On Tuesday, November 6, the midterm elections will be held. In West Bloomfield, the race for the School Board includes 4 people campaigning from 3 spots. The candidates are Julie Beaty, Carol Finkelstein, Nelson Hersh, who are incumbents running for re-election, and David Flaisher, the only new challenger.
Carol Finkelstein was elected to the school board in 2011. Currently, she serves as the Vice President and has worked as Treasurer and Secretary of the Board in the past. Finkelstein is running for re-election because she believes “Continuity on the Board is very important as we complete major renovations and security upgrades of every building, construct additions (including the new high school auxiliary gym) and design and build a new middle school.”
Finkelstein’s qualifications include current service on the Board of the Oakland County School Boards Association (OCSBA) and previous service on the Board of West Bloomfield Youth Assistance. She said, “An advocate for children and education, I was responsible for passage of 2 Michigan laws that allow students to self-carry and self-administer their rescue asthma inhaler and epinephrine auto injector…” Finkelstein’s concern for student health stems from her care of her family.
The Finkelsteins have lived in West Bloomfield for over 25 years. Her belief in the excellence of WB schools is shown since her 2 children attended them. In regard to her plans for improvements, Finkelstein said, “I would like our high school to have a later start time. I would like to see extracurricular athletics and marching band count as PE credit. We have many students with health concerns and our district should have a full-time school nurse. The 9th grade mental health curriculum should be expanded to our middle schools.”
Another incumbent, Nelson “Nick” Hersh, is running for re-election. He said, “I want to continue to make a positive difference in the direction our schools are headed.” Hersh’s involvement on the School Board includes 15 years of service, and he has held the positions of President 3 times, Vice President 3 times, with treasurer and secretary twice.
As resident for over 20 years and owner of a business in West Bloomfield, Hersh is devoted to the community and takes pride is his work. He said that students at WBHS will “receive the best education we are able to provide and, upon graduation, will be ready for whatever challenges they face.” Hersh wants students to know that “I am approachable and listen well to their concerns.”
The lone challenger in the race is David Flaisher. He has been a resident of West Bloomfield for 30 years. His belief in the school district is evident since his daughter attended WB schools. Regarding qualifications, Flaisher said, “I am a registered certified public accountant and was the Township Supervisor for 8 years.” He hopes to use the knowledge from his experience as leader of the community to impact the school district.
If elected, Flaisher hopes to “maintain and improve the quality of education in the WB schools, [have] complete transparency in all school district business, … assure the safety of all staff and students in the WB school facilities, and increase the level of assistance available to staff and students having emotional, bullying, and other personal issues.”
Incumbent Julie Beaty, the final candidate, declined to interview.
The job of the School Board is to carry out the Michigan and federal laws relating to education. Their main responsibilities are to hire a superintendent, adopt policies, and adopt a budget. The Board of Education in West Bloomfield plays an active and significant role in the daily life of every student. It is important to keep this in mind as residents head to the polls Tuesday. No matter the political opinion, voting is crucial to ensure every citizen’s voice is heard.