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Letters to the Editor

Backing Kemper for school board

I am writing in response to John Upton’s letter to the editor opposing Lauri Kemper’s candidacy for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Trustees.

I feel qualified to have an opinion on events involving the district, because I have been a resident of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District since 1959 and have three very successful children who received their entire K-12 education in the district. I taught for 30 years at South Tahoe High School, and I was an active member of South Lake Tahoe’s teachers association, serving as president for one year.

I have known and have respected for many years both John Upton and Lauri Kemper. Reading John Upton’s letter to the editor opposing Lauri Kemper, I felt he was making many unfounded assumptions both of the intentions of the teachers association and of Lauri Kemper.

Having been involved in many evaluations of candidates for school board, I know the first consideration of the teachers association is not, “Will the candidate support teacher issues?”, but rather, “Is the candidate familiar with the district history and operations enough to make informed decisions?”

An equally important consideration is: Does the candidate have the ability and the desire to consider all sides of an issue and make an independent decision, based not on what the school administration, or other board members, or the teachers association thinks is proper, but on what the facts of the case say is proper and best for the good of the children?

Several years ago, I told Lauri that I thought she should run for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Trustees. I believed then, as I do now, that among many other sterling qualities, one of her most outstanding qualifications is her ability to be independent and not become the lackey of any group.

John Upton is correct. In the past, we have had board members who were influenced by other affiliations or pressure groups. Lauri Kemper will never be one of those.

Gordon Shirts

South Lake Tahoe

Retired South Tahoe High School social studies teacher


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