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Dear Editor:

I am currently serving my first term as a School Director for the Carlisle Area School District. I thank those of you who voted to re-elect me in last May’s primary. I am very honored that my name will appear on the General Election ballot with both “D” and “R” beside it. This is a testament to my strong belief that board service must be nonpartisan.

I have found that running for school board is very different than being on the school board. We run as individuals, but we must govern as a nine-person board. None of us can be the star. We must deliberate together, listen to each other, and be willing to use the expertise of other board members to balance our own knowledge. There are limits to our decision making and our ability to affect change. We are governed by the school code and state and federal laws mandate policies without giving us any money to pay for their implementation. Our state legislators create additional problems by not addressing a pension crisis that they alone can solve.

But within these limits, we do very important work. We set policies, are responsible for the fiscal state of the district, and ensure that our students have safe, secure, and well-maintained schools. Our actions affect everyone in our school district for we determine the rate of your property taxes. By approving curriculum and textbooks, we are responsible for the lessons our children are taught. This year we will have the responsibility of selecting the new Superintendent for our district.

I do not treat this as a casual commitment. I take it very seriously. It matters. Please consider voting for me so I can continue to work for you and our children.

Deborah Sweaney is a candidate for School Director for Carlisle Area School District.

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