JOANNA COMMANDER FOR NORTH SHORE BOE
Christine Abbenda Hughes
May 6, 2014
To the editor:
I am writing in support of Joanna Commander’s candidacy for North Shore School Board
Trustee. Our district is very fortunate that Ms. Commander is running for the Board, as her
experience and background establish that she is a strong believer in public education, an
accomplished negotiator, and sensitive to the needs of many different groups in our community.
She has the experience that that comes from dedicating one’s life to educating children, the fiscal
perspective of a retiree, and a common-sense approach to our responsibilities to each other.
In her many leadership positions, Ms. Commander has taken on controversial issues such as drug
use among high school students in her former school district and eating disorders among female
high school athletes. Her approach to these issues was to include and educate all community
members and give them the tools to help change perceptions and behaviors. She is highly
effective at bringing communities together and finding the point where consensus can be
achieved. I believe this approach will be extremely valuable in working through the many issues
that face the North Shore School District.
Ms. Commander has great knowledge of the educational challenges facing our district including
state-mandated educational requirements and assessments. At the recent “Meet the Candidates
Night” Ms. Commander eloquently pointed out that our children are not commodities; she will
take this position as our district battles to regain local control.
As a retiree living in the district, Ms. Commander brings to the Board of Education the
perspective of someone living on a set income. She is keenly aware of the fiscal challenges
facing our district and is sensitive to keeping the tax burden reasonable.
In conclusion, Ms. Commander has a demonstrated passion for service, is skilled in working
with people through difficult issues, has a commitment to high quality public education, and has
experience managing large school budgets. I ask that you join me in voting for her on May 20,