The older I get, the more I realize the importance of understanding my why. What makes me uniquely qualified for this important position? Why should you vote for me to serve on the Jamesville-DeWitt Board of Education?

I am flawed. Admittedly imperfect. And that is exactly why I am running. I was previously elected to the BOE and after serving my term, I did not think I would ever run again. It is difficult for me to quantify my time on the board. The qualities I brought to the table, that I long considered my strengths, were often perceived as weaknesses by my peers. A younger, less secure version of myself thought they might be right. Maybe I did ask too many questions, maybe I cared too deeply for our teachers, perhaps I was too emotional and too invested in the stories our families were sharing.

Maybe, just maybe, they were wrong. What if we need to ask more questions to seek clarity? What if what our district needs are board members who dig deep, who research and verify information. What if blind endorsement is not a path to progress? Is it possible to care too deeply for students and teachers? What if adopting a posture of engaged listening with our teachers would allow us to create policies and establish budgets that support their professional growth? What would happen if we created safe spaces for our families to share their stories? What if we digested the information teachers, students and families provided us and used it as a roadmap to identify areas of necessary improvement.

I, like many members of the community, am in awe of the long history of successes our district boasts, but it is possible to have reverence for history while simultaneously pursuing growth. The board has shown their discomfort when community members, teachers and students sit across from them and share their experiences. What if we sat side by side in safe spaces? What if we put the issues in front of us, instead of between us? What if we were able to hold each other accountable without it being perceived as a personal attack? What if there was no us and them?

What would a vote for me mean to you?

  • An accessible ally who is committed to engaged listening.
  • An emphasis on the inherent value each member of our community possesses.
  • Someone who will proactively seek input from all constituency groups.
  • Experience in navigating budgetary concerns that pairs fiscal responsibility with a pledge to work outside of the box to protect the integrity of a JD educational experience.
  • The understanding of creating a culture of inclusion is not an optional exercise. It is the platform necessary to fully realize the potential of our diverse student population.

Students, I see you/ I value you. Please know I am today the woman my younger self longed for and it would be my absolute privilege to advocate on your behalf.

More Information:

Other candidate articles are located at

Detailed copies of the budget are available by contacting the district office. Residents are invited to attend the virtual budget hearing scheduled for Monday, June 1, 7:00 PM. 

Voting Ballots are available through the District Office and Due Back by 5:00 pm, June 9th, 2020. For more information call: (315) 445-8304 or email

Complete candidate biographies and details of the budget proposal are available in the special edition of the JD Journal mailed to all district homes in April and reprinted online at:

JD 2020 – 2021 Proposed Budget inside Vote!

Max Fagelman, '22
Max Fagelman is the News Editor for Rampage. When he's not working on the paper you can find him doing photography or running on the track.