As the Milford community prepares for the upcoming referendum on Tuesday, May 5 where the Milford School District is asking residents to vote for a new high school and operations budget, there is another election in the month of May that has not gained much attention. On Tuesday, May 12 residents of the Milford School District will be voting for the 5 Year At-Large seat on the Milford School Board from 10 am to 8 pm at three separate polling locations: Benjamin Banneker Elementary – 449 North Street, Milford; Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center – 8609 Third Street, Lincoln; Lulu Ross Elementary – 310 Lovers Lane, Milford. The contested race is between candidates Kent Del Rossi, Kristin Yvette Dennehy and Ronald T. Evans. 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 “At-Large” in the Milford School District.
I am a native Milfordian and proud graduate of Milford High School. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Master’s degree in Education, and teach English and Humanities at Wilmington University. After many years of traveling, in 2001 my husband, Brad Dennehy, and I decided to settle in Milford where much of my extended family resides. We have two young children, Liam who is in fourth grade at Mispillion Elementary, and Keegan who is in kindergarten at Morris. We have a true vested interest in this community; my husband is the Parks & Recreation Director for the City and both of us do our best to volunteer, serve and support organizations and events throughout Milford.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
There are many things that I am proud of, including my family and my own educational accomplishments, but most recently I’m proud of the work I’ve done by creating the group known as Buccaneer Tomorrow. We have been working tirelessly on behalf of the Milford School District, the students and the families that make up this district, and our community as a whole, to share information regarding the upcoming referendum.
Why are you running for School Board?
When I first created Buccaneer Tomorrow, I wanted to create a parent and citizen group that could work in conjunction with the District to offer positive solutions to issues facing our schools. Through my work over the last 6 months I have been able to gain insight from a District perspective as well as a parent/citizen perspective, and I think this ability to forge a partnership between the two puts me in a unique position to serve not only as a board member, but as an ambassador for parents, teachers, and citizens, working together for the greater good of our students.
What would you like to see done during your first term?
I would like to see more transparency and visibility within the District. While working to try to get the referendum passed, I have been shocked by the amount of misinformation that is circulating throughout our community. I like to call it “tribal knowledge,” and I often compare it to the “telephone game” that many of us used to play in elementary school where the teacher whispered a sentence into the first student’s ear and then by the time it got to the last student the message was so distorted that it was comical. I confess, I have been guilty of this myself, and one of the things that I think the District could do better is be more forthcoming with information. If an organization wants to be supported, they have to market themselves, showcase their vision, and be willing to listen to and consider feedback from the community.
What are the current issues facing the Milford School District?
I think the biggest issue facing the district right now is the need pass the current referendum, and that is why I have be working so hard in conjunction with the District and Buccaneer Tomorrow to get the message out to our community. We are overcrowded, we are losing students and teachers to other districts, and we are operating in a deficit because of State and Federal budget cuts. It is critical that the referendum pass and then it is imperative that the District work in conjunction with the parents, teachers, business community, and the city government to gain input about the building and curriculum in order to create a school that is functional, serves the needs of our students and is something that the entire community can be proud of.
What does a vote for you stand for?
A vote for me stands for a committed, proactive member, who will advocate for an interactive partnership between the District, the families, teachers, and citizens of Milford. I have two young children in this District, one in kindergarten and one in fourth grade, and I am currently very active in the schools. I am aware of the challenges that students and teachers face, and I want to ensure that their voices are heard at the District level and that we can work together to find solutions. Great schools make great communities, and I think everyone has to do their part in order to achieve success.
Absentee voting is available for those eligible voters who are unable to go to the polls on May 12, 2015 by calling 739-4498 for information on obtaining an affidavit to enable the Kent County Department of Elections to mail a ballot. Residents of the Milford School District can also cast a vote absentee ballot in person at the office, 100 Enterprise Place, Suite 5, Dover, DE, Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P. M. until May 11, 2015 12:00 Noon. Extended office hours for absentee voting are April 21, 2015 & May 5, 2015, as the office will be open from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Voters must bring proof of identity and address.