In a few weeks, voters in Fort Dodge and elsewhere in north central Iowa will go to the polls to select the members of local school boards.
Being a school board member is not for the faint of heart.
The issues these boards must confront are immensely challenging. They are also frequently contentious. There are very few things that Americans care about more than the education of their children. New board members learn quickly that just as the students who attend our schools are required to do significant homework, so too must they.
The quality of an area's schools has an enormous impact on economic development. Businesses seeking to expand or relocate pay close attention to the quality of the schools that will serve their workers' children. Consequently, a school board election affects even those people who don't have children or grandchildren in local schools. They should recognize that the success of those educational institutions could turn out to be very important to their own well-being.
Preparing young people to be men and women of character who have the knowledge and skills to keep our society vibrant is crucial to the future of every community.
Anyone who thinks school board elections are local contests of little importance to them is making a huge mistake.
The quality of the school system is among the most important factors that influence a community's long-term prospects. School board members play a critical role in determining whether or not local schools measure up. When voters select high-caliber school board members they help ensure the schools that shape the community's children will be first-rate.
The candidates who choose to stand for election to these vital posts deserve our admiration and thanks. These public-spirited volunteers perform an immensely important function that will help shape tomorrow.
The Messenger salutes those area residents who have offered themselves as candidates. We urge our readers to follow the campaigns closely so they can vote wisely on Election Day.