Mike Bodson: Bernstein displays character traits we want in our students

Letter to the editor submitted by Mike Bodson, former member of the Board of Education, Oct 25, 2017

Growing up, I was taught that your character was evidenced by your actions towards others and the decisions you made when no-one was watching.  I was also taught that even if something was deemed legal, that didn’t mean it was the right or honorable thing to do.

We all knew the kids who always seemed to claim innocence of breaking the rules, but who basically skirted the edges whenever possible to gain an advantage. You could watch the behavior of your schoolmates and quickly figure out who the good kids were and who were not.  As I watch the current Board of Education race, those early lessons seem somehow highly applicable.  It is pretty clear who acts with character and dignity, and who has chosen otherwise.

Peter Bernstein has served on the Board of Education with a never-ending focus on our children.

He is supportive, but holds our educators and administrators accountable.  He works productively with his colleagues on the Board, standing up for what he believes right, but also treating others’ opinions with respect and a sense of openness.

He doesn’t grand-stand, he doesn’t berate and he doesn’t use sarcasm to belittle others.

Having spent 5 years on the Board, I witnessed first-hand the corrosive impact of Board members whose personal agenda was more important to them than the agenda of improving the educational experience of our children. Sadly, this behavior is still part of our Board. Why should this be acceptable? It may be legal, but we all know it isn’t right.

Bernstein has values, ethics and stands by his behavior; he is a positive example for our children.  He has acted with honesty, integrity and character.

The long list of school superintendents who have come and gone over the last 10 years is strong proof that a Board that is non-supportive, dysfunctional and divisive results in sub-optimal performance of our school system.

Our Town is incredibly pro-education, has amazing educators, a strong and diverse population and a well-funded budget.  There is excellence in our system but it would seem to happen despite a lack of strong leadership from the Board.

We need and, more importantly, our children need a Board of Education that displays the positive character traits that we all want to see in our students.  It is very obvious, through their behaviors, which candidates act with honor, with integrity and with the personal characteristics that we want our children to emulate.

I endorse for re-election Peter Bernstein for the Board of Education.

Growing up, we all knew who the good kids were and we all, in our heart of hearts, hoped that they were the ones that would be recognized and make it to the top.

Please send a strong signal to every child in our district that the good kids do win in the end by voting for Peter Bernstein this Election Day.

Mike Bodson