Letter: Full support despite poor word choice
November 22, 2015
We have been reading about the recent conversations regarding the Aspen School District calendar and the statements at the close of Nov. 12's community meeting by our friend and school board member Sheila Wills. Sheila fully recognizes her poor choice of words at the meeting and has apologized for them. As people who know her well, know her compassionate heart and know the sincerity in her apology, we will continue fully to support her service on the Aspen school board, knowing that she will continue to be an outstanding member.
We have known Sheila for almost 14 years since we first moved to Aspen. Our sons attended the Aspen public schools, and we often crossed paths there. Additionally, we have served on task forces and committees with Sheila and know her to be a very bright, caring and compassionate person. She is an extremely dedicated, hard worker who has volunteered and contributed countless hours to many nonprofits in addition to her lengthy service on the Aspen school board.
We have spoken with Sheila at length about this meeting and of her deep regret for the word choices that she made at the spur of the moment. Most of us probably have made the same mistake and at some time uttered words that easily could be misconstrued as being insensitive and that, on further reflection, we could have said in a better way to make our true point. However, fortunately for most of us, we did not make the mistake in such a public manner. Sheila is not some seasoned politician who wordsmiths every sentence that comes out of her mouth. She is a volunteer who has served our community to the best of her ability and has apologized sincerely for her choice of words, the understandable misinterpretation of which caused offense to members of our community. Given her sincere apology and explanation, we need to move on with her to solve the true issue that is at hand while recognizing its complicated nature.
We supported Sheila for her re-election to the Aspen school board, and we are happy we did and would do so again. We look forward to her contributing her countless hours for four more years.
Blanca Uzeta O'Leary and J. Cavanaugh O'Leary
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