educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

My Board of Ed election letter

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I’ve used this space for some different genres, and here’s a hyper-specific one: The school board election letter.

Riverton Board of Education Elections
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Friends and neighbors of Riverton:

I’m Scott Warnock, PhD, and I’m running for re-election to the Riverton Board of Education. I’d like to introduce myself to those of you who do not know me, describe my thoughts about our school and its role in our town, and briefly explain my views about education.

I’ve lived in town for 16 years with my wife (and ancient Rivertonian), Julianne, and our three children: Elizabeth, a first-year student at Drexel University; Nate, a Palmyra High School junior; and Zachary, an eighth-grader at Riverton. I am an English professor and the Director of the University Writing Program at Drexel. My main area of interest is teaching writing with technology, and I have written two books and presented in nearly 20 states about this topic.

I initially joined the Riverton Board in 2004. I am the Board Vice President and a member of the curriculum committee. From 2009 to 2016, I served as the Riverton representative to the Palmyra Board of Education, only stepping down in 2016 so I could help launch the Palmyra High School Foundation for Educational Excellence, better known as PHSFEE. I’ve been President of PHSFEE since its founding.

Many of your children know me through the numerous youth-focused activities I have been part of. I have coached Palmyra Junior Wrestling for 13 years, including 10 years as Head Coach. I have coached more than a dozen Pal-Riv soccer teams since 2004 and am currently Head Coach of the U15 boys, the Dragons. Your older kids may have also encountered me through the annual summer writing workshops for high school students I have conducted at the Riverton Library.

During my 13 years (how can that be?!) on the Riverton Board, I have learned a great deal from my talented veteran colleagues and Superintendent Mary Ellen Eck. I have seen how to navigate the challenges of running an excellent school while being fiscally responsible to Riverton citizens. As a Board Member, I have stood by and supported our administration, which has successfully maintained high levels of academic performance and a nurturing learning environment. I have also interacted with Palmyra to maintain a good public school experience for all our children.

I believe public schools are the cornerstone of a strong, positive community culture. Riverton is great because it has many motivated people who care about where they live and invest their energies in our town. Once citizens’ energies and attentions drift outward, a community’s core withers. When you look around town, you see bright, happy children, and that sends a clear message about the kind of place we live in. If you support the school, you are supporting the broader community. Over the years, I have become convinced of the importance of the K12 public school continuum, and I have worked hard to articulate those views and to connect Riverton and Palmyra’s districts. I will continue to do so.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself. Please know that as a Board Member I’ll work to help our school and our community as I have for the past 13 years. If you want to contact me, you should feel free to do so at swarnock@riverton.k12.nj.us, or we can even meet up for coffee at my favorite spot in town, Orange Blossom Café.

Scott Warnock is a writer and teacher who lives in South Jersey. He is a professor of English at Drexel University, where he directs the University Writing Program. Father of three and husband of one, Scott is on two local school boards and coaches all kinds of youth sports.
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