Maryam Mohammadkhani (Photo: SPS)

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by Scott McChrystal, Springfield

On April 2, you will have the opportunity to place a key vote for the future of our community. I hope you take it; far too many of our citizens ignore it. I’m talking about your civic responsibility to elect the best candidates to our Springfield Public Schools Board of Education.

There was a time when the United States’ educational system was one of the world’s best and most effective. Our nation has tumbled from that position, and we haven’t hit bottom yet. Statewide, Missouri sits at the middle of the pack. The Children’s Educational Alliance of Missouri notes that in 2017 only two-thirds of our students were rated as proficient in English language arts. Only about half of our students were proficient in math.

Some states are finding answers. Why? I believe the key is leadership. No surprise. Pick any area in life. Everything pretty much rises and falls with leadership.

Recently I decided to check out the Springfield public education leadership for myself. Besides hearing about a growing number of discipline problems occurring across the district in the Fall of 2023, I was taken back by the testimony of Laura Mullins, President of the Springfield National Education Association (SNEA). Mullins said she’s spoken with Springfield Public School officials multiple times to let them know their concerns, but nothing has changed.

Ms. Mullin’s testimony to the Springfield Public Education Board wasn’t the most disturbing issue that evening. It was the apparent lack of concern in response to what Mullins had shared. The Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools along with four board members seemed to think policy changes weren’t needed despite strong evidence to the contrary.

That’s not leadership.

Springfield voters, we can change this. Dr. Maryam Mohammadkhani is up for re-election on April 2. She has demonstrated a track record of bold, courageous, and smart leadership during her first 3-year term. She is running again. Springfield Public Schools needs her leadership.

Dr. Mohammadkhani is a highly trained pathologist. She has applied her training and critical thinking skills toward creating educational policies and practices that will serve students as they strive to become significant contributors throughout many areas of American society.

Set your calendars to vote in the April 2 election. Elect Dr. Mohammadkhani to another term. She will not disappoint us!