I decided to run as a School Director for the West Chester Area School District after friends suggested I would be a good candidate.

Community members know that I am a caring and compassionate individual and that I am expressly interested and dedicated to education and development. As a former special education teacher and later a learning and development specialist, I spent my career teaching and mentoring both children and adults.

Additionally, I grew up in the West Chester community. Three generations of my family, including my own three children, have all been educated in West Chester schools. All of us received a strong education foundation, and consequently, I am very passionate about building such a foundation.

Anything well constructed begins with a solid foundation. Building a strong academic foundation is the key component to achievement and success. Every parent or guardian of young people should want and insist on a strong foundation for their children. After all, they are only children for a short period of time and will be adults for most of their lives. If you don’t give them that foundation in their young years, they cannot make up for that time.

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In addition to teaching special education and my training in school administration, I’ve had many memorable and diverse board member roles with General Electric, Hammermill Paper, Penn Lakes Girl Scouts Council, and Edinboro University while residing in Erie. Locally, I had additional board member responsibilities at Holy Trinity Church and the Uptown Entertainment Alliance for the establishment of the Knauer Theater of Performing Arts. Volunteering and giving back to my community has always been important to me, which is why I am not running for school board for political gain. I am retired and comfortable right here in the town I love.

My experience after declaring my candidacy has been eye opening and surprising. I had the opportunity to connect with many from the West Chester community. I listened to concerns that some have about the current state of our schools and taxes. I believe we have a good school district; however, there is room for improvement.

During some of my interactions, I had several people ask me about my position on things like book banning, critical race theory (CRT), and transgender issues. Three young, white women with toddlers asked me about where I stood on CRT. Where does CRT fit in the grand scheme of things, such as academic growth and development? The most important thing is to give your child a well-balanced educational foundation in the areas of reading, writing, and arithmetic. It made me wonder what their real motivation was for asking me my position on these topics.

During the primary last week, I met some very nice, approachable people. However, there were some people that simply perplexed me. While visiting the voting sites, I introduced myself to all the volunteers at both the Democratic and Republican tables. When I introduced myself to one of the opposing candidate’s relatives, I was treated rudely. I certainly understand there is competition and we are running against one another, however, as adults, I do not understand a lack of civility. 

At one location, I did spend multiple hours working next to the opposition, and they were cordial. At the end of the night, I was told by one of our volunteers that someone referred to me as a “right wing extremist.” Thankfully, I did meet and interact with some very kind people who were willing to hear my thoughts before labeling or judging me.

I am hopeful that in November, voters will take the time to learn about the candidates and what each brings to the table.

The primary left me with feelings of both accomplishment and frustration. The school board is technically not a political position. Connecting with people on the streets of West Chester and at the polls was very enlightening and at times gratifying. I appreciated the honesty, the pleasantries, and civil adult interactions.

However, the voting process was eye-opening to me. It revealed a commitment to party politics that I was naively unaware of. As an African-American who was born and raised in West Chester, I know many people and their families. I expected that people who knew my family would be willing to listen to me and hear about my platform. Yet, that was not the case. When they realized I was running against the endorsed Democratic candidates, they were no longer willing to talk with me or even consider voting for me.

I observed quite a bit of aggressive and somewhat hostile behavior by Democratic committee people who, in no uncertain terms, told voters who to vote for. Whatever happened to freedom of choice and making your own decisions as adults? Asking for help is one thing, but being told what to do is a whole different level. I believe in encouraging people to speak for themselves and make their own choices or decisions, not to coerce them.

When I decided to step up and run, I sincerely believed my community would be interested in my platform and what I had to say. What I learned during my primary education is that if I had a (D) behind my name, the majority of West Chester Borough residents would have supported me fully. Yet, without that (D), they not only dismissed me but also judged me as being someone that I am not. 

Thankfully, being a trained Reiki Master has altered my approach to life and how I productively deal with difficult people. I am not angry about their actions, but I am disappointed. I have higher expectations for our West Chester community members. I am hopeful that in November, voters in the West Chester Area School District will take the time to learn about the candidates and what each brings to the table. Maybe then, they will vote their conscience to do what is right for our children and teachers.

Nick Spangler is a graduate of the West Chester Area School District, a former special education teacher, and a retired learning development specialist. He is a licensed massage therapist and reiki master, a father to three children, and a grandfather to four granddaughters.

7 thoughts on “Nick Spangler: My primary education”

  1. Dude, it’s polls. Also, you chose to run on a slate with extremist candidates run by public school hater Beth Rosica, so the response you’re getting is deserved.

    1. Molly, you proved his point with your comment. What exactly is an “extremist candidate”. Growing up I was told to “not judge a book by its cover” but you, and it seems others, have done that to Mr Spranger. All because he has an R next to his name and not a D. What about listening to what he has to say before judging him and others with an R next to their names? From this article it seems as though Mr Spranger has a level head about him and I’d love to hear more of what he has to say. He seems very dedicated to his family and community. Isn’t that who you want as a representative for your Children’s and communities schools? I know that’s what I want.

    2. Molly, I think you made Nicks point. Have you met the other candidates? Talked to them about their position? For that matter, have you met Beth? Do you know her position on public schools? I do know her position, first hand. She does not hate public schools. Quite the contrary, she understands their importance. Given her career and experience, she likely appreciates public schools at a more detailed and researched level than you.

  2. Most people are nice and focused on the immediate daily challenges in their lives. They think it is rude to tell people their ideas are crazy. Then we have a subset of people searching for meaning in their lives running around identifying themselves as oppressed and as victims. They include mentally ill people (for example the adult men who like to pretend becoming a woman is simply a matter of lipstick, clothes, and accessories) who leverage most other people’s agreeableness into a validation of their mentally ill perspectives and meaning of life. But it is never enough for them – so they march into the children’s section of the library, or into a Dodger’s baseball game to mock nun’s (actual women who serve the poorest among us), or into your child’s classroom via the curriculum. Political correctness has morphed to create a culture of insanity. The far Left is made up of bullies, like Molly, that are rude. If you want to save your children, it is time to stand up to these crazy people who want to validate themselves by brainwashing your children to believe in their narrative of foolishness.

  3. Welcome to the party, Pal. Democrats posing as free amd liberal minded thinkers are the new wannabe fascists to stamp out individual thoughts.

    Meanwhile, hard right conservatives argue the correct principles, but want to burn the world down in absence of absolutism.

    You’re upset because adults aren’t acting like adults? Grow up. We are besieged by Americans who don’t believe in America or Western values despite centuries of evidence of success. Communism is winning.

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