Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sammy, School Board, and Election Day Reflections

I’ve looked up to Sammy Frame for as long as I can remember.  Literally and figuratively.  He’s 14 inches taller than me.  He was always one of the tallest, and I was always one of the shortest.  We’ve been kids, teenagers, and adults together, and Sammy has always been a good guy.  He just is.  

I’ve always looked up to him because of his character and his intelligence.  If you know me, then you probably know that admitting someone is smarter than I am is not easy for me.  But, with regards to my husband, it’s true.  He beat me on the SAT’s (Yes, I still remember the margin.).  I may not have liked it, but I respected it.  Now, I get to work with him, to make high-level, hard, leadership decisions on a team with him, and I am still a bit in awe of his brain.

Today, I voted for someone else to take his place on Powhatan’s School Board.  As Sammy’s term comes to an end, I am reflecting on his short tenure in elected office.  Once again, I find myself looking up to him.

Sammy ran for School Board, because he wants to be an agent of justice in his world, and because he cares passionately about his county and his kids’ education.  I’ve always been at work/church or home with the kids during the School Board meetings; I’ve never seen him in action.  But I’ve seen the behind-the-scenes work and heard the after-meeting reflections.  All of it has further increased my respect for him. 

Sammy is the kind of thoughtful, intelligent person we need in elected office.  Some of the issues are complex, and a brain like his that can absorb, sort, synthesize, and analyze lots of information is key to success. 

Part of leadership in any realm is making hard decisions.  Rarely is it making decisions between something good and something bad; those are easy decisions.  Many of the issues before our boards are complex and costly.  Sammy’s abilities to see the big picture from multiple vantage points, to appreciate the complexity, and still to be able to discern what is right have, in my very biased opinion, made him an asset to our county.

And he’s still a good guy, and we need good guys (and girls) leading us.  Men and women of composure, character, and respect are vital for the kids of difficult, constructive conversations that are necessary to move our county forward.  Hyperbole, temper tantrums, name calling, and backstabbing are not what we want or need to see or hear in our leaders.  Unfortunately, it’s what we get too often. 


Tonight, I look forward to learning who will lead our county forward.  I look forward to having my husband home (a little) more often.  I’ll keep looking up to the man I’ve looked up to most of my life.