Mia Hodgins stood on Lake Avenue in front of Charlotte High School earlier this week to talk about running for one of three available seats on the Rochester school board.
Hodgins is a Republican at a time when the city’s electoral history heavily favors Democrats — so much so that it’s often not feasible for a Republican challenger to make the effort.
But Hodgins says that party affiliation isn't as important as ideas. She has a 10-point plan to improve student achievement that aligns neatly with some of Superintendent Bolgen Vargas’s plans: increasing attendance; expanding offerings in art, music, and sports; and directing resources toward improving reading proficiency.
Hodgins is assistant director of alumni relations at RIT. She was a school board candidate two years ago when she ran as a Democrat. Though she was ambitious, she was a little under-prepared. Since then, she says she has studied the district’s problems, and she can speak with clarity about possible solutions.
I’m not sure running as a Republican in the city is a winning strategy, but Hodgins deserves credit for daring to color outside the lines in order to stay in the public’s eye. And while local Republicans probably don’t see an opening or weakness in the Democratic candidates for school board, the party leaders obviously see potential in Hodgins.