I am running for the District 202 Board because I love ETHS. It is there that I became devoted to the work of social justice that has been the focus of my professional life.

I owe a great debt to ETHS. I believe that I have unique assets with which to repay that debt. I have two decades of community service, with the Human Relations Commission and the Y.O.U. Board. I am the only candidate for the 202 Board who currently has children at ETHS, and as my co-chair Mayor Tisdahl, a veteran 202 Board member, says, “You learn things at the kitchen table that you don’t hear at the Board table.” Finally, I served four years on the District 65 Board, tackling many of the same academic and fiscal issues facing the 202 Board. With that perspective, I know that we simply must provide our children with a seamless educational experience; for them, it must be as if we were one district.

ETHS faces many challenges, but this is the central one: How do we, given limited resources, help every single student – of every race, ability level, and economic status – achieve their highest academic potential? This challenge is both individual and collective. It is individual because every student has individual learning needs. It is collective because it is the responsibility of all of us – our entire “village” — to ensure that every student is challenged, every student is supported, every student is guided to achieve their potential.

Our children’s education cannot be a zero-sum game, with suggestions that one group of students has a greater claim on our attention than another. This is both morally wrong and empirically false: we have an obligation to all our students, and every one of them needs our attention to achieve his or her potential. As President Obama said earlier this month, “In the 21st century, it’s not enough to leave no child behind. We need to help every child get ahead.”

The greatness of ETHS lies in embracing both equity and excellence. Achieving both is not easy, but the struggle to get there is invaluable. ETHS is, in some ways, a lot like our country: What we love about it most is not what it is necessarily like day-to-day but what we know that it can become.

As your representative on the District 202 Board, I pledge to listen to you, do my homework, ask the tough questions, insist on an open process, and always put the needs of all our students first.

ETHS is the crown jewel of our community. I respectfully ask for your support in helping it shine ever more brightly.

(Please visit my website, www.baum202.org, for more information.)