STEVENSVILLE — The Lakeshore teachers union voted almost unanimously to endorse Trustee Scott Allan and Lori VonKoenig for two open school board seats in November, according to Sean Schroeder, president of the union.
Schroeder said the votes were cast after the union hosted a public candidate forum last week, with almost all of the union’s 170 members voting. He said more than 80 percent of teachers in the district are members of the union.
He said there was no formal discussion by union members after the forum.
“We listened to the candidates and members made their decision individually,” said Schroeder, an economics and broadcasting teacher at Lakeshore High School.
He said members who were unable to attend the forum could watch it live or later on the LHS Auditorium YouTube channel, where it is still available to be viewed.
Schroeder said the union decided to make the forum available to everyone.
“I think it’s important not just for teachers to see it, but for other members of the community to have the opportunity to see it,” he said. “I think it’s good to be as transparent as possible and learn as much as you can about candidates in any election. Anything like that should be public.”
Union members also endorsed Trustee Bill Scaletta, who is running unopposed for a partial four-year term.
Schroeder said it’s apparent the candidates represent two groups of parents that have different views about public education.
“I truly believe that one group has the best interests of public education at heart, and I’m not so sure the other one does,” he said. “I think the other one has various interests, not all of which are for public education.”
Schroeder said he believes public education should strive to improve teacher quality, keep students safe and not exclude students for any reason.
In the November election, Allan and VonKoenig are facing Holly Goodline and Joe Helms, who are endorsed by We the Parents, a political action committee that pledges to respect the rights of parents and to “remove all forms of sexual, racial, political and gender indoctrination” from area schools.
Allan, VonKoenig and Scaletta were endorsed by For the Love of Lakeshore, a PAC formed to fight recall attempts against school board President Jason Beckrow and Trustee Rachel Wade and to “advocate for candidates in the November election who align with our guiding principles,” which includes putting students first and acknowledging the diversity of students’ lived experiences.