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.