Letter: Massachi will highlight students’ voices

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Miri Massachi will be a fresh, caring, effective voice on the Asheville City Board of Education. Most importantly, she will highlight the voices of our students.

I write this endorsement as a teacher in higher education in Western North Carolina for the past two decades who recognizes the intense struggles our education system faces. I also served on a charter school board as a member and president. During these years, I’ve had the pleasure to know Miri as a fellow PTO member, board member, instructor, parent and friend.

What makes Miri’s candidacy unique and important is that as a board member, she will fight to include and highlight the students’ ideas and voices. The students’ needs, wants and ideas count and should be heard. I’ve watched Miri parent, teach and lead in ways that encourage the independence, strengths, growth and respect of all children. As an instructor of pre-K to eighth grade, Miri has hands-on experience on both sides of the classroom: inside with the students and teachers, and outside the classroom walls as a PTO member, board member of the Jewish Community Center and parent.  She is beloved by students, teachers and administrators alike. Because she is intelligent, thoughtful, strong and independently minded, she can see problems, potentials and strengths from multiple sides.

Miri has been and will be an immensely strong advocate for teachers, and in these trying times, we need board members to strongly advocate for our teachers, particularly regarding wage increases, especially given the high cost of living in our area. She will also fight for supporting teachers’ autonomy and voices in decision-making. Miri understands that if teachers are not happy and cared for, our children will not receive the educational experience they deserve.

Miri’s passion in life has been helping children learn and advocating for children. In addition to teaching, Miri has raised three wonderful children who have learned in our school system. She cares deeply that all children receive an education that works for them. Miri’s philosophy is to always make room for and allow children to be who they truly are, actualize their potential and to have a listened-to voice in all things that deeply affect their lives.

On a personal note, Miri is a bright, positive, caring light in our community. She always puts others’ interests ahead of her own. She is running not out of ego but to enhance the learning environments of our schools so that students and staff can thrive more. She will work tirelessly toward achieving needed goals that will benefit our children, teachers, staff and administrators. She is an avid learner who will dive into the issues without preconceived notions and nonjudgmentally. She never shies away from unfamiliar challenges. Please consider giving her your vote. With Miri’s leadership on the board, students and school employees will be in excellent hands.

— Yael Baldwin


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