Wiley Takes on Incumbent in School Board Election

Apr 27 2011 /

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.

Renate K. Wiley

Professionally Mrs. Wiley was a school nurse at the Milford Senior High School for 19 years. Prior to her service with the district she was a public health nurse for 10 years. During her tenure with the school district Renate was the class advisor for all three of her daughters’ classes, involved with the peer listener student group and a representative of the Milford Education Association (MEA).

Q.  What accomplishments are you proud of?

A.  I am foremost a very involved parent and grandparent.  When I was a school nurse I loved the opportunity to educate and teach students on a daily basis. It gave me a chance to be an advocate for the kids. I did not just take care of their physical needs but also their social and emotional needs. The students were always my first priority.

Q. Why are you running for School Board?

A. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It isn’t a glamorous title or job that I am after but I feel that I can make a difference.  When I saw that my opponent was running unopposed I felt that the voters should have a choice.

I feel I have the first-hand experience with the teachers.  Right now there is no board member who is a retired teacher of the Milford School District. Over the years I have collaborated with the teachers on whatever they needed to get accomplished. I know the teachers and the students very well and will be approachable to listen to their needs. 

Q. What would you like to see done during your first term?

A. One thing I would like to deal with is the morale in the schools. Before deciding to run, I polled principals, board members, parents and teachers on what was most affecting them. The number one response was morale that came with dealing with all the uncertainties. They do not know what to expect next and are continually asked to do more with less. There are some beautiful new buildings but what we should focus on now is restructuring our staff.

Teachers want to feel they have a voice.  They want to be provided a positive work environment, be respected and feel involved. It is important that they feel valued and be a part of the problem solving process. It will be my responsibility to get educated on the issues, listen to their concerns and be their voice on the Board.

Q. What are the current issues facing the Milford School District?

A. Accountability, raising the standards, and performing better with less. We need to retain our educators who perform well and attract new teachers who are highly qualified to do the job. I would also like to create reasons for students to come back to Milford after they graduate.

As I said before we need to work collaboratively with the teachers to make them feel valued.  They need to have a voice.

Q. What does a vote for you stand for?

A.  A vote for me will be a vote to put the needs of the teachers, parents and students first. I will also work to keep the parents involved in the schools. The teachers, staff and principals work very hard to keep parents involved and make the kids the top priority. It is a fact, as kids get older the parents get less involved.  I want to help bring these parents back to the schools so they can work with their children.

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.

5 Comments for “Wiley Takes on Incumbent in School Board Election”

  1. Teresa Matthews

    I have had poor experiences with Wiley as a school nurse. She has left my daughter feeling criticized, demeaned, demoralized, and even traumatized. During her last two years of high school, she refused to visit the nurse’s office out of fear of public humiliation. It was very daunting to send your child to school knowing she did not have the support of the school nurse, an integral part to any school system.

    She did not advocate for the children, and clearly could not be bothered for what she judged as “inconsequential” issues. Given this judgemental personality, I do not feel she would objectively view the necessary issues presented to the Milford school board. Each and every child does count, and my daughter’s high school memories are now marred by Renate Wiley. In speaking with other parents, this was not an isolated child. She had her favorites, based on the monetary status of the Milford family, and that reputation is not something we need.

    I, too, am a nurse. While I would love to see a nurse on the board, this is not our wisest choice.

  2. Howard D

    I wonder what could this post be?

    Unsubstantiated allegations by a co-worker or the opponent?
    An uninformed attempt at a smear which borders libel?
    A ham handed attempt at defamation of character of a trusted school empolyee that has worked for the district for 19 years without incident?

    Or is it just a statement that cannot be confirmed for political motivation?

    You the reader, examine the evidence, and you, the reader, be the judge.

    • Teresa Matthews

      This post is exactly as it reads. I have had no good experience with her. She has won, and I am simply glad my children have graduated.

      “You, the reader, examine the evidence…..” it is all documented at the school. Your opinion is just that…your opinion,…just as my opinion is mine. “Without incident?” The only incident that matters to me is the incident I had with her, which was very uncaring and unprofessional.

      Good luck to the district.

  3. Howard D

    From http://de.newszapforums.com/view_topic.php?id=108089&forum_id=42

    “Parents of Milford School District students, the upcoming board election is one of the most important ones facing us as parents. It is time to make the Milford School District Board of Education work for US and not themselves.

    Our current board is apparently under the mistaken impression that they work for the Superintendent and not for us, the parents. Apprently, the district had the highest number of retirement requests in history this year and most of it is because of the lack of support staff gets from the board and the administration.

    When the current board members are asked why they don’t step in and ask about questionable practices, the response given is “I am only one vote” or “I don’t have time to review everything” or “What can I do as one person?” Repeatedly, we hear of an administrator who bullies and rules his department with fear and intimidation, yet the board just continues to renew contracts without so much as a blink of an eye. It is time to get board members who will ASK QUESTIONS, READ WHAT THEY ARE GIVEN and not just rubber stamp whatever the superintendent presents.

    I just read interviews with Renate Wiley and Debbie O’Neill who are running for an area seat on the board. Renate’s interview spoke entirely of students, teachers and education. Debbie’s interview spoke of buildings and budgets with very little mention of the students she is on the board to look after. So far, I have not seen interviews with Deneen Smith, Mark Dissinger, Robert Reif or Pat Emory, so not sure what their platforms are.

    It is time for new members on the school board. The ones who have been there for years no longer see the needs of the students or the teachers. Instead of whining about Race to the Top standards and less money to work with, maybe we should focus on supporting the staff and not allowing administration to manipulate board policy to the point that every single staff member is afraid of being fired, demoted or written up.

    So, get out and vote on May 10 to make a change in our district.”

  4. Robert Godfrey

    I worked as a teacher at Milford HS while Renate Wiley was our nurse and she knows first hand what improvements need to be made. She is right on the mark with all of her comments about teacher morale and having them feel important in the educational process. She had to work under stressful conditions everyday dealing with student needs, but always managed to have a smile and kind word for everyone. She’s capable of doing a great job for our school district.

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