Greetings to all! I’d like to address the voting public of the Beatrice Public School District, regretfully announcing that I, Matt Langley, have withdrawn my name from the ballot to run for a position on the Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education.
I was and still am beyond humbled and honored with the results from the May primary elections, and hence I feel the need to explain the “why” of my decision to the folks who had the confidence and trust in me as a person and candidate and forwarded me to the general election.
We all know that life is full of choices.
Circumstances beyond our control can change life expectations and responsibilities and sometimes force us to make choices we would rather not have too. This last year was full of changes for me and my family, some by choice and some by circumstances life gave to us. The year started out great.
My job at the time was stable, our family was healthy, and responsibilities that we committed to were being fulfilled.
I felt a calling to serve. I saw a need for a different perspective and leadership on the Beatrice Public School Board, and after much consideration, thought, research and reaching out for advice and perspective from other leaders of other boards, business leaders and community stakeholders and general/casual encouragement from the public, my wife and I decided a run in the primary election was a good fit for our family.
We knew it was going to be a challenge at times. Schedules would need to be adjusted slightly. However the need was there and general public encouragement was, well, encouraging.
It was in early spring time that life decided to show us we needed to go a different direction. To many who didn’t know, I was also at the time the assistant fire chief of the Beatrice Rural Fire Department.
On May 1, 2018, the community lost a great person. Beatrice Rural Fire Department lost a great fire chief, and I lost a great friend unexpectedly.
Many knew Jim Engel. Whether it was through casual interaction, his love and passion for agriculture, his involvement in 4-H, past involvement in the Sunrise Sertoma Club and various other ways.
With Jim’s passing a great deal of responsibility was shifted to me, and my leadership was needed someplace else. It was also shortly after Jim’s passing that my family and I were offered a great business opportunity that couldn’t be passed up.
After much deep thoughts, prayers and late-night couch conversations with my wife, we decided that this was not the right time for pursuing a position for the school board.
I knew that combining my new roles in life would require much time and effort, and at the end of the day, there would not be enough time and energy to give the board position its due diligence, and I believe that is not wise or fair. It is not fair to the district, the taxpayers, the staff, and most importantly the great kids of our district.
If a person physically can’t do it without having severe repercussions on his or her family, or is not willing to do it to the best of their ability, then I believe a person shouldn’t. It is for this reason alone - which was a very difficult decision to reach - that I needed to drop from this election cycle.
With that, I want to take this final time to thank all who voted for me in the primary election. It was truly humbling and an honor. Beatrice Public School’s has a lot of good things going right now.
The district is strong, positive and vibrant. I believe BPS has an extremely bright future with the recent hire of Mr. Jason Alexander as the new superintendent, and Dr. Jackie Nielsen as the assistant superintendent for BPS.
With the two recent defeated bonds for a new single-site elementary placed on the back burner, the district must now look and move forward with many challenges lying ahead.
I would encourage you all to vote with your conscience and to vote for others who are willing to make the sacrifices, commit their volunteer time to lead this district, make the tough decisions and engage with the public to continue to build BPS. Again, I thank you for your time and understanding.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have, as I still share the love and pride for our great community we all call home.