As a candidate for Trustee for Coeur d’Alene School District Trustee #271 for Zone Two, I understand the immense responsibility that comes with the role. Trustees have a broad range of duties, impacting everything from hiring school personnel to selecting curricula and approving extracurricular activities. We hold the power to shape the educational experiences of all the students in our district.

The term “Trustee” means someone who can be relied upon and trusted to carry out specific duties. In estate law, Trustees are tasked with administering a Trust according to its terms and owe a duty of fiscal responsibility and fidelity to the beneficiary of the Trust they administer. This duty is so important that any Trustees who fail in this duty – for example, if they use their position to benefit themselves or fail to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries – can be held personally liable for their failures. 

While a school board trustee does not have this same level of personal liability, the term Trustee is used because the same ideals apply. The voters who elect a school board Trustee have the right to expect that individual to live up to the highest standards of dedication and integrity in serving the school district. 

There are a lot of people invested in the success of our school district. Our residents are invested in terms of the property taxes they pay to support our schools, even if they don’t have any children who attend. The school faculty and staff are invested as they dedicate their time and careers to the institutions they serve. Parents are invested in the district, entrusting their children to the guidance and instruction of the teachers and staff. And, of course, the students are invested, trusting that they will receive a quality education that will prepare them for success later in life. 

A school board trustee must earn and validate the trust of all of these stakeholders, and this belief is at the core of my candidacy. Given my views on the gravity of the position, my decision to run for Trustee was not taken lightly. After much prayer and many discussions with my wife, we decided running for this position was the right thing to do, acknowledging that it would require a significant commitment of time and effort. I am running because I am committed to improving this school district, and my wife and I believe that being on the school board is the most effective avenue for achieving this goal. 

My experience has prepared me well to serve as a trustee. I am financially literate, having worked in banking for over a decade. I have been extensively involved in the Coeur d’Alene community and in supporting our schools, particularly through several organizations I have been a member or leader of, such as the Coeur Group, EXCEL Foundation, and the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce. These roles have involved both hands-on work as well as fiscal management.  

For our schools, I believe in prudent budgeting that prioritizes educational resources while being mindful of taxpayers’ hard-earned money. My experience in financial planning and management has equipped me with the skills needed to make informed decisions with a firm focus on programs and projects that will directly benefit our students.

I also have a very personal investment in our schools. My wife and I have two children who attend schools in this district, and, more than anything else, we want their educational experience to be enriching, positive, and joyful. We want this for all the children who attend our public schools. I am committed to creating a learning experience that prepares our students for the challenges they will face in the future. Those challenges will be greater than those we faced when we were their age. Accordingly, being content with the status quo is not enough.

Character matters in a trustee. And integrity is not just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental requirement. The trust of our community is not something to be assumed but earned through transparency, accountability, and unwavering commitment to the best interests of our students. I pledge to approach every decision with the utmost integrity, always putting the well-being of our students first. I will listen to your concerns, provide clear justifications for my decisions, and hold schools and school superintendents accountable for the quality of education our children receive.

The decisions of the school district trustees can profoundly influence the lives of students and their families. Our choices will shape the educational journey of all the children in the district, impacting their academic and social development. The trust of parents, teachers, and the community is not just a formality; it’s a bond that must be forged through actions demonstrating an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Earning trust is not always easy, but it is essential. It requires transparency in decision-making, active engagement with all stakeholders, and a genuine commitment to doing what is right, even when faced with difficult choices. It means valuing diverse perspectives and working collaboratively to find solutions that benefit everyone.

As we approach the upcoming election, please consider the importance of trust in voting for a school district trustee. If you want someone who will listen to your concerns, justify his decisions, and hold our schools and school personnel accountable for the education our children receive, then I humbly ask for your vote. Together, we can ensure that our schools provide our students with the best possible learning experience, empowering them to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Please vote for Jimmy McAndrew for School District Trustee #271 for Zone Two on November 7, 2023.

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