Letter: Perry Schools stay the course

Four years ago, Rusty E. Rush and Tammy Lehman-McDonnell were elected to the Perry Local School Board and immediately initiated much needed changes. Staff members were held accountable for their performance and no longer would inadequate performance be sheltered by “who they knew in the administration.” In addition, Mr. Rush and Ms. Lehman-McDonnell shed light on the severely outdated student textbooks, identified illegal employee contracts, pushed for a tough but reasonable student discipline policy, uncovered inappropriate actions by school staff, and pressured the leadership in the school district to better maintain and modernize our older school buildings.

For the first time, extensive student and financial data about the school system were provided to the Perry residents via the board’s “transparency” newsletter and the first Perry community survey is nearing completion. Under their leadership, chronically low academic rankings and high student transfers to other districts would no longer go unnoticed. Although confronted by those that went to great lengths to maintain the “status quo” Mr. Rush and Ms. Lehman-McDonnell were undeterred and had the character to bring positive change to the culture of the school district.

On Nov. 7, the residents of Perry Township have a choice to continue this new openness and focus on improving the academic success of our Perry students or allow the district to revert to past practices that favored political alliances, showed favoritism to employees that went along with the school leadership and mislead Perry Township residents.

I hope that you will join me in voting to reelect Rusty E. Rush and Tammy Lehman-McDonnell to the Perry Board of Education.

Diane and H.R. Dick, Lima

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