Cape Gazette
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Wilkinson says once is enough on Cape board

Lewis files for re-election
By Melissa Steele | Feb 14, 2014
Courtesy of: Cape Henlopen School District Sara Wilkinson

Sara Wilkinson says one term on Cape Henlopen School Board is enough, and she will not run for re-election in balloting Tuesday, May 13.

No one has yet filed for her at large seat. At press time, Andy Lewis had filed for re-relection to his Area C seat, representing the Lewes area.

The deadline to file to run for either seats is 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Board of Elections in Georgetown.

Candidates for the Area C seat must live within that area, but all Cape Henlopen School District voters can vote for both of the seats.

As for the at large seat, Wilkinson said it's time to let someone else step up.

"I've done the gamut – been a parent, a teacher, administrator and school board member,” she said.

At 70, Wilkinson said, she plans to stay involved. She evaluates schools as a private consultant and is an adjunct professor for Wilmington University, and she has served on various community boards and committees over the years.

“I feel good and do things and all, but I've been involved in the school system for 45 years at some capacity,” she said.

Wilkinson said her greatest achievement serving on the board was preserving the current Milton Elementary School. At one time, she said, there was talk of tearing down the old building that had once served as Milton's high school and later as a junior high.

“I'm glad we were able to save that building,” she said.

For now, Wilkinson said, she is committed to helping pass a referendum for a new elementary school. Voters will go to the polls Wednesday, April 2, to vote on funding for building and operating a new $31 million elementary school planned on Route 24. The cost to an average taxpayer, including operating costs, is estimated at $59 a year in additional taxes.

Although the school would be located off of Route 24, she said, it would benefit both Milton and H.O. Brittingham elementaries by freeing up space at those schools.

The new elementary school, however, is only one piece of a larger plan to address the district's elementary schools. A task force convened a year ago recommended improvements at all four of the district's elementary schools. The board decided to focus on a new elementary and additional classrooms at the middle schools.

After the referendum, however, Superintendent Robert Fulton said the task force may reconvene to address improvements needed at the district's remaining elementary schools.

Balancing the demographics of all schools – particularly the two Milton schools which have diametrically different racial and socio-economic student populations despite lying less than a mile apart – is a top priority for the district, Wilkinson said.

“That really needs to be looked at,” Wilkinson said. “It really is out of balance.”

 

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