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Southside School District 42 Director Position 2

4-year term. No salary, but some districts offer small per diem for evening meetings. School Board members, or “directors,” are the elected governing body of the school district, serving four-year terms. The school board’s governance responsibilities fall in four major areas: Vision – a focus on student achievement through a comprehensive strategic planning process; Structure – prudent financial planning and oversight, as well as diligent and innovative policy-making; Accountability – specific goals and a process for evaluating, reporting and making recommendations for improvements; and Advocacy – championing public education in the local community and before state and federal policy makers. The School Board sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional district superintendent and certificated teaching staff and personnel. One of its critical duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any school levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The board sets policies and approves all spending via the budget. It also sets salaries for school district employees.

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  • Candidate picture

    Laurie Cox
    (NP)

  • Brandon Homan
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What unique qualities about yourself, your experiences, and your education separate you from the other seekers of this office?

What, in your opinion, are the three most pressing issues facing your school district at this time?

How would you address the one at the top of your list?

How would you balance educational opportunities between schools?

How would you assure the safety of all students in your schools?

What are the issues that need to be addressed to provide racial equality in the schools?

How should technical training be offered in the secondary schools?

How can the schools provide adequate education for homeless, immigrant, refugee and non-English speaking children at all levels?

Phone (360) 427-9151
Town where you live Shelton
Experience (300 characters max) I have been married for 27 years and a mother of two successful children. I am employed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a forester for the past 37 years. I am a Planning Section Chief on one of 8 Pacific Northwest Incident Management Teams.
I have served on the school board for over 10 years, and have worked with our families and community members on the booster club for 15 years. Together with Southside constituents, we have been able to accomplish a many feats including building a new playground for our kids, replacing two buses that had over 20 years use on each of them, offering many community events such as May Day and our community festival, and improving safety by clearing hazardous trees and adding parking, lighting, and fencing. We have supported levies and bonds to keep our facilities in good standing and support professional growth and salaries of staff to stay competitive and attractive as a district. All has been done while keeping our taxes lower than our neighboring districts. I have been able to utilize my professional experience to benefit Southside with capital project processes, grant awareness, and STEM connection. I contribute 100-300 hours a year of volunteer time for Southside.
The three most pressing issues facing the Southside School District are safety, adequate support to offer an optimal learning opportunity for all kids, and lastly, being fiscally responsible to our voters and employees. Our first priority is safety. We must continue to examine everything from building and grounds maintenance to practicing recommended safety drills. We need to continue collaborating with our fire department and law officers. Secondly, we must continue to look at the needs of each and every child, current legislative requirements, and requests from our parents and community to determine and prioritize needs for the district. Updating curriculum, offering competitive wages to all employees, and addressing legislative demands are critical for Southside to keep their students operating at a high level of accomplishment. Lastly, maintaining an adequate budget for this size of district is paramount.
Some safety suggestions are described above. To simplify, I would recommend that Southside improve safety by increasing the quality and volume of security equipment such as a generator and cameras, stay on top of building and facility maintenance, and collaborate with other services offered in our community such as our fire department, law enforcement, mental health, shelters, etc.
Southside only has one school but works to provide equitable opportunities within the school. It is the role of the Superintendent and the School Board to keep the larger picture of the district and to insure that all needs and requirements are examined and prioritized. We can work collaboratively with staff to determine needs and reach out to our booster club for input and support. Southside has had to learn how to operate efficiently while staying very effective in our educational practices. Communication and collaboration will help keep Southside educational opportunities balanced.
Safety assurance of all students at Southside includes providing a safe building with highly capable and nurturing staff members. All students and staff matter. We must clarify and teach what is expected and not assume that others know. Recently, Southside has added a stronger focus on proven programs such as Second Step and PAX. Now, they are focusing even more on PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) to assure student safety on a daily basis. They have a safety committee that meets monthly to examine safety practices and concerns. The district meets and converses throughout the year with local fire departments and law enforcement. Good practices are in place and safety is a focus for all in the school.
Southside must pay close attention to insure that racial equality stays on the radar as it is comprised predominantly of white students and staff. We need to insure that we are asking enough questions and examining data to make certain that we are meeting the needs of each and every child. Communicating in a language that families can understand is one of the ways Southside can support racial equality. The superintendent is the Title IX officer who attends trainings annually and must file state reports on the efforts that the school is making to support racial equality. Southside staff has racial diversity comparable to that of our student population. Racial equality is a lens that must be applied continuously.
Southside is a K-7 school district. At our elementary level, it is imperative that we expose students to a wide consideration for occupations and post high school offerings. Technology is embedded into all grade levels. Students do obtain technical opportunities through their exploratory offerings, field trips, and after school programs.
Southside can provide an adequate education for homeless, immigrant, refugee and non-English speaking children by working collaborative with community services, enlisting the support from our co-operative connections with Shelton School District, and continuously monitoring results from student assessments. We are growing our positive relationship practices to support all kids and their families. We have a couple of staff members who can assist with non-English speaking children and we offer support for community connnections as needed.
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