How will you impact the schools and community?
It’s not to walk in with my own agenda but to make sure what’s being done is done to the truest sense. Looking at all the data and what data says. How are we going to improve, what does measurable improvement look like and how are we going to enact that, as well as what team players need to be on that. Because the board can’t sit in one place and the teachers in another and the students in another and the families in another.
How would you plan to make changes in the schools?
That would again be based on data and talking about what needs to be changed and why it needs to be changed. What impact would that have and is that place a place that has enough impact to be worth spending time and money on.
What are the most pressing issues facing the school district?
There are many pressing issues within the school district, the most obvious one being budget. Our numbers and budget are going down every year. We expect that to happen because people have a rate of living and other expenses that need to be paid. However, there is also a parent group that has been neglected in the past but continues to work very hard to be heard. Therefore, a year ago in February, we got together and asked them to tell us what we needed to work on. Even with a new superintendent and with that, a new confirmation, no improvements were made. That is pressing.
On community and student voices
To have a community is having people together, which is very important. I think it’s a way to make sure things are heard. As a student, you might hear something multiple times at multiple different places. After this, you might filter it to the board yourself, which can be a long and difficult process. In reality, the filter from student to board shouldn’t be two or three filters long, it has to be a clear and direct thing. Another thing that needs to be changed is the fact that the student has to work really hard to be heard by everyone, not just their group that they hang around.
Who should have final say in what a school paper publishes?
Within a student organization, you have senior editors and an advisor. To me, it’s not the advisor telling you what you can and cannot do, nor the administration. You sit at a table and you listen to each other. You might say this is my opinion on a certain topic, and the advisor should be able to say I get where you’re coming from, but this is my opinion on the topic. That’s why decisions need to be a consensus.
On the referendum to add a student representative to the Board
The amount of people on the board is not enough as well as having only student government when we are talking about the new consortium that comes through. There has to be a way to get data from all students that is not identifiable and similar to the random sampling that we learned in seventh grade math. Only having kids who want to fill out the survey is not random sampling. I think it would be great if a student could sit on the board in order to discuss an issue and figure it out, so they are sure attention is brought to it. I mean the student government can try their best to make sure it happens, but it won’t just be the students’ voices.
How will you ensure student voices are heard?
Students need to be heard and there are many different ways in order to make this happen. We are an educational institution and there has to be filters. We could all sit down and say we want to do a sit in because we want it to be equal. On the other hand, if you support this statement then you have to support the fact that something that might be important to most of us might not be as important to you. This situation puts us in a very difficult place and therefore leaves us at a standstill. I think that that’s something that has to be thought through and properly discussed before we can agree to the act.