In its District 200 school board endorsement editorial, Wednesday Journal writes of my colleague Fred Arkin: “Not endorsing Fred Arkin is a hard choice. This is more like leaving a talented player off the playoff roster than in any way diminishing his talent or passion for the work of the high school.”

With all due respect to the prospective newcomers to the school board, I want to vouch for the accurate appraisal of Fred’s talent and passion. Beyond that, in my two years on the board, Fred has demonstrated an unsurpassed level of historical perspective and insight, analytical acumen, and compassion and heart that have been invaluable guides to me, the board, and the entire Oak Park and River Forest High School community.

To extend the newspaper’s athletic metaphor, this curious non-endorsement is like a grizzled manager who should know better benching a tested-and-true clutch performer just when he is needed most. The D200 board is in the midst of tremendous transition, on many fronts, and I am grateful that Fred is willing to continue the stellar, selfless work that has marked his first term.

I urge Oak Park and River Forest voters to re-elect Fred Arkin.

Matt Baron

District 200 school board member

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