Letter: Daniels lays out her vision for UCFSD

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Editor’s note: because of scheduling issues, The Times was not able to interview Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Region C candidate Carolyn Daniels. As a matter of fairness, we offered her the opportunity to express her views in a letter to the editor.

To The Editor,

Letters1I would like to thank the many people that I have either spoken to or met over the last few months and also to all of those that I have known for the 20 years since we moved to Chadds Ford.  It has been my pleasure to get to know you and learn what is important to you.  I understand that excellent schools, maintaining strong property values and knowing where your money is being spent matters to you.

If elected as a Region C Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board Director, I will work diligently in representing you, as this is who I am and what I have been doing long before I was asked to run for this very important role in our community.  With the support from my friends and family, I accepted the nomination.   At this critical time, it is important to have a fresh and independent voice on our School Board.   I am hoping that together, we can utilize my experience along with  open, honest and direct communication to make the best decisions for all in our community.

I bring the experience of being a long-time resident, tax payer, corporate financial officer, spouse of a small business owner, and mother to four children educated in our district schools.  I am an involved parent who can represent you, not just  from independent research and analysis, but from drawing upon the experience of participating in all of the critical stages of our students’ education.

During my time as a parent, my children have been under six principals and three superintendents, experienced two building renovations, one elementary school redistricting.  As a parent and tax payer, I have experienced complex budget discussions, referendums and concerned voters.   Old math, new math, compacted math,  Singapore math –  our students have been through many curriculum changes;  I am committed to perform the correct analyses before we make changes to the curriculum that will affect our children and budget.

My four children have  completed elementary school, middle school and three currently attend Unionville High School, with my oldest having just graduated in 2013.  I have been involved in a myriad of my children’s school activities including band, academic clubs and teams, service organizations and athletics, just to name a few. Having the ability to see the entire picture from elementary school to college applications, I believe I am the choice to represent ALL students and their families.

The school board director position is a natural extension of my proven record of service in our schools and community.  I have worked with students, teachers, principals, administrators, superintendents and parents in many positions including six years on the P.T.O. Executive Board of three schools.  I am serving in my second year as Co-Vice President for Unionville High School and my fourth year on the Curriculum Council where we examine different components of the K through 12 curriculum alongside the Administration, teachers, parents and students.  This involvement has given me an excellent perspective of the many components that go into the decision making process before changes in our curriculum occur.  I have participated in numerous focus groups and task forces including transportation outsourcing, Honors classes, bullying, Principal and Superintendent Searches, and Technology. Additionally, I am on the Board of my community, The Ridings, and on the Alumni Council for the University of Delaware.

I do believe that serving on the School Board is a privilege and responsibility, and answering difficult questions is part of the job.  However, I also believe that asking difficult questions is also part of that responsibility.  I will be informed on critical matters and follow through with complete answers for our community.

There is no substitute for experience; experience in the corporate world, experience as a parent of four children educated in the district from  kindergarten through high school, experience as an involved community member, and the experience of being a 20-year Unionville-Chadds Ford School District resident and tax payer.

Please support me on November 5th and vote for Carolyn Daniels School Board Director and please visit my website http://www.daniels4schoolboard.com for additional information.  Thank you and hope to see you on Tuesday!

Carolyn Daniels

UCFSD Board of Education Candidate,

Chadds Ford

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15 Comments

  1. Paul Price says:

    What UCFSD should have done …

    City: School-bus bids save millions

    The Bloomberg administration said that it expects the city to save hundreds of millions of dollars by putting 4,100 school-bus routes serving 135,000 children out to bid. The money will be plowed back into classrooms, according to the administration, though the bus drivers’ union said the move means hundreds of bus drivers would lose their jobs. [New York Post]

  2. An informed resident says:

    Ms. Catanese, You seem to be forgetting a fundamental piece of information in this argument; the MAJORITY of citizens voted for Ms. Daniels. Whether it was a 5 vote victory or a 500 point victory, she won and she will be on the school board. Whether residents voted on party lines is irrelevant. While talking about party lines I may mention that Ms. Daniels won a majority of the votes in every precinct except for Crosslands which is known to vote strictly democratic. You said that Ms. Daniels only won by “a mere 150 more votes”. The two permanent Region-C directors organized a meet the candidate night at Crosslands that Ms. Daniels was not invited to participate in. So when you accuse voters of voting “strictly on party lines” you should consider the fact that the only reason the margin was, as you said “close” is because of the diluted results at Crosslands. In conclusion, I highly suggest you stop talking poorly of your new representative. I know her because my children have gone to school with hers for years and I, as well as 1015 other people who voted for her, know that she is a superior mother, outstanding volunteer and will do a stellar job on the school board. If you have any real questions or concerns I think it would behoove you to contact Ms. Daniels personally, but if you just want to complain I suggest you take up a new hobby. Perhaps knitting?

    • Carol Catanese says:

      To all – while I would like this conversation to end I cannot, allow my comments to be misrepresented or misinterpreted and seems ironic that those throwing the barbs, do so incognito. I have no difficulty using my real name because I have nothing to hide and speak truthfully, while others continue to hide behind an anonymous post and say things that are simply not true.
      Number one, I have not spoken poorly about Carolyn Daniels. I simply pointed out her unwillingness to participate in the usual League of Women Voters sponsored candidate forum, which, as a long time resident I have always appreciated. In fact, those who attended a meet the candidate coffee, which I hosted in my home for Ms. Daniel’s opponent, Leticia Flores DeWilde, can attest to the complimentary comments I made regarding both Ms. Daniels and DeWilde. I also know Carolyn Daniels and she seved briefly, on another volunteer Board, with me. I am sure Carolyn will serve well as a School Board Director. But this is America, and we are free to support whomever we choose. If our candidate does not win it does not mean that I, personally, will not support the elected. Carolyn, like Leticia, will support initiatives that further educational excellence, I have no doubt.
      But perhaps, M. “informed resident”, needs to re-read my comments and perhaps go back to Reading Comprehension 101, for you totally missed the mark on the content and main point of the composition I submitted. And perhaps you need a course in American Government.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on board oof education.

    Regards

  4. Marge Scharr says:

    I suppose the option of interviewing Ms Daniels over the phone may have been a possibility. However, the editor did not choose to do so. As far as I am concerned it has absolutely no bearing on my opinion of the candidate. Others may choose to “make a mountain out of a mole hill” as is common political practice in contested races. Personally, I am tired of political rangling on the national and local level. Indeed throughout the race for UCF school board Ms. Daniels has consistently taken the high road and she has my vote.

    • Mike McGann says:

      We did, in fact, try to do that, but again, it was a bit of phone tag.

    • Carol Catanese says:

      I think it prudent to point out that political rangling, indeed persists at all levels in PA, and unfortunately even at the School Board Director level. Here is the salient fact – that when a candidate is associated (i.e. registered and/or listed on the ballot) with the majority political party it is nearly impossible for voters to make a rational decision on that candidate without meeting/hearing that candidate in a public forum side-by-side with her/his opponent. In this most recent School Board Director race that did not occur. In the very heavily Republican townships where many voters did not know the candidate (and indeed, did not even recognize her when present), their option was to not vote for that office or vote party line. What do you think the majority of voters do? They vote their party. And that is why it is extremely important for candidates to meet in a public forum side-by-side. It is a disservice to us all. And the majority party wins every time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ms. Catanese, you said the “majority party wins every time.” If you had any facts, you would know that in the last school board election, this was not the case. Therefore, Ms. Daniels is the clear, deserving winner.

      • Observing says:

        With all due respect, I do not think what you are saying is based in reality. Carolyn Daniels won in a virtual landslide and garnered more votes then her fellow Republicans who were in contested races. This means that many Democrats split their tickets to vote for Mrs. Daniels. I would suggest to you that this means the electorate was actually rather informed on the candidates. To the extent you believe that people in this community simply vote party line, I would suggest you check the results of the 2011 School Board Race in Region C.

        • Carol Catanese says:

          This reply is addressed to Anonymous and Observing (and all who are pulled in by their diversional tactical response), since you two have tried to obfuscate the points I was making with your inaccurate statements and some outrageously so. Mea culpa, on my ending sentence of last post (“The majority party always wins.”).

          The first point is that most people vote their party line. That is a generalized true statement and I would venture could replace “most” with “majority of”. The second point is that School Board Director positions are forced into the political arena by 1. being run during the regular political election cycles – the primary and general elections, and 2. the candidate is required to run as a Democrat or Republican (or both) during the Primary election. The only way a School Board Director can make it on the general election ballot is to run in the primary. This forces the Democrat/Republican designation. The political parties, when funding is available, support their balloted candidates. The third point I made is that because of this forced political nature for a position that should not be tied to political parties, it becomes even more important for the candidates to be seen together in a public forum. In this election, this was not done.

          Now, you both wanted to get specific by siting both this election and the last Region C election results to debunk my general point about majority party rules. I guess you both feel comfortable with making such egregious errors of facts when posting incognito.
          For one, the final tally for School Board Director in Region C was 1016 – Daniels, 866 – DeWilde, with Daniels receiving a mere 150 more votes (out of a total of 1882 votes cast for the office) than DeWilde (or 54% vs 46%). This is hardly a “landslide” win.

          In the reference made to the outcome of the previous Region C election cycle, alluding to the fact that, while Region C is heavily Republican, two Democrat candidates won. Indeed they did win out over Republicans. But in fairness, in that election cycle ALL school board director candidates participated in the the public forum, even those candidates who were running unopposed. Those candidates made the time because it is an important part of the process of allowing the electorate to make informed decisions.

          I have no doubt that many who voted for school board director in Region C in this most recent election, did so as informed citizens. But I also know for a fact, many who voted their straight party line without knowing a thing about the candidates represented.

          So going back to my original post, which was related to my second post, any candidate running for public office should make it her/his business to discuss the important issues with the opponent in a public forum for all those interested voters, and it is the job of the media to promote and support this fair and even coverage at every level of public office.

          If any candidate (or elected official) or incognito poster wishes to discuss this further I am happy to do so face to face or over the phone. But honestly, I find some of the reactions to my statements of the obvious incredulous and counter productive.

  5. Kristin Hoover says:

    You can interview somebody over the phone! Agree with Carol on this one!

  6. Anita Nolan says:

    Even though the inability to schedule an interview with Ms. Daniels may have been due to legitimate scheduling conflicts, I am still left wondering why I have been given no opportunity to meet Ms. Daniels during the three months of campaigning. I would have very much liked to attend the proposed League of Women Voters debate which did not occur because Ms. Daniels cited “scheduling difficulties” with all of the six different dates that were proposed by the LWV. Since that debate had to be cancelled, I would have appreciated the opportunity to meet Ms. Daniels at a “meet and greet” event similar to those that Mrs. DeWilde has held. If Ms. Daniels is too busy to participate in a debate or meet the school district voters in another milieu, I can only conclude that she is too busy to serve as our school board director. Mrs. DeWilde, on the other hand, was selected two years ago in a very competitive process to fill a vacancy on the UCF School Boad and has served admirably in that position since. Unlike Ms. Daniels, she has not shied away from meeting voters or from expressing her views in a public forum. I therefore plan to cast my vote tomorrow for Mrs. DeWilde.

    • UCFSD Parent says:

      Anita, if you take a look at Mrs. Daniels’ website http://www.daniels4schoolboard.com and go under “Meet the Candidate”, you will notice that there have been plenty of opportunities to meet this highly qualified and dedicated candidate. Additionally, she does provide her contact information should you have any questions to ask her directly. Too bad you didn’t take the time to take advantage of these opportunities. Mrs. Daniels has been tirelessly and actively meeting people in her community and is always accessible. She is passionate about this school district and will always make time to discuss issues with people. Additionally, if I am correct, her opponent, Mrs. DeWilde was appointed this past summer in mid-July to the UCFSD school board, not two years ago as you state, when Mr. Murphy suddenly vacated a Region C seat. There was no public election involved, just an appointment by existing Board members. If you look at the article posted in the Unionville Times on October 31st, you can see that she states “the last few months” and her appointment is discussed in a July 16 article. Please have correct information before commenting. In this day and age of technology and electronic communications there is no excuse for misinformed voters.

  7. Carol Catanese says:

    I am curious about your editor’s note. You said that you were unable to interview Ms. Daniels due to scheduling issues. In a campaign that has been going on for three months, I find that extraordinarily hard to understand. If these were your issues, then your publication is certainly not the fair and unbiased journalistic publication you claim to be. How could you make time to interview one candidate and not the other?

    If the scheduling issues were related to Ms. Daniels being unavailable for the interview, that information should have been disclosed. Isn’t she the same candidate who declined to do the League of Women Voters’ Meet the Candidates forum? As a former president of both the Patton MS and UHS PTO’s, I was very surprised and disappointed to find out that such a forum would not take place this year.

    It is ironic that in her letter, Ms. Daniels says that “answering difficult questions is part of the job” of serving on the School Board. However, it seems that she has consistently declined to do so during this campaign. Candidates can say whatever they want from the comfort of their own computer keyboard. If a candidate wishes to earn the voters’ trust and support, she (he) must be willing to answer questions from reporters and the public.

    This, among other reasons, is why I will be voting for Ms. DeWilde for School Board Director in Region C on November 5th.

    • Mike McGann says:

      In fairness to Ms. Daniels — we only started discussing a story during the last couple of weeks, which is fairly typical. I had hoped to get a story done on her similar to the one done on Ms. Flores DeWilde, but because of scheduling issues on both our parts (I had to be out of town or had professional commitments when she was available). While not ideal, I did feel it proper to offer her the chance to express her opinions and stances, as published here.

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