The fourth installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across the state brings us to the West Chester Area School District.
Peggy Schmitt is running for school director in region 2 of the West Chester Area School District, located in Chester County. She is a registered Libertarian (though nominated as a Republican) and a practicing dentist.
Why are you running for school board?
“School closures during Covid opened the eyes of so many parents, including my own. Remote learning was a disaster and led to widespread depression and mental health issues. It was then that I knew I had to step up and help. I’m a busy dentist with two active teenage daughters. However, I knew I could find extra time in my schedule to run for the board in hopes of having a seat at the decision-making table.”
What are the most important issues facing your district?
“The most important issues facing our district include academic decline, curriculum concerns, implementing a stronger disciplinary policy, and the need for students and teachers to feel safe when at school.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
“I am a graduate of the Temple University School of Dentistry and have been practicing general dentistry in Delaware for the last 30 years. I have repeatedly been voted Top Dentist by Delaware Today Magazine. I am also a published author, and my work has been cited in multiple journals for dental professionals. As a registered Libertarian, I will bring a unique and much needed liberty-leaning perspective to the school board.”
Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
“Yes, I have! I hold the record for the most votes received by a Libertarian candidate in the state of Delaware when I ran for the United States Congress in 1992. In addition, I also ran for the Delaware House of Representatives in 1996.”
Are you running with other candidates?
“Yes, I am running alongside four other candidates in West Chester. We are all supported by Back to Basics West Chester. Our platform consists of six pillars: school safety, academic excellence, fiscal accountability, transparency, parents as partners in their child’s education, and keeping politics out of the classroom. Back to Basics candidates will fight hard to improve academic excellence, ensure parents have more say in what happens in their children’s education, demand transparency during school board discussions, demand fiscal accountability, and remove politics from the classrooms.”
What is the most important role of the school board in your opinion?
“As a Libertarian, I want to see the state and federal government’s involvement in K-12 public education reduced drastically. We should strongly resist governmental control over our children, especially challenging what goes into their minds. I will work to significantly reduce the over $300 million annual budget, ensuring it’s not laden with waste and instead focus on the right expenditures like paying our teachers competitive salaries.
“School policies must be overhauled, returning to the basics and taking politics out of the curricula. We should teach students how to think and not what to think. I will also oversee the superintendent, carefully ensuring she/he remains steadfast in their constitutional obligations to the students and citizens in the district.”
We contacted the Democratic and Republican committees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties and asked them to share the questions with their school director candidates. Broad + Liberty will post the responses throughout the summer to assist voters in learning about the candidates running in their district. The series is open to any school director on the ballot in November. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty