To the residents of the Richfield Springs Central School district,
This week it is with pride and enthusiasm that I announce my candidacy for the RSCS board of education. Earlier this week I presented the district clerk my petition for one of the two seats up for election on May 19.
It would be my honor to represent you and work for prudent spending of our tax dollars as our district faces unbelievable challenges, given the economic outlook in Washington and Albany. RSCS has a declining enrollment, our school must meet a vast number of state imposed mandates, and students have become ‘square pegs that must be placed in round holes.’ We have a growing population of taxpayers who are retired and on fixed incomes and our revenue from both Washington and Albany in the form of aid is never assured and never enough. Tough times lie ahead, and to think otherwise is to have an unrealistic understanding of the challenges that schools have today.
I will serve you with the same enthusiasm and spirit that I brought to the school district as an elementary teacher, a substitute teacher, the SPA yearbook adviser, summer census taker, teaching as “The Mathman” with my puppets, and supporting our athletes as the RSCS Indian mascot.
In retirement, I have met many residents through my work as a freelance reporter for The Mercury and it was here I have received my best education. I have diligently tried to write positive articles about our school district and the students and residents that comprise our community. Traveling in and around our school district has given me a profound appreciation for the families that make up our district. I have the time and energy to be your school trustee and I will not usurp the responsibilities that come with it.
The RSCS district residents and taxpayers provided my family with opportunities beyond measure. Our two sons graduated from RSCS and have gone on to excellent colleges thanks to all of you. Even after retiring I have tried to give back to the school community that has given my family its livelihood. I never have stopped believing, hoping and cheering for RSCS.
I have deep concerns on what is ahead for our school and students. The budget vote on May 19 and the election of two board members is critical. If elected, I will work diligently with the other board members to improve communication with the public. I have heard your concerns and I too am troubled by many of the same things.
To that end, I am endorsing and supporting the candidacy of my friend and former student, Scot Mondore, who also has decided to run for a seat on the school board. Scot and I are joining forces and intend to canvas the school district in the days ahead. We hope to meet as many residents as possible so that on May 19 you have a deeper understanding of our positions and our goals. We have no hidden agenda, our only desire to bring fresh ideas and representation to benefit our students and our community. We want to be your voice and your sounding board on issues that affect us all.
Residents of Richfield Springs Central School need to rally and vote on May 19. Mark your calendar now. Whether I win or lose, my fervent hope is that there will be a record turnout of voters to tell the administration and board of education how our district residents wish to proceed.
I will no longer be writing articles for The Mercury on future board of education meetings until after the election, but I will continue to extol the students’ efforts at our school through photos and articles.
It would be an honor for Scot Mondore and me to have your confidence and your vote on May 19.
Bruce S. Watson