This is the seventh installment in a series introducing 2013 local election matchups.
Education: Emporia State University - Business Administration
Occupation: New Products Project Manager – Hospira
Experience: One term USD #418 BOE
1. Why are you running for a school board seat?
I want to continue taking an active role in the education system that serves our children. Over the last four years, I feel like we have made a lot of progress on aligning our programs to give our students meaningful skills that better prepare them for life after school. There still is a lot of work that can be done. I would like to continue being part of the team that is moving the system in a positive direction.
2. What would you like to accomplish as a school board member?
As a school board member, I have a responsibility to make decisions that are based on what is best for the children in the system and balance that with the input of diverse opinions. The C3 initiative that we have taken on has expanded our ability to help serve the needs of more children. I will continue to support programs that get our children ready for citizenship, post secondary education and careers.
3. What if anything do you think the state needs to do to reform the school funding formula?
School funding needs to adequately support the education system in Kansas. The future of the state is dependant on how well we educate our children, retain them and employ them. We have a choice to either stay with current levels from previous years or determine a way to increase funding. The current formula will work; the challenge is to determine how to fund that formula.
4. What role do you think the Kansas Legislature and the Kansas Courts should have in determining funding and the curriculum for Kansas Schools? What role do you think local school boards should have?
The State has a responsibility for the determination of funding and to supply suitable funding.
Discrepancies in the funding that are challenged should have a separate entity such as the court that decides on the issue. Key cornerstone areas in curriculum should have a higher guidance so that the state is working in the same direction, but the details of administering that guidance should be local.
The local school boards should determine the specifics of how to effectively utilize the funds allocated. Each district in the state is unique; the local boards should set and drive the curriculum that meets the needs of the students and the community.
5. Do you support the USD 418 bond issue? Please explain.
I do support the current bond issue. I believe we have offered a need-based not want-based plan. The focus is to allow the continued improvement of the services we offer the children and maintain the current facilities without raising the current bond and interest mill levy. A lot of work has occurred to make sure we are focused on education directed changes that will allow us to invest in our current buildings that are in need, support the current neighborhood school system and also create greater learning opportunities for our students.