Occupation: Business owner
Education: B.A., Rollins College
Endorsements: Public Educators Advocating for Kids (PEAK)Public Education Committee
Experience: My long career in academic and non-profit environments draws me to public service, and gives me a unique perspective. As a small business owner, I'm interested in a results-oriented public education system that makes good use of my investment as a taxpayer - to create good workforce and re-build a growth economy. More particularly, my experience on both sides of board service (as executive staff, and as a director) also gives me a valuable working familiarity with a policy governance model which firmly supports collaborative-yet-independent relationships between the strategic functions of the board and management duties of administrators and staff.
|District||Colorado Springs School District 11|
|Term / Board Seat||4 years|
|# of Available Seats||3|
In addition to responding to a series of legislative changes impacting principal and teacher evaluations, early reading assessment testing, individual and school readiness prep, plus the application of new state and federal standards, D11 is directly addressing bullying and harassment in the classroom through innovative reporting mechanisms. At the same time, the District continues to be challenged by shifting boundaries, property management and community engagement. I approach community engagement from the perspective of a long-time Colorado Springs resident and small business owner, whose investment in public education takes the form of support for D11 as a major primary employer with far-reaching economic impact. From day-to-day direct spending to outright impact on the income and property tax base, the size, scope and influence of the District workforce is a critical element of the local economy.
Having served on numerous non-profit boards, I expect to review a highly-detailed set of recommendations - prepared by the District's administrative professionals - that will present, justify and prioritize expenditures against existing budget. Given the intricacy of the system and the scope of its work, I expect to concentrate on those areas that will provide the greatest return and impact on the collective "bottom lines
Much of the funding that would be made available through passage of Amendment 66 will allow public education in all districts to regain lost ground. District 11 is no different in having suffered deep budget cuts that have reduced already-strained resources and adversely affected its results. It's expected that reducing class size, increasing technology, and improving the quality of teaching overall will be the most immediate and noticeable effects of new school funding. As the largest district in the region, D11 administration has consistently been very thorough and transparent in managing its resources. Any plans put before the Board are certain to have been fully researched and carefully crafted to benefit the students in particular and D11 overall.
Although standardized testing is a fact of life, it's equally true that education itself is very difficult to quantify. On the student side of the equation, it's critical to learn what shapes and motivates individual learning. Teachers are challenged to aid that process through innovation and creativity, both to inspire their students at a variety of levels, then to provide a stimulating learning environment in the classroom. Parent involvement also plays a role outside the classroom. Each factor combines for a very fluid set of circumstances under which to gain a solid measurement. Attempting to determine a depth of student knowledge, on any given day, seems daunting. In the classroom, methods that engage one student may distance another, and environmental factors have great influence over a student's ability both to learn and to test well. The issue remains a complex one, with studies in place to seek effective solutions.
The Gazette Voter Guide is a chance for candidates to use their own words to tell voters in El Paso and Teller counties about themselves. The candidates answered questions relating to their biographical information as well as issues facing their school districts and cities. Answers have not been edited by Gazette staff.
For the guide, the Gazette reached out to every candidate running for political office for the Nov. 5 El Paso County and Teller County elections. Most, but not all, candidates chose to participate.