The City Council Elections may be over but the town of Milford still has another round of voting to determine the individuals who will represent their interests on the Milford School Board. Voting will take place on May 10, 2011 from 10 am to 8 pm at three separate polling locations: Banneker Elementary, Lulu Ross Elementary and the Morris Early Childhood Center.
One of the seats for Milford School Board will be a contested race between candidates Deborah A. O’Neill and Renate K. Wiley. In a continued effort to keep the Milford community informed and engaged, Milfordlive.com has interviewed each candidate with a list of questions regarding the upcoming election. The winner of this election will fill a 5 year term for Area “C” in the Milford School District.
Deborah A O’Neill
Professionally Mrs. O’Neill has been a registered nurse (RNFA) for greater than 25 years at the Milford Memorial Hospital as a certified operating room nurse and clinical preceptor for the department. She has served on the Parish Council at St. John Catholic Church and is a past President of the Milford Rotary Club and Chair of their Academic and Motivation Committee. Currently Debbie is the Presidents of the Milford School Board and has served two 5 year terms to date.
Q. What accomplishments are you proud of over your first two terms?
A. During my tenure I have worked with the construction of the new Milford Central Academy and the Mispillion Elementary School and supported upgrades to Lulu Ross Elementary and the Morris Early Childhood Center. We have ensured that new facilities are very energy efficient and are working to update the older facilities.
I am proud to have worked on updating the Student Wellness Policy, the Child Nutrition Policy, and the Fundraiser Policy. I joined a collaborative team of physical education staff, administrators and representatives for the Nemours Foundation to include policy guidelines for healthy alternatives for class celebratory events, fundraisers and concession stands. The policies are aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles for our students.
Q. Why are you running for School Board?
A. As the mother of four children who have graduated from the Milford School District, I understand the importance of a quality education. This is why I am running for the school board. Our children deserve an education that is second to none, and I believe that we can accomplish this while providing a supportive and safe work environment for our educators and our students.
Q. What would you like to see done during your next term?
A. I would like to see that the new Mispillion Elementary School is opened successfully. The Board will also have to look at the Middle School. This facility needs to be entirely replaced. I would like to try and make it as energy efficient as possible but without replacing it this cannot be done because the building is so old.
Q. What are the current issues facing the Milford School District?
A. The budget is always an issue each year. We continue to see an increase in student enrollment and need qualified teachers to support that increase. We will also have to look at new transportation issues with the Mispillion Elementary School opening. The Board will have to work to identify and develop busing routes that are efficient.
I feel it is also necessary that we commit to the increased planning periods that are required under the Race to the Top Program where teachers will have 90 minutes of planning time each week with others in their department. This will help with making sure that teachers are prepared and students are performing at their highest.
Soon the Board will be looking at some sort of uniform code that needs to be kept simple and affordable. This will ensure that teachers can spend more time educating our students and not policing wardrobe policies.
Q. What does a vote for you stand for?
A. A vote to re-elect me will be a vote of continuity and understanding of what is going on in our schools, where we are going in the future with school policies and procedure and what is going on with the building and construction in the district.
Voting will take place on May 10, 2011 from 10 am to 8 pm at three separate polling locations: Banneker Elementary, Lulu Ross Elementary and the Morris Early Childhood Center. Absentee voting is available for those eligible voters who are unable to go to the polls on May 10, 2011. Call 739-4498 for information on obtaining an affidavit to enable this office to mail a ballot to you or vote absentee ballot in person at the Kent County Department of Elections Office, Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P. M., now until May 9, 2011 12:00 Noon. There will be extended hours on May 7, 2011 – 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Bring proof of identity and address. To the Department of Elections for Kent County located at 100 Enterprise Place, Suite 5, Dover, DE 19904. The office can be reached by calling 302-739-4498.