Region 3 - Greenwich & Albany Townships/Lenhartsville Borough
Contact Us Today:
P.O. Box 223, Lenhartsville, PA 19534
-Public School Teacher of 20 Years
- Improve Transparency and Accountability
-Build Parent-Teacher Relationships
- Promote High Standards for Curriculum and Content
My name is Dan Wismer, and I am running for School Director in Region 3 Albany and Greenwich Townships and Lenhartsville Borough. I am a Republican and seeking the Republican nomination.
I have lived in Kutztown School District for 14 years with my wife and 3 children who all are attending or graduated from KASD. I was raised in Bucks County and attended Shippensburg University where I received my degree in education. I am currently in my 20th year teaching science at a public school in the Lehigh Valley.
In 2021, I first began attending school board meetings after morning announcements were made to my youngest child in Greenwich Elementary that felt age inappropriate, ultimately asking students to identify each other by their skin color. The administration only provided the content of the announcements after they were served with a legal Right-to-Know request. This felt wrong and the opposite of transparent.
Upon looking more, I found the Kutztown Equity team had materials posted online to help educate families and their children. One article was titled, No, I Will Not Stop Saying White Supremacy, by Robin DiAngelo. This article asked readers to accept as a simple fact that skin color defines your character, and those with one pigment should feel guilt, while another should feel oppressed.
In the years to follow, also in the name of equity (not equality), I discovered Kutztown had purchased inappropriate books for its library containing graphic, sexual images. After I filed under policy 109 “Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials” in objection to this book, it was narrowly voted to stay in the school library. Explicit and graphic sexual content like the ones from the book in our library called Gender Queer have no place in a taxpayer-funded school library that has finite space. Our system of compulsory education requires the establishment of age-appropriate limitations that reflect a common-sense understanding of the development of children.
More recently, a fiction book about climate change had been planned by certain parts of the administration to be required reading across several subjects, including science, by every middle schooler. Unfortunately, the running themes clearly asked the reader to participate in actions that traditionally lead to negative outcomes. These themes asked middle school readers to disassociate with those of a higher economic status and attempts at placing guilt on readers if they don’t attempt to actively change the mind of those who disagree with them. This includes the necessary step to break ties with even parents if they do not agree with the notion climate change is solely that of human origin. It also frames older generations as out-of-touch and those with white skin as domineering and of only ill intent and for readers to identify those around them by their skin color. Despite the request, no effort was made by the staff to provide an alternative view of man-made climate change and how to respond. Our students were robbed of the opportunity to be presented with two sides of an issue, evaluate the viewpoints and come to their own conclusion.
The role of the public school system is to promote materials emphasizing educational excellence, value, and standard--all of which are designed for positive student outcomes. Even if it is a fiction book, materials should ask a reader to recognize the bad, but also see the good. These materials should ask students to look at what we have in common in our shared humanity--not what divides us. Relationships are some of the most stabilizing forces students have in their lives. Mandatory school readings should promote students to value and work at relationships and in general promote POSITIVE outcomes for students.
To maintain the educational status of this great Nation, we need to promote critical thinking in its truest sense to develop higher level thinking skills. When examining social issues in relevant classes appropriate to age, using established narratives or a political stance as a starting point robs students of learning how to think--directing them only in what to think. This also means top down curriculum and content designed explicitly or implicitly to promote adherence to a particular political ideology must be rejected.
My opposing candidate Charles Brown of Region 3 is supported by an organization called Kutztown Organized for Educational Equity (KOFEE). Recently they created a campaign image of all their supported candidates, including Brown, declaring “KASD SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT YOUR FREEDOM TO READ.” Let’s be clear – any book not found in the limited space in a public school library or not made mandatory reading does NOT equate to a ban. I believe it is the responsibility of caring adults to enforce age appropriate limits. Teachers and administrators are obligated to do this as parental stand-ins. Parents who want their children to have unlimited access are free to visit the public library.
Any and all access to curriculum materials, resources and school announcements that are within school walls should be open and accessible to parents. Secrets have NO place in the classroom.
As a teacher, the bedrock of my success is my commitment to an open line of communication with parents to create a cohesive team with the same goal. Parents need to be partners in their children’s education. I believe my unique perspective will provide insight and balance to issues this district is facing, without compromising who we are as a community. This means keeping the classroom a neutral place for learning where all ideas are presented without the promotion of one group at the expense of another. We need caring practices and policies that treat every student and teacher as individuals who have value and unique needs.
Coming out of COVID shutdowns, I saw so many students negatively impacted and wanted to help. Unfortunately, I did not feel supported by the national teachers union. I saw a pattern of huge increases in dues going to support political candidates, and nothing being done to aid teachers on the front lines to help their students or support each other. They started taking staunch positions on social issues like being pro-abortion and devoting funds specifically to fight anyone who did not agree with them. In 2020, I left the National Educators Association and am now a representative for Christian Educators where I am truly encouraged, equipped, connected to other teachers, and supported on a daily basis to come alongside my students and peers.
The educational deficits created during COVID are far reaching and must continue to be actively addressed to close the learning gaps that were created.
I believe in meeting financial needs responsibly with careful, data driven examination. Diligent hands bring wealth.
As School Director in Region 3, I will be committed to working to address the issues our district is facing. As a teacher, I have always valued my role as a public servant. As an elected official, I will do the same.
-Daniel Y. Wismer