A couple of weeks ago, I asked Snoqualmie Valley School Board challengers to identify a big change they saw needed in our school district, or the driving force pushing them onto the campaign trail. This week I’ve asked SVSD school board incumbents to respond and identify what improvements they would like to influence if elected to a new term, or what fuels their fire to continue serving. These incumbents spend many hours representing valley students in a volunteer position, something that may feel like a thankless job at times. So I asked them what improvements they would like to influence if re-elected, or what keeps them coming back to all those school board meetings that very few of us have the time to attend. These are their answers…
It’s really about the kids. Our primary duty on the school board is fiduciary. We facilitate student achievement by providing policies, support and resources so that each of our students can define and achieve life success in their own way. As we move away from career specific skills towards 21st century skills such as problem solving, adapting to rapid change and other skills that span across a broad range of jobs we will need to continue to gauge our success by the most important metric – our kids.
Including the voice of the student is something I have been passionate about in all my work in the schools, various committees and on the school board. I always insist on finding a way to include the students as we make decisions that affect their schools and futures. It always impresses me when I hear from them. They are candid, articulate, incredibly wise and insightful as they provide input into any process. We now have student representatives to the school board, two new principals that the students were instrumental in selecting and the student panel that was part of the 9-12 program study was hands down the some of the most valuable input we received in that study. When the students talk, the adults listen. To learn more about Caroline’s campaign visit her website here.
It might seem cliché, but I serve because I care about kids. Our schools need to be a place where every kid is given the tools they need to meet their individual potential. Each one has a different journey. The tools are created by utilizing best educational practices and are delivered through the collaboration of the learning community. There is no one size fits all solution.
Meeting the individual learning needs of our students, as stated in our district’s mission statement, is complex. In May of 2010, the district completed and reported on their Intervention Program Review. One of my goals is to see the recommendations of this review implemented and bear fruit. The purpose of the review was “to determine if current educational programs and instructional delivery models are meeting the needs of our special education, struggling, and highly capable students.” The review committee recommendations were made for all building levels. Some of the current 2011-2012 initiatives include:
• Home-school Connection Program;
• Expand Snoqualmie Valley Virtual Academy
• Develop and launch Drop-out Recovery and Retention Programs;
• Assign Freshman Learning Center core team to begin transition planning
To find out more about Craig’s campaign visit www.husaforschoolboard.com
To borrow a term from Mr. Charlie Kinnune’s Leadership class at Mount Si HS, I envision myself as a “Servant Leader”. Participating in and giving back to my community is engrained in me. When re-elected, I intend to spend the next four-year term focused on continuing to improve our schools while celebrating our successes.
Top areas of focus for Dan Popp on the School Board:
- Create strategic plans driving new opportunities for students to compete, post-graduation, in higher education and/or in their chosen career path. Significantly improve our percentage of students who go on to two- and four-year colleges/universities.
- Improve parent, student, staff and community involvement, with two-way communication, in our partnership to take responsibility for the learning process. Empower them in the decision-making process in matters affecting the quality of education provided in our schools.
- Better prepare students to live and work in a rapidly changing technological environment – providing 21st Century Learning.
- Foster acceptance, appreciation and respect among students for themselves and others.
- Work to unify the various and disparate communities represented across our school district. The future success of our school children requires that the communities unite together and collectively focus on improving schools. We need to put aside the “us vs. them” mentality and look beyond ourselves and our personal interests. There are children, some who live very far away from you or I, who are counting on us to unify.
These are not small tasks, but a unified community can accomplish extraordinary things. For more info on Dan’s campaign visit www.DanPopp4SchoolBoard.com