New Niles board member ‘committed to the kids’

Published 9:31 am Thursday, May 22, 2014

Long time volunteer fills vacant seat

Brent Wright, Niles Community School’s newest member of the board of education, admits that it sounds cliche, but the reason he joined is to help kids.

“I went to Niles and had both good and bad experiences,” said Wright. “I just want to make sure that every kid that goes through there has the opportunity to have a positive experience. I don’t want them to think 30 years later about the bad experience they had at school. I want to make sure it is a good experience.”

Brent Wright

Brent Wright

On Monday, the board of education unanimously appointed Wright to fill the seat vacated when Michael Waldron resigned last month. Wright will serve the remainder of the year.

Wright drives for Canteen for a living, but spends much of his free time coaching youth sports leagues in the area.

Board President Kathy Zeider said that is one reason why the board chose him for the job.

“We were looking for a board member willing to step up and volunteer for our school board,” Zeider said. “He has been a regular volunteer, coach and helper through the system and that was one thing we liked about him.”

Wright was one of three candidates interviewed last week. The others were Leigh Jones, a substitute teacher; and H. Jason Auvil, a planning manager with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

“We had three great candidates so it was tough to choose,” Zeider said. “We are hoping that all three will apply and run in the November election.”

Wright applied for the position because he wanted to be involved in decisions that impact the children of his community.

“A couple years ago some people asked me about running, but I didn’t have the time to devote to the board,” he said. “Now I do.”

While his appointment runs out at the end of the year, Wright said he would run for school board to serve a full term in the upcoming general election.

It is something he has wanted to do for a while.

“I look forward to the support of the people of Niles, the people I’ve been working with and the parents of the kids I’ve been coaching,” Wright said. “My door is always open.”