golden, who also wrote a letter to the editor this week, she was unaware of his letter.

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