By Contributing Writer Riley Kim (’24)
On May 16, the J-D community will vote for candidates to join the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School Board. There are three open spots and three candidates. The RamPage interviewed John Baxter on his platform as a candidate.
How will you, as a Board member, impact the J-D schools and community?
By listening to students, teachers, and the community about their concerns, focusing on student achievement, being transparent, being honest, communicating, having a vision for the future, and connecting with the community.
If elected, what would be the main goal of your agenda during your time as a Board member?
To ensure that the District is providing the best education, guidance, and opportunities for all students. To make sure that teachers have the resources and support they need.
How would you decide which issues to prioritize as a Board member?
The students come first — their education, safety, and well-being is a priority.
Moving forward, how would you plan to make changes to our materials, classrooms, and other areas of the school?
I think the teachers should have a say in the materials since know what they need for teaching. Getting feedback from students, teachers, and staff to see what changes can be done [is important].
What do you believe is the most pressing issue facing the J-D District?
Accountability. The District wants things to get done but no one wants to take responsibility for it.
Many community members likely want to hear your stance on pertinent issues. Do you think the district is doing an adequate job addressing security concerns? Additionally, what is your stance on book challenges?
I think the District needs to do a much better job at security. There are a few areas where they can improve. I don’t believe in banning books from school.
Do you believe administrators should have the final say on material published in the school newspaper, rather than students having the final say? Do you support the revised editorial policy?
Not as long as the material doesn’t encourage students to violate any law, and isn’t obscene or slanderous, but if they do censor they must give a reason why the material is inappropriate. I have not read the revised editorial policy but I will as soon as possible.
What are you going to do to make sure students’ voices are heard?
Listen, and if the students’ concerns are warranted, I will have no problem saying what needs to be said so I will make sure all voices are heard.
Whose opinions (students, parents, school officials) should carry the most weight in establishing school policies?
School officials. They have the most experience in dealing with academic standards, leadership, and evaluation. They also need to be held accountable.