Candidate Information

Occupation: Retired Veteran

Age: 38

Education: Bachelors of Science in Geography from University of North Texas

Endorsements:

Experience: Peak Parent Special Education and Inclusion Training.Parental Rights, Responsibility, and Advocacy Training.Mental Health First Aid Certification.3+ years active participate of Harrison School District Special Education Advisory Committee parent member.Avid parent participant with Harrison School Board.


Contact Information

E-mail: hsd2rocks@yahoo.com

Phone:

Website:

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Aaron Simpson


Race / District Information

District Harrison School District 2
Term / Board Seat 4 years
# of Available Seats 3

What major challenges face your school district and how would you solve them, aside from additional funding?

Some challenges that I see facing Harrison School District are maintaining the exceptional academic growth, community appreciation, and state recognition for pay-for-performance. Another challenge is maintaining unity with a majority of new school board of directors. One way I would solve these challenges are by continuing to support the superintendent, administration, staff, parents, students, and community. I would continue to improve stakeholder relations by having the district engage the community as much as possible. These can be through the on going after school programs that aid in the academic success of our students. Another area is to maintain a model for other district's through leading edge programs such as pay-for-performance and nationally recognized teachers. As Harrison School District makes a change in board leadership, we all need to keep the interests of the students first and make Harrison School District good 2 great.

With budget constraints in place, what areas would you concentrate on?

Determining a specific area to focus on is difficult. I would prioritize my focus on the needs of the students. Students need a safe environment to learn in, qualified and fairly compensated staff to provide the learning environment, and the technology to access the material to expand their knowledge. Students also need to be well fed and have a world-class curriculum. Finding areas to cut costs would be difficult. I would also focus on making sure that the district is receiving all available sources of revenue as possible and look for other sources as well.

This year, voters will decide whether to pass Amendment 66, which would raise $950 million in additional taxes for education. If the amendment passes, how should the money be allocated in your district?

If Amendment 66 passes, Harrison School District should allocate the increase in funds in several places. These places would include expanding preschool to all day, expanded kindergarten classes, increase the support in professional development for all staff, and acquisition of additional staff to reduce class sizes. Also addition funds to further support the on-going expansion of technology to support 21st Century Curriculum design, STEAM, and space programs and resources. Another priority for additional funding from Amendment 66 would help support cultural learning opportunities, community engagement, and further enhanced resources for special education. This further ensures that Harrison School District 2 will graduate college-and-career ready students.

Why don't most districts get beyond 70 percent student proficiency on state assessments?

There are several reasons for why most districts do not get beyond 70 percent proficiency on state assessments. I feel one of the biggest reasons for this is the design of the test itself. Due various roadblocks not all 100 percent students can be fully assessed by a single test. These roadblocks can be a learning disability, physical disability, emotional conflict, or even test anxiety. I feel that the districts and state need to work together to better design an assessment that can reach all students. Another option is allowing districts the ability to have more local control over accommodating students with needs. This could allow more students to reach more proficient levels by having roadblocks reduced or removed.


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.