BYRON – The Byron School Board on Monday reaffirmed its support for the addition of Carrie Delaney as the seventh member of the school district’s governing body after discussing some concerns that had been raised about her within the community. .
The board initially nominated and approved Delaney out of a pool of eight candidates at a previous meeting. Following Monday’s discussion of the concerns that had been raised, five of the current school board members voted in favor of Delaney becoming the final member. One member, Harvey Bergh, abstained in the vote.
The concerns that were reported to the school board centered on some controversial online posts Delaney had “liked” that were posted by her husband. They focused on topics like the pandemic and other politicized issues and public figures, like American soccer player Megan Rapinoe.
“There are things I’ve done and said in my past that if taken out of context people would tell me I’m not fit to sit on this board either,” said Matt Prigge, Board Member. “I think we have a great candidate who understands the needs for diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Prigge went on to say that Delaney’s husband is a 20-year veteran and the family specifically moved to Byron for the benefit of their child with special needs.
“I think someone who is willing to do this to take care of their child will probably take care of other people and their children as well,” he said.
Several other board members have also spoken out on the matter, generally showing their support for Delaney. Board chairman Craig Fuchs said Delaney’s perspective as a mother of a child with special needs would be a welcome addition to the board.
In her application, Delaney identified staffing as one of the issues facing the district and suggested potential solutions such as incentive programs or hiring clinics. Another question in the application was about his vision for the district. She replied:
“To ensure that our children’s education helps them succeed in all situations, while our learning experiences are inclusive of all students. Make sure no one falls through the cracks.
Delaney fills a position vacated by former board member Sharon Kreitinger, who stepped down to focus more on her professional obligations. Delaney said she plans to run for the job once the temporary appointment ends later this year.
Delaney said she and her husband moved to Byron specifically for the educational needs of their 10-year-old son. They lived in Rochester but decided to move when Rochester Public Schools embarked on distance education. Delaney said at the time that Byron was not accepting open applications for his son’s degree, so they decided to sell their house and move out altogether.
After Monday’s meeting, Delaney briefly addressed the concerns herself, urging the community to get to know her and find out what drives her.
“It was a really tough time for my husband with PTSD,” Delaney said of the online posts. “He and I don’t always have to agree on things, but he has no ill will towards the LGBTQ community in any way. He wants to be included. He fights this battle with me all the time. And I think some things were taken out of context. I really do.”