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This opinion column was submitted by Matthew Montognese, candidate for Washoe County School Board District E.

Each student needs a complete education, as ignorance creates a deficit where knowledge builds a bridge to a bright future. I am running for WCSD to faithfully serve and sincerely administer for the good of our students, educators and community.

Our sacred educational system is our future and I was fortunate to be provided an excellent education here in the Silver State where I was born, and as a youth educated in the WCSD. I have a vision shared with many people: to reconnect our great communities with trust; to provide all opportunities to students for their future, build character back into schools, help students find their intrinsic self-effacing value through a discovery of their inherent, gifts, talents, interests and competencies; and to help all of our children thrive. Our adversary is mediocrity, which causes malaise and eventually melancholy.

I have a vision and plans for forward movement — innovations that our educators, students, families and the whole community would benefit from. We cannot be complacent or we will sink more into the quicksand of indifferent stagnation. Our community has implicit trust in its board, but we don’t want to just merely get by anymore; we want to get better. The people will decide who will best be trusted with the future of our students. I submit that a person of strong character and common sense will represent the community well, listen to concerns and stay committed to kids, teachers, community and families. The alternative is a “cookie-cutter approach” and likely more concerned with politics and numbers; I want to awaken the engine that drives these numbers upward.

I am not a scholastic elite; I am a thinker, I am like you. I am a husband to my strong and beautiful wife; we have three children and we raise them to be adults with character: respect, dignity, love, humility, honor and discipline. I coach baseball and have seen what a transformative force motivation is for a developing child and what believing in themselves can do for their confidence throughout the rest of their lives. I’d like to see our students win with purpose, our educators win with belief, our families win with trust and our district win together, for kids, for community.

Every child should be provided both sides of an unbiased story in school or they face a deficit and are unable to test their own cognitive and critical thought mechanism; thinking for one’s self builds common sense. It is important for children to come home to ask their parents if they have questions. We remember our children are innocent and impressionable and we will watch out for them as a community. Kids belong to the parents, educators love to teach kids and kids love to learn!

Our students need to know the struggle our new nation faced to gain independence, its documents, and how this connects us today. This freedom and the American experiment that was so sacrificed for is still a gift we are perfecting as we continue to form a more perfect union together. Our precious educators deserve fair compensation and a reduction of inequitable burdens. Abuse from student to student and student to the teacher must be mitigated by corrective action strategy.

I think it proper for the educator and family to influence and inform the curriculum. Students aren’t made to fit in a box and be set on the educational conveyer belt, but to find their value, abilities and potential which will fulfill them and compliment the community. Our communities belong knit together, and there are many waiting to provide after-school programs or volunteer to support kids.

As we build bridges, trust, and seek to be service-oriented together, we will see great things happen, as we champion relationships and cohesiveness we will see innovation and unity. Let’s face it, it’s for our kids and our students have a lot to learn from economics, civic duty, math, English, character, ”what healthy looks like,“ interpersonal communication, emotional maturity, soft skills, sports, music, art; there should never be a limit to the opportunities available and investment we make to see these kids succeed.

We can make it work for Washoe. No longer categorizing by anything other than merit and character, will we develop what is in the chrysalis not assuming we know the contents by the outer shell.

In November, the McQueen, TMCC, and Hug High School area, vote for me for WCSD District E.

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