To the editor:
My name is Jennifer Benbow, and I am running for re-election for the District 5 seat on the Woodward-Granger School Board.
The reason that I am wanting to continue my work on the Woodward-Granger community School District Board of Directors can be summed up with one number — 976 — the certified number of students enrolled in the district last year.
My focus has always been on the students and what is in their best interest. As a board member, I will continue to advocate for us as a district to take the well being of our students seriously.
I believe that over my past six years on the Woodward-Granger School Board, I have demonstrated a deep commitment to the education and well being of all WGCSD students and have shown the ability to make and vote on tough decisions that have been made in the best interest of the entire district.
The current board, including myself, have worked extremely hard on setting the district up for long-term success. The last six years have seen many obstacles to overcome, but I feel that the district can finally move forward, and I would love the opportunity to be a part of the exceptional growth.
For the last two years in a row, the current board and superintendent(s) have worked closely with a representative from the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) to determine what the district and board goals should focus on. After many hours and great conversations, these goals were set in June 2018.
During the second session, which was last summer, it was determined that we all felt that they continued to hold true. I fully believe that these are where the district’s focus should be and will be for the next several years:
- Cultivating support that ensures strong, successful student learning
- Growing a culture of ongoing development and retention of staff
- Exploring, prioritizing and implementing programs to meet the full range of student needs
- Advancing a strong community partnership
- Pro-actively planning for successful growth
I have been able to learn and grow as a board member by attending IASB workshops and training sessions. These help members to learn about the legal aspects of a school board and allow members to hear from other schools about their successes.
I will continue to encourage involvement of our WG Hawk students, families and communities. As a longtime volunteer of many activities and committees, I feel that it is important to be involved with as much as you are able.
For several years, I worked closely with the city of Granger to expand the Granger Days celebration. I served on Partners of the Parks, a 501c3 organization, when it was first founded and continued for five years bringing many fundraising dollars to the town of Granger and several projects.
In more recent years, I have volunteered many hours to the fine arts program and volunteered to help the Class of 2019 with Prom 2018 by working concessions, initiating fundraising efforts and working alongside other parents and students in planning and setting up prom night to ensure that all students had a safe and fun night.
Throughout my time on the school board, I have worked with the staff and administration on the district calendar committee and have been part of the negotiations team for the district. I am also currently serving on the Granger Planning and Zoning Committee.
The experience and background that I have will allow me to serve the next four years with greater knowledge and with momentum to continue to grow this district. Over the next four years, alongside our new superintendent, Dr. Matt Adams, I will continue to work with the entire board to keep striving for improvements throughout the district.
I am asking for your vote Nov. 5.