First of all, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to meet with me during the candidate forums and my districtwide Coffee and Chalk Talks to discuss their concerns, ideas and hopes for the future of our school district. Because of the success of the Coffee and Chalk Talks, if elected to the Steamboat Springs School Board, I will be continuing to hosting these public meetings throughout the district during my term in office.
Throughout the course of these past few months, two issues seem to have been on everyone’s mind that haven’t been addressed in public forum: the first concerning student safety, and the second the South Routt School District and Steamboat Springs School District memorandum of understanding regarding the business manager services Steamboat provides to Soroco.
While there is no one answer to what more can be done to keep our children safe at school, I have an idea relating to this multifaceted issue. I think that, as a community, we should consider giving a desk and Wi-Fi in each of our schools main offices to a pool of rotating on-duty police officers and sheriff deputies so they can randomly visit schools throughout their shift to write reports on their already existing department-issued laptops. This would help address two issues in our community.
The first, the safety of our children. The second, helping to solve the lack of space at our police/sheriff offices. Although not a new idea within our nation, this idea is worth further investigation and should invite the opinions, concerns and ideas from the entire community. During future board meetings, I hope that this concept is explored, and if eventually approved, a team of community stakeholders, working with the district and local law enforcement representatives, will begin working on a code of conduct and expectations of all groups involved.
The Steamboat Springs School District business manager service MOU provides South Routt School District with several services including technology, payroll, monthly cash flow updates, grant reporting, human resources, worker’s comp, salary review and budget process/data input.
I think Steamboat should continue being a contracted service provider for Soroco because as the relationship between the two districts grows, Steamboat can increase the services being offered to Soroco, saving South Routt School District additional money while providing increased financial support for the Steamboat Springs School District. It’s a win-win for both districts’ students.
A passion for the Steamboat Springs School District and the community it serves, accompanied with being a hard worker full of new ideas with a healthy respect for the tried and true practices of education, are among a few of the things, which will make me a great member of the Steamboat Springs School Board.
With five years of substitute teaching experience, I understand the need for increased contact time for all of our students, the importance of teaching self-advocacy, the need to distill a versatile set of skills and the need to educate our local youth to not only be successful in secondary education but also adulthood and everything that entails.
So, I invite you to vote for me, Joseph Andrew, for the Steamboat Springs School Board Director of District 2 and join me for a cup of coffee and some chalk talk.
Editor’s note: Andrew’s opponent Randall Homan chose not to submit an op-ed for publication in the Steamboat Today.