Sandy Heath Weisbrot is one of four Democrat/Republican candidates running for New Hope-Solebury School Board. She lives on Upper Mountain Road in Solebury with her husband, three kids (a pair of daughters and a son), and three dogs (a chocolate Lab, black Lab, and English springer spaniel). With a BS in exercise science, Weisbrot “works out at the gym to stay sane” in her spare time.
And what made her decide to run for office? “My father was on the school board for 11 years, and he’s now a supervisor,” she replied. “My family has been very dedicated to service and giving back to the community; I’ve always been taught that. I’ve coached, my father coached, my grandfather was at every event at the school videotaping…so that’s where I’ve come from. And I’ve spoken to my father many times about the school board, and he said, ‘Sandy, you’ve got to do it. I know it’s tough with three little kids, I get it,’ and I said ‘Okay, let me think about it.’ I talked to my husband and he was completely behind me, saying, ‘Let’s do this.'”
In terms of what she hopes to accomplish if elected, Weisbrot said, “I think that what I bring to the table is the sense of community in this area. There are no alumni on the board right now, my family has a deep history in this town, we are out in the community, we know the members, I know a lot of the teachers — some of them taught me, some of them taught my brother or sister — so there’s a lot of history there. And I want to bring that to the school, but I also want to bring moving forward in a fiscally responsible way, making sure the children get the best education — all of the kids: the gifted, the special needs, the average — all of them get the best education possible, better than I did.”
While acknowledging that much of the school district’s budget is fairly fixed, with large expenses like interest payments on debt relatively inflexible, Weisbrot believes that,”You need to make what you have work more efficiently.”
She also thinks that more harmonious relations between board members is a worthwhile and achievable goal. “I think you need to respect the opinions of everyone, and I think the respect and the trust between the school board and the community members needs to be brought back.
“Not to toot my father’s horn, but he was out in the community, he understood what the community wanted, and respected them, and respected the administration, and taught me you’ve got to get out into the community. I coach T-ball, soccer, basketball…I volunteer at the school every week for the lunch recess…I’m there all the time. I try to mingle with the kids and get to know them. Every time I go, I look around and think ‘this is why I’m doing it.’ It has nothing to do with me; it has everything to do with the kids and their future,” Weisbrot said.
“I think the teachers are great, and we kind of need to let them do their job, and make sure they’re able to do it to their best ability,” she continued. “And add more AP classes in the high school, giving them more of a challenge and helping them be better able to compete with surrounding schools and get into even better colleges.
“I feel like I’ve lived in this area my whole life, and I’ve walked through those hallways. I had a great experience. I hope my children and their friends have the same, if not better experience, and that’s the bottom line. I really love this school system, and that’s why I’m doing it.”