Why I created this blog?

I had been thinking about creating this blog for several weeks. I first had the idea when trying to think how we could improve communication between the Northgate school district and community. My thoughts were with how the school board could effectively communicate issues facing the district. The superintendent has made it clear many times that he is weary of posting information that may upset people or allow them to speak against him and the school.

While I can understand a bit of the superintendent’s concern, we need a way to effectively communicate serious issues that are facing our schools. I attended an informal budget forum yesterday held by the superintendent and school board to present the projected budget and allow community members to ask questions. At the meeting, they covered some of the serious financial issues facing the district that are out of our immediate control. That prompted a few of the community members to ask directly, “How can we help? Who do we call? What can we do to influence those in charge to get us out of this mess?”. I am paraphrasing in my own words of course. I was surprised by the lack of responses from the superintendent and the school board. They seemed to avoid answering the question for fear they may be perceived as taking a side politically. I asked this very same question weeks ago at a school board meeting and was met with a similar non-answer.

I think this helps highlight some of the communication issues that we are facing. I do not know why the question couldn’t have been answered more directly. For example, I think an acceptable answer would have been “You can call your state representative, your state senator, and the governor’s office with your concerns. You can put pressure on your elected officials. Here is where you can find there information…”

So that leads me back to why I created this blog. I want to help share information concerning my school district and my community, especially as it pertains to education. Yes I am also currently running for school board, so this will also server as a tool for me to present my feelings on certain issues to potential voters. However if I were elected I would hope to continue this blog, being able to give the perspective of a school board member and talk openly about the issues.

By the way, if you do not know who your elected officials are, here is where you can find out:


2 responses to “Why I created this blog?

  • Dan O'Keefe


    I know that I personally pointed out the need to continue contacting legislators and went on to advise people that the PSBA website is a good starting point for info. I also reminded people to follow up in the bills mentioned each month in the Legislative Committee report.

    I believe what was avoided was blaming or praising a specific political party. School boards try to remain nonpartisan as an extension of being one of only two groups of elected officials that cross file.

  • bryanpjohnston

    Yes Dan you did say to look at the PSBA website and I should have included that in my comments. However I think the frustration is that several people asked specifically, who can we call to help and I think the board could do more than just to point us at a website. I asked the very same question weeks ago at a school board meeting. My feeling was that since the school board is much more intimately familiar with the situation, that you could tell us exactly who we need to call. When I asked the question, the only person to help give me direction was Mr. Michalow. I do think your legislative updates at the school board meetings are incredibly informative.

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