Fort Mill Times

We support Ciurlik for school board

Voters in Clover School District can choose from two impressive Seat 2 candidates in the Nov. 4 election. We endorse incumbent Sherri Ciurlik.

Ciurlik, who has served one four-year term, is being challenged by Michael Nagy, who works at US Airways and served on the Moon Area Board of Education near Pittsburgh. Both are passionate about education, are equally capable of being strong leaders for our schools and are involved in their communities.

But Ciurlik has proven herself to be a strong, outspoken leader, as she calls herself “the no-filter board member.” Ciurlik wants to see parents charged up about programs, like Rachel’s Challenge, and is willing to blur the lines between activist and seated board member to do so.

She has proven her passion for putting student interests in the forefront, from leading parent organizations and helping with the Pack the Back program that feeds students across the district on weekends and throughout summer. She also works with Rachel’s Challenge to combat bullying in schools, and has been involved in community organizations like Clover Area Assistance Center.

We like that she wants parents involved and that schools should help fuel a partnership, through such ideas as helping parents learn how to use the new school technology – the district’s mobile app and Connected Classroom project devices.

“It’s foreign territory for parents but a tremendous opportunity for students,” she says.

She knows the district needs to tread carefully moving forward financially and be good stewards of our tax dollars. She knows the district and board need to listen to concerns, “rather than trying to justify our actions.”

There is no disguising that the $67 bond referendum passed in the spring divided the communities within the one Clover district. Part of the reason Nagy decided to run is because he is unhappy with the way Ciurlik voted.

He’s concerned about the new bond debt being added to the old bond debt. He’d like to look at less expensive ways to manage growth, for instance through redistricting.

He agreed everything in the bond needed to be done, with the exception of the aquatic center to be run by the YMCA. “It’s double taxation,” he said. Note: He already is a YMCA member.

He’s concerned about a large high school, and the division the vote created between Lake Wylie and Clover.

“We need leadership who can bring Clover School District together,” he said.

While he’s been happy with his children’s education and what the board has done, he wants to move the board to be more forward thinking –“working with the present, controlling the future and learning from and respecting the past.” And, for there to be fewer hoops to jump through when trying to get information about the schools, having himself had to make an FOIA request when researching information.

Both candidates are aware of the district’s greatest challenges: growth and uniting two communities under one district.

While Nagy is fiscally conscious, Ciurlik is an activist. Both are good traits. Both would be assets to our school board. But because Ciurlik has served us well looking out for students, parents and the community, we support her re-election.