In a field of experienced, capable candidates, Harrington stands out
To the editor:
On Nov. 8, four seats on the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education will be on the ballot. In a field of experienced and capable candidates, several of whom will make excellent board members, one stands out: Erin Harrington. She is currently the Chief Assistant Prosecutor for St. Joseph County. She is unique among all the candidates because of her professional background: Not only is she a lawyer, but she also has a Masters degree in Social Work. She is uniquely suited for the role of a board member who is tasked with leadership and vision for the school district and formulation of board policy to comply with ever-changing laws and requirements. Erin has the background and awareness to recognize the struggles and applaud the successes of the product of our school system — the students.
Erin, the mother of two active boys, is energetic and talented. She has no agenda except the desire to help make our school system, the one that will educate her own children, the best it can be. As prosecutor, Erin must understand and apply the law to allegations of criminal activity presented to her by the police. She must then decide whether or not criminal charges are appropriate. As a social worker, she relies on her education to assess and evaluate all those involved in criminal activity and that knowledge also aids her when she meets with crime victims and witnesses. She is able to hear “between the lines,” and help people open up about their concerns.
Erin communicates effectively and understands the feedback from the people she meets. This listening skill coupled with her knowledge of the law and ability to problem-solve in a patient and measured way makes her a leader who will get things done. She has the drive to reach out to parents and community members, and listen to and partner with other resources in our community. She can research answers to questions and find solutions to problems. She can argue strenuously in support of an issue but at the end of the day, accepts the outcome whether she wins or loses and respects those who did not agree with her. We need more of that.
She expects excellence and thoroughness from herself and the staff at the prosecutor’s office. I am one of those staff members. I know her as a kind, caring and compassionate person who truly wants to make a difference. She will make a difference for all who learn and work in our school system, and she will strive to assure that the community’s view is reflected in the vision for Three Rivers Community Schools — our schools. Please vote for Erin Harrington on Nov. 8.