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More in Election Guide 2011
Immediate family: Wife, Donna, and four grown children
Occupation: Metal stud, drywall, ceiling contractor
Years in community: 30
Q. In what specific ways do you see yourself impacting your school district as a school board member?
A. 1. By providing continuity of leadership in the pursuit of outstanding student achievement.
2. By being a careful steward of the district’s finances.
3. By advocating for sustainable funding from all sources possible.
4. By monitoring our fidelity to our Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Values we adopted in 2009.
5. By providing support to staff in our goal of becoming “Accredited With Distinction.”
6. By working toward becoming a technology-proficient district.
Q. Why are you running?
A. 1. Because no one else is? (ha ha)
2. Because I think it is important to have that continuity of leadership and institutional memory that is so important in the functioning of the district.
3. To see the district fulfill our mission/vision/values.
Q. What is your background in education, and in what ways are you involved in your community?
A. 1. High school diploma, two years’ college
2. Primarily through my work on School Board
3. Past president of the Oak Creek Hockey Association and past president of the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League.
Q. How would you look through your district's budget as a school board member and make recommendations on whether a certain program or item should be eliminated or reduced if funding to your school district is cut again this year?
A. We know we will have to make cuts. I’m sure the board will reach out to the community and the staff to prioritize our programs. The cuts will not be painless, and we can only hope to preserve as much as we can and continue to pursue high student achievement.
Q. Do you support Proposition 103, which would raise the state’s sales and income taxes to increase funding to Colorado public schools, or tax increases of any kind to fund public education? Why or why not? (If yes, what specific programs or budget items would you put increased revenue toward?)
A. Yes. It is unrealistic to expect public schools to fulfill their mission of providing a world-class education to our students with ever-diminishing resources. I believe there are many other areas of government budgets that could stand reductions in order to preserve funding of our most important resource: our children.
I would devote the lion’s share of any potential funding increase toward the development and retention of our best teachers. In particular, I would like to extend our teachers’ contract time to allow for more professional development, planning and focus on individual student needs.
Q. If elected, how would you measure the success of your board and your superintendent?
A. 1. By the success our students have now and in the future.
2. By monitoring our progress toward our goal of becoming “Accredited With Distinction”
3. By measuring the quality of our staff and the instruction they deliver.
4. By effectively communicating with our community and by the support we receive from our citizens.
Q. Do you support the use of a secret ballot for any board decisions?
A. I could understand why a board might want to conduct a secret ballot in the selection of their superintendent. I don’t know what purpose would be served for the superintendent and the community to have a perception of any lack of support for their leader. Ideally, once the board has reached a decision, even if there are dissenting votes, the board unites and supports that decision.
Q. How would you respond to scrutiny from members of the public who might disagree with the decisions you make as a board member?
A. We have had that experience. All you can do as a board member is to honestly listen to those concerns, take them into account and to the best of your ability explain what you are doing and why. My experience has been that the people in our community are open-minded and plenty smart enough to arrive at their own conclusions. I have found that as long as we are able to promote an atmosphere of trust and open communication that the public will continue to support us even if they don’t agree with an individual decision.
Q. What is your connection to your school district, and how familiar are you with the functions and responsibilities of your school board?
A. All four of our kids attended K-12 at Soroco. Three of them have received their bachelor degrees and two of them have advanced degrees. Their education at Soroco was no small part of their success.
After eight years as a board member (five as president), I have become pretty intimate with functions and responsibilities. I find there is much more to learn, and I subscribe to the idea that we should all be “life-long learners.”
Q. Do you have any prior experience on a public governing board?