OPINION: Vote Brewer, Turner-Badgero for Dowagiac school board

Published 4:00 pm Saturday, October 15, 2022

This is the season of political ads, most of them negative, and most focusing on national and regional campaigns.  It is wise, however, to consider local campaigns which can have the most lasting impact on the future of our children—school board races.

In Dowagiac, there are three seats available and six candidates.  I support Brent Brewer and Kristyn Turner-Badgero. 

I have lived in Dowagiac almost all my life and have volunteered at Justus Gage for about 10 years.  I graduated from DUHS in a class of over 200, when Dowagiac’s population was about 7,000.  This year’s class was about 100, with the city population of about 5,600.

Life changes and we must prepare our students for a future where nothing is certain but change.  Students cannot succeed in tomorrow’s global economy with an education that prepares them for the world of 1980.  I strongly believe in post-secondary education, whether that is a bachelor’s or graduate degree, a 2-year degree, a certification, or a recognized apprenticeship.  I want this for all our students.

Sadly, in 2018-2019, DUHS ranked in the bottom 50 percent of the state on a variety of metrics.  I had a conversation recently with Mr. Brewer, whose dream is that Dowagiac become a School of Choice destination.  With the city’s continued loss of population, this may be the primary way to increase enrollment.  But with lagging statistics, this will be a hard sell.

For whatever reason, Dowagiac schools have not been succeeding.  I believe some changes in leadership may be in order.  Brent has experience through several different positions at Southwestern Michigan College; Kristyn has a strong educational background in Dowagiac and business experience in her current position at Honor Credit Union.

Both individuals would serve Dowagiac Schools well and I support them.


Diane Barrett-Curtis