Seven candidates are running for two open seats on the Dolores School Board. They are Sandra Corbitt, Rebecca Frasier, Lisa Holz, Casey McClellan, Kay Phelps, Eugene Reininger III, and Jerry Whited. Terms are for four years.
The Nov. 7 election will be by mail-in ballot, and the top two vote-getters will earn board seats.
Each Friday, The Journal will publish candidates’ answers to a different question submitted to them.
This week, the question is:
What are the factors on which you will base your decisions as a school board member? From whom will you seek advice or input in weighing key decisions? Sandra CorbittThe factors on which I will base my decisions as a school board member will be using the facts of the situation. I would seek advice or input from other board members present and past. Really it would depend on the situation since every situation is different.
Rebecca FrasierEvery decision needs to be based on what is best for the students, the staff and the district as a whole. Often I feel the information that is presented to the board is one-sided, and I have been left to figure out what questions to ask and seek out advice from various experts and community members. For example, while I can acknowledge the health needs of our students, I must ask myself, Is it what is best for the district? Southwest Memorial has plans to build a clinic in the area; however, this was not something that was presented in the boardroom until the question was asked. Can we afford the district portion of the grant? What will the ongoing costs be? Finally, have we adequately sought out community support in order to meet the terms of the grant? I recognize the need to seek out grants for our rural school district, but can we afford it when the grants run out, and it becomes the responsibility of our district?
Lisa HolzAs a board that governs our schools and represents our community, how we model decision-making is as important as the decisions we make. I would communicate as openly and thoroughly as possible with the people most directly affected by the decision. I would aim for fiscal efficiency and responsibility. I would look at pertinent research and ways in which other districts have successfully handled similar challenges/decisions. I would consider my own experience in public education (K-12) and as a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in human development. I would consult with people who I respect and who have experience with similar issues. Furthermore, I would connect with my intuition for guidance.
Casey McClellanIs the issue in compliance with school board policies and school codes of conduct? Is the issue in compliance with CHSAA policies? Is there a student health, safety and welfare concern? Does the issue pose a moral or ethical concern? Does the issue reflect poorly on the District or set a poor example for the students? Regarding seeking advice or input, it is the job of the board to work things out, using direction from policies and practices already in place. If a clear sense of direction cannot be determined through board discussions, the Colorado Association of School Boards can be consulted.
Kay PhelpsAs an educator and researcher, I depend on peer-reviewed journals and qualitative and/or quantitative data for matters involving instruction. As a school board member weighing decisions around school budget, I would first seek to understand funding streams from which the school receives its resources, hear the recommendations of those who have prepared budgets in the past, and favor decisions that support the shared vision of Dolores School District RE-4A. The Colorado Association of School Boards “Leadership Workbook” has been a helpful read! Regarding other factors on which I base decisions I appreciate the need to remain impartial. Around threats to mental or physical safety, however, I shift out of neutral. Maintaining safe spaces for all students is non-negotiable.
Eugene ReiningerCommunity input and fact-based learning will be the basis for my decisions as a school board member. The goal in my mind’s eye is the immediate and long-term needs of first the students, while keeping the communities educational vision in mind as well. In weighing key decisions, I would rely on factual information and more experienced decision-makers in this realm, from both within and outside of this district.
Jerry WhitedI will base my decision on what’s best for all students at the school. Is it something that the school can financially sustain, and will it benefit the masses not just a select few? And when it comes to advice, that depends on the advice needed. If it is over education, then the teachers need to have a input – they are the ones teaching. If they need something, we need to know as a board. If it is over a new program, then the public needs to be asked how they feel about it, considering it is their money and that’s who we are representing. The students should also have a input on certain issues. If they don’t buy in, then it doesn’t matter. If the students back what you implement, then it will work.