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Meet the Candidates: Ron Atwater

Republican running for the Board of Education.

Name: Ron Atwater

Age: 52

Party, Position Seeking: Republican, Board of Education.

Family: Married, a father.

Occupation: Case Manager with the Chrysalis Center.

Political Experience: Former Co-chair of the Human Relations Committee.

Other experience: I ran for the Board of Education in 2009 as well. Co-chair of the Manchester chapter of NAMI.

Why did you run for office? 

First, my daughter had a racially tinged incident with one of her teachers and the way it was handled left me and my family dissatisfied with the school system. And secondly, the angry reaction the Superintendent, the Teachers Union and the Board of Ed had regarding information the Equity Director Diane Clare Kearny reported on and cited about why some students learn differently than others. Both incidences were handled poorly and I saw a real need for a whole different persepective. 

If elected, what would be your primary areas of focus?

School safety, I would invite the Guardian Angels into our school system to evaluate our needs and our strengths, and to train volunteers from our community  to make up a Manchester chapter of the Guardian Angels. The Guardian Angels have a proven track record of resolving gang problems in schools and to inform about cyber bullying. 

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Manchester today? 

Regarding the BOE, I think we need better leadership. There just hasn't been any. I think "bi-partnership" has been a favorite buzzword a lot of people in both parties like to throw around and there's been a lot of talk about how successful the Board has been due to bi-partnership but I just don't see it. If bi-partnershi has been why there's been zero leadership, increased violence in our schools, growing underachievement, backward thinking policies and adminstrative malaise, then I would say bipartinship has been a complete and utter failure. I want no part continuing that kind of failed leadership. I think people want elected officials to work together towards something real, to actually improve the school environment, not to promote empty ideas and nice sounding catchphrases. I will work together with the other members but I'm not going to stand for the failed same old same old. 

What skills do you have that you could bring to the community?

I'm an active listener, I problem solve, I mediate. I can step back and see all sides of an argument and work towards a solution. I'm opinionated and outspoken. I won't settle for nothing less than the best for our kids.

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