2017-11-11 / Editorials & Letters

Letter to Editor: Writer defends Tara Houdeshell


I am a proud ‘94 graduate of Lakewood High School, and have several family members who are graduates, current students, and employees of the school district. Although I now live many miles away from Ohio, I am still privy to the current happenings around Lakewood.

On October 19, your paper chose to publish a letter to the editor that contained libel against a peer of mine - Tara Houdeshell. This past Tuesday, the people of Lakewood chose to rise above the hatemongering and lies and elected Tara to serve on Lakewood’s Board of Education.

Because of her victory, I almost decided against sending this letter, but given that Lakewood is in the midst of a period of turmoil, more letters of this nature may be published by your paper. So I’m compelled to address the gossip head-on, with facts.

Tara has no alliances to the current school board nor any special interest groups, and her only agenda is to put the students first in all her decisions as a board member. ALL students, from all backgrounds and ways of life.

Tara’s entire career has been based on helping students succeed. She served as a Director at both COTC and Muskingum University, leading student service initiatives and admissions advising.

She’s currently being groomed to step into the role of Executive Director of A Call to College, a non-profit organization that works with students from elementary school to high school, helping them prepare for college. Many of these students will be the first in their family to attend an institution of higher learning.

So yes, Tara has the “proven leadership” necessary to do the job and a track record of “putting students first.” Those who voted Tara onto Lakewood’s board know that she will be fair, measured, thoughtful and always coming from a place of putting the students first. She is strong and will not be swayed by politics. She is guided by her own sense of justice and fairness, and yes - love; love for her district and love for the kids of Lakewood.

I don’t know if letters to the editor fall under a category that requires fact-checking, but I do hope that in the future, this newspaper will do its due diligence before publishing gossip and lies and spreading hate into the community. Goodness knows we could all use a little more positivity these days.

Charity (Babcock) Jedeikin

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