Occupation: Insurance agent at Center Insurance Agency
What issues caused you to run for Litchfield School Board (list up to three)?
1. First and foremost I am running to serve the community and take an active role in the shaping of our education system in Litchfield. My wife and I have 3 daughters, our oldest is a graduate of Litchfield and the younger two currently are in middle school and high school.
2. I believe the future of “outstate” public education is going to continue to evolve and change. We need to be able to keep adapting to these changes to keep our students competitive in the workforce.
3. Student mental health and readiness. Our students our facing very different pressures and issues, then most of us did during our formative years. I feel sometimes this aspect of a public education can be overlooked as it can’t be tied to testing. More support towards these services will be needed.
If elected, how would you gather input from constituents, and how would that input play a role in your decision-making on the School Board?
Communication with students, staff, and community members will look very different in the future. I work right here in town and am open to 1 on 1 conversations, email, zoom meetings, etc. Community input is what should be the driving force used in helping make decisions on the school board. I would consider open communication and negotiating as strengths I bring to the table, everyone has an opinion and the right for that opinion to be heard.
In the event the district is lacking financial resources, what would you recommend? (levy referendum, cuts to staff or programs?)
This is a question that has multiple answers, depending on where the budget shortfall is. It is not like a household budget where money can be moved around to cover shortfalls. By reviewing short and long term budget goals, we need to find out what changed from our projections and address accordingly. No one wants cuts, but sometimes due to circumstances they have to be done. Levy’s and referendums for capital improvement projects are different then having a budget short fall that needs to be addressed.
Business relies on the K-12 education system for its future workforce. How should the district prepare students for future employment?
It is a proven fact, not opinion that a strong school system is vital to the strength of a community. ISD 465 is currently on the cutting edge of STEM labs and partnering with local business in job training. I would like to expand this partnership for even more vocational training and options. Due to retirements and attrition, there are a lot of very good paying jobs, state and nationwide, that could go unfilled due to shortages and we need to continue to address that need. We need to look beyond the college bound and focus a little more on life skills, trades, and tools to achieve life/work balance for healthy sustainable living.
As an elected official, how can you further growth and prosperity in the Litchfield School District?
I believe that growth and prosperity in the district begins with promotion of the community. As a past Lions Club president and current Meeker in Motion board member, I see first hand the hard work currently being done to promote our city. ISD 465 will thrive if we continue to value community interaction and be willing to change with the times.