Election Guide 2013: Brian Hoza
October 16, 2013
Occupation: college administrator (dean of student affairs), Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus
Years in Hayden: 13 (preceded by 10 in Steamboat)
Family: wife, Michelle; Janna (23, fifth-grade teacher); Lissa (22, special education teacher); Brian (20, junior at Cornell); Becca (17, Hayden High School senior); Blane (12, Hayden Middle School)
Civic involvement: Hayden School Board (since 2002, current board president); Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services (since 2002, current president); foster family (since 1999); Routt County Crime Stoppers; Interagency Oversight Group Member of Routt County HB-1451 Collaborative Management Program; Routt County Child Protection Team; Routt County School Safety and Security Task Force; participant in Vision 2030, Hayden Economic Development & Community Revitalization Project, Grand/Jackson/Routt Civic Engagement Project
Q. Voters here will decide in November whether to approve new statewide tax increases to provide more funding for public education (Amendment 66). Do you support this ballot initiative? Explain why.
A. I do support this initiative to add financial support for education in our state and improve our educational funding structure as well as the positive impact on Hayden schools. Most importantly, the improvements to early childhood education and all-day kindergarten are keys to advancing the educational potential of our kids and our long-term economy. This initiative would also serve to replenish the Hayden School District budget simultaneous with the sunset of our most recent mill levy override, which has been essential to sustaining our district. Another initiative, Proposition AA, presents a more contentious question in that capitol construction funding for education (including HSD) is in dire need of an infusion, and our schools and communities certainly need resources to fund related health, education and public safety costs to offset these lifestyle pressures; yet, the source of funding is in contrast to our objectives of safe drug-free schools.
Q. The Hayden School District receives a mixed bag of test scores each year on the state’s standardized test. What do you think the School Board’s role should be in helping to improve these scores?
A. The School Board is pivotal in creating and maintaining district vision and focus on achievement and providing all possible forms of support needed for students, administration and staff to improve performance. The reality of the demographic makeup of our district student body, coupled with small numbers that can create large swings with fairly minute changes in performance, makes this challenge particularly sensitive to external scrutiny. The School Board needs to continue to support staff development that is supported by sound methodology and solid results. Creative solutions will continue to be necessary to ensure diversity of curriculum, advancing student and staff expectations and access to leading instructional resources. Enabling the opportunity for robust student interventions will be essential to supporting special needs, sustaining a learning environment that demands all students achieve her/his potential and allowing opportunities for enhancement for eligible students.
Q. Last year, the Hayden School Board barely rejected a proposed split schedule for its schools that would have added more class days at the secondary school level but kept the elementary schedule the same. Are you satisfied with Hayden’s school calendar? Explain why or why not.
A. Hayden School District has enjoyed a calendar in the past that is congruent with the local economy and historical community trends. I believe it is necessary for the board to approach a thoughtful, honest conversation with staff, parents and community under the direction of strong educational leadership perspectives to evolve in whatever direction makes the most sense for maximizing educational outcomes, rather than simply satisfying required contact hours/days. I am anticipating that we are coming to a fork in the road regarding the calendar structure. Keeping students and achievement at the forefront, with a long-term perspective as stewards of the local educational system, it is imperative that we identify whatever steps are needed and endorse these initiatives wholeheartedly. It is also the board's responsibility to educate the community and resolve any differences of opinions to present one united front for our staff and students.
Q. In what specific ways do you see yourself impacting your school district as a School Board member?
A. As an incumbent, I hope to provide some continued historical perspective while embracing new direction as well as supporting the anticipated leadership transition with the selection of our next Hayden School District superintendent. I am committed to represent the community as one of many stewards of educational resources and decision making. I believe my educational and administrative background to be one of several useful perspectives necessary for a collective board to make good decisions. My commitment to maintain community connections and civic involvement is important, I believe, to maintaining positive community and agency partnerships and creating collaborative solutions. I am hopeful that in my current role as our district representative to the Northwest Colorado BOCES, I can support and contribute to the transitional elements of BOCES with help to manage organizational challenges/opportunities during increasing educational demands for increasing educational needs of our students.
Q. What do you see as Hayden School District’s greatest needs, and how would you work to address them as a School Board member?
A. We have been fortunate to have strong aspects of district administration that have moved us to an adequate financial situation in challenging and lean years. It is important that we secure future leadership (superintendent) to lead us forward on this path, while preparing for the next fiscal evolution of education and future capital improvement needs of our district. Student numbers are critical to our ability to maximize our offerings for our students. Financially managing to provide all the necessary staff and resources will continue to impact how we manage limited funds and increasing educational demands due to educational reform, ensuring educational outcomes, and addressing complex student needs. Providing an advancing educational environment is important to our growth potential. Hayden needs to continue to improve how we advertise and promote all that we do well to overcome relative assumptions from external factions whom may be unaware.
Q. What do you see as Hayden School District’s greatest strengths?
A. Hayden School District prides itself in providing a diversity of educational opportunities from mainstream curriculum to extensive vocational opportunities through our Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Center. The district and community sincerely embrace all types of education, career paths and occupations. School facilities serve as community resources and useful town space — the community is the school, and the schools are a significant part of the community pulse. Small size of our community and schools is one of the greatest assets. While it can be a challenge to operate with a smaller economy of scale, the environment is supportive, personal, inclusive and united toward our youth. Our intervention process is natural in relation to knowing our students well and having staff and administration working together to help them in the classroom as well outside the classroom. Students are able to be highly involved and participate fully in activities at all levels.
Q. How can the School Board foster more parent involvement in the school district?
A. Hayden is a very gracious and supportive community in the ways that we provide support and guidance. I view the parent factor in this process to be the most critical. I think the School Board must support and promote the District Improvement Team and the School Improvement Teams as the formal involvement groups and be sure representation is present and listened to. I do believe more can be done to help parents understand their various roles prior to the school years and how these roles evolve as their children move through the school system. Some parents want to help out yet are not sure how to do so appropriately. Others are so involved that they can be stretched too far. In a community our small size, the personal nature of the environment and ability to be a part of it are some of the greatest assets we can provide.
Open-ended statement: I honor the opportunity to serve as a community representative over my past years on the board. I will continue to serve in whatever appropriate capacity is needed. My commitment to continue to serve on the Hayden School Board is relevant to the community's desire to support me continuing in this role. My wife and I have three children who have moved through the school system in strong form, and we hope to support our other two to achieve their greatest potentials, as well. I feel this same regard for each and every student in the district. Hayden School District constituents can expect that I would continue to represent and support what I believe to be the best we can do for our kids, and what we collectively find to be right for our schools based on all information we have at our disposal. I also respect the responsibility to the community of Hayden and our surrounding region to provide the best educational opportunity possible within our means and in collaboration with our partners.