Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
I am currently the Chair of the Thorp School Board.
I currently serve as Chair of the Thorp School Board and have always believed in public service. My daughter attends Thorp Schools, and I am particularly dedicated to putting my skills and experience to work ensuring Thorp has a growing and thriving school.
Even before my election to the Board, I was active in supporting the school by leading the creation two new multi-age elementary classes at Thorp, helping give educational choices to our families. I co-wrote the proposal for the establishment of the new classes and served as the community representative on the Thorp Schools committee that approved the descriptions for these classes. I also chaired the community committee for the hiring of the current Thorp Schools superintendent, and I am a member of the General Advisory Committee for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. I am also an active member of the Thorp Town Ditch Commission and founded and help coordinate the Kittitas Valley Problem-based Learning Network.
I believe the three most pressing issues for the Thorp School District are: 1) student mental health and wellness, 2) financial stewardship and fiscal responsibility to the community, and 3) continuing to build programming to ensure all learners have as much opportunity as possible.
I will continue to support the prioritizing of student mental health by the Superintendent and his administration by pro-actively helping the school to support students in developing self-management and student skills, as well as coping strategies, to help promote the sense that they can manage struggles, work through them, and bounce back.
Thorp Schools is responsible with its budget, applying for and receiving grants, ensuring school buildings are maintained and improved and that there is a small reserve. I will continue to provide budget oversight and support for growth and programming.
During my current term we approved the Farm to School program and the development of CTE curriculum. By the end of my next term, my goal is for the Farm to School program and CTE to be fully in place and providing strong educational opportunities our students.
Thorp Schools is a small district, with an elementary school, middle school and high school. The District offers preschool programming and provides a direct kindergarten through high school path for students. An example of the educational opportunities presented by such a small school is the Farm to School program Thorp District is developing. At the elementary level, students will have a garden plot to plan and care for and will participate in an integrated curriculum that ties academic subjects – math, science, writing, art, etc. – into caring for and learning about the plants and soil of the farm. At the middle and high school levels students will have farm plots to care for and will be able to participate in agricultural robotics, CTE programming, FFA, FBLA, etc. The size of Thorp Schools provides opportunities for academic and sports programming that can build-up for the students as they progress through school and gives all students a sense of cohesion and educational stability.
As a member of the school board, if reelected I will continue to prioritize the safety and security of our students. I will continue to pay close attention to, and support, the annual school safety plan, which is developed by the School Safety Committee (made up of teachers, staff and administration) and is overseen by the Board. I have been and will continue to be very supportive of the superintendent’s initiatives to focus on the health and wellness of the student population, including providing early intervention and support to students in an effort to address issues that could spiral up toward harm if left unaddressed. I will also continue to support initiatives such as the recent installation of a double-locking front entrance vestibule, full security camera coverage and the ongoing emphasis on anti-bullying programming and oversight.
I believe Thorp Schools has an equitable and fair-minded approach to education and the curriculum, and that the District does its best to ensure all students have access to the same educational opportunities. If any issues of inequality were to come to the District’s attention I have confidence that the Superintendent and school staff would address them quickly and fairly with the support of the Board.
As a small school, Thorp is aware that many of our students are from financially challenged or foster backgrounds. As a school board member, I am proud to support the District in its ongoing, successful attempts to gain grant funding to support such students. For example this fall, the District was awarded grants to support an English-language learners program, and suicide prevention and behavioral health programming. I also support the school in its efforts to ensure all students have access to the food they need to ensure health and learning, even when it might cost the District more money. For instance in spring 2019 and throughout last year, the school ensured breakfast and lunch was available for all students and siblings in need by delivering meals using the school’s bus routes, even though we didn't know if the funding to run buses would be reimbursed. Thorp School District is lucky to be situated in a generous community that is very supportive of our school.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
I have worked in the farming industry for four years and approximately twelve years in residential construction. In 2020 I started my own business as a general contractor.
I have no previous record of public service.
1) Local control of local school districts.
2) Critical Race Theory
3) Sex education
1) Local control of school districts: I believe this is the most important issue we face right now. This country is very unique in the way it's government was originally formed - local taxes, local representation. As a school board member, I will demand our local rights as a local school. Parents will be listened to - not bureaucrats.
2) Critical Race Theory: I believe this should not be taught in our school and I will demand it not be. It will create racism where there is none. It will teach division of races to our children instead of unity. I will not allow our children to grow up being taught to be ashamed and feel guilty of who they are. We should instead focus on better teaching and understanding the US Constitution.
3) Sex education: Why do the state authorities and powers to be insist on sexualizing our children at a younger and younger age. I will not tolerate any sex ed program that parents do not approve of. This is a sacred right of parents with very few exceptions.
I feel our school does a good job of this already. I wouldn't change anything in this matter.
Politicians and school boards have not listened to parents and their concerns for a long time. We have recently witnessed local school boards paying no attention to parents who were concerned about mask mandates for their children. This is a safety concern for those parents. Why were they ignored? Parents need to feel confident their children are in a safe space - many parents are not confident right now. Ultimately, the local concerns of parents should dictate safety policy rather than bureaucrats from Olympia. Schools need to be ran locally. One size does not fit all.
There are no racial equality issues in our community and school. I believe the United States Constitution, which guarantees equality and freedom for all, should be taught in much more depth. This would help students on many levels, including prevention of racist ideas and beliefs.
Every resident child of every local school district has a right to an education. This country has a long history of welcoming legal immigrants to becoming United States citizens. However I do not believe it is the burden of school districts to accommodate illegal immigrants or refugees that the federal or state government decides to locate in their district. This puts undue burden on local taxpayers and schools. Families that have applied for and granted asylum can be an exception to this and schools should try to accommodate. This is not an issue in our district at the moment but I believe English is the language of our country and those who come here from other countries should accommodate that, not the other way around.