Daniels says it’s about experience

Carolyn Daniels, one of the candidates for Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board from Region C, thinks experience in the district is the key to properly representing constituents.

She said her 20 years of living in Chadds Ford Township — which, along with Pennsbury Township makes up the region — along with having four children go through district schools and the fact that she’s been involved in school affairs for years sets her apart from her opponent.

Daniels, 52, is challenging Leticia Flores DeWilde in the Nov. 5 election.

“I have four different children, four children who successfully went through our elementary school, our middle school, our high school, four different learners, equally successful. I would like to see everyone in our district have the same opportunity that we had,” she said.

Her reasons for running include the fact that her children wanted her to, but also because she thinks she represents something useful for the school board at this time.

“As a 20-year resident, a 20-year taxpayer, an active school participant and community member, I feel I bring a voice to not only our region, but to all of the community…In my time in the district, I have seen six principals, three superintendents, two renovations and one redistricting. I feel it is critical to bring this experience to the board because it is looking very likely we will see many again,” she said.

She added that her experience, coupled with experiences from other members of the community, good decisions would be possible “that all of us will feel we have a say in, all of us will feel comfortable.”

Daniels did not specify anything particular that she thinks the board has failed to do or anything it has done that she thinks is wrong. She said that she would have more access to the facts and conversations if she were on the board, and that she would make sure there were open, honest and direct relationships.

“That is what I will be bringing to the board,” she said, “complete transparency. The people have a right to know what’s going on. The board has a right to know what the people want. I see my role as a director as a representative.”

She acknowledged that her opponent has an “outstanding” education and work background, but “I’m not 100 percent sure what contributions she’s made to the community.”

What sets Daniels apart, she said, is her level of involvement in the community and that while she agrees with her opponent that research is important, “Research combined with the community’s perspectives, ideas, feelings and opinions makes a critical difference. And certainly, being involved in the community, involved in the school, I feel that I can represent all of our community, not just a small segment.”

Getting in matters of schoolwork, Daniels said there needs to more study of curriculum changes. She specifically mentioned math curriculum that she’s seen change several times as her four children have gone through district schools.

”My level of involvement, knowing the community because I’m a part of the community a long time and going through each of the schools, I think I’m in a very good position to know how each step enables you to be better prepared for what comes after,” Daniels said.

She added that while trying new things is good, the board should never lose sight of its primary objective of providing the best possible education.

Daniels said she wants complete transparency on the board with open, honest and direct communication between members and residents. She also wants to be accessible to the community so people feel they count and have a say in what matters most to them.

She considers herself to be an independent thinker and a consensus builder.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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