West Side News

Myers proud of bringing conservative voice to board

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Jo Ellen Myers didn't get everything she wanted accomplished during her three and a half years on the South-Western Board of Education.

But she said she is proud she was able to represent those in the community whose views are not often voiced on the board.

"I am a strong conservative, there's no secret about that," Myers said. "I think I represented those people in the community, as well as those who don't have children enrolled in the district. Their views need to be heard."

Myers resigned from the board effective Monday, June 24. Her family is moving this week to Florida, where they will be living a short drive from her parents and her husband's family.

Her husband's company has agreed to allow him to work out of home in Florida.

"It's going to be nice. He has been working in the Polaris area," Myers said. "Now his commute will be just down the hall."

Florida also has no state tax and low city taxes, another selling point for her, she said.

"I ran for the board on a platform of wanting to save money for the district, and I think I helped the district save money," Myers said. "I would have liked to have done more on the board, so it's a little frustrating to be leaving before my term is up."

Myers' seat is up for election in November.

Even though she knew that many of her positions were not shared by others on the board, "the important thing was get those views represented on the board," she said.

When Myers ran for the board in 2009, her twin daughters were not attending South-Western schools, but taking courses through an online school.

"It was a great experience for them. They learned things they wouldn't have learned at South-Western," Myers said. "We enrolled them into Jackson Middle School during my second year on the board."

Parents should have more choice about their children's educational opportunities, because they know what's best for them, she said.

"They are my children and my responsibility," Myers said.

The education students receive in public schools is less practical than it used to be and should be, she said.

"Everybody should be able to balance a checkbook or fill out a job application," Myers said. "Why does everybody have to graduate with an Algebra 2 credit? Not everybody is going to need Algebra 2."

Education should be personalized for each student, and not be one-size-fits-all, she said.

"College is not for everyone," Myers said. "And just because you aren't heading to college doesn't mean you're not smart."

Another issue of focus for her was the need for the district to improve its communication with parents, she said.

"I understand school districts want parents to understand things, but it's just as important that school districts know what parents want," Myers said. "It's their children you are teaching."

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