I hold a Master Photographic Craftsman Degree and Certified Professional Photographer rating from the Professional Photographers of America.
I have lived in Fort Collins since 1970 and wife my wife Lolly have operated Clarke Photography.
I am a Colorado native with roots in Larimer County since 1880
It is not wise for the board to dictate specific cuts to the staff. I have experienced success during my terms on the Fort Collins City Council and the Larimer County Board of Commissioners by asking the departments to identify 5% and 10% cuts they would make if the budget became tight. I also asked them to identify what important additions they could make, and the benefits to the taxpayers of doing so, if they were given increases of 5% or 10%.
Job satisfaction comes from being appreciated. My approach to attract and retain good people is to understand that you get someone's efforts during working hours with the money you pay them. You get their support and commitment 24 hours a day by the way you treat them. Three principles: (1) Hire the best people available, (2) pay them as much as you can possibly afford, and (3) give them equal amounts of responsibility and authority. Under this system, good people work hard.
I think vouchers are irrelevant in PSD because we allow choice in school selection. And, we have a variety of educational choices that include charter schools.
We do a good job if a student wants to attend college. Our programs should also meet the needs of students who are not college bound. School-to-work programs and partnerships with local businesses could help create connections.
I totally support and would continue to encourage the concurrent process of 9-12 PSD students attending Front Range Community College. Their offerings provide an excellent track to a good job that doesn’t require a college degree.
I like the current system of televising meetings live as well as providing video access to past meetings. I would personally invite community members to small meetings throughout the district to discuss school related issues. I have always had an open and frank relationship with the press.
I have 2 children, one of whom graduated from the IB program at Poudre High, and another who is currently in Poudre High School. I am also the President of the NOCO/Fort Collins Chapter of PFLAG, which supports the LGBTQIA community.
There are ways that the school district and other entities can work together to save money. For example, at the Poudre River Public Library District, we found that a few of the databases that our patrons were using for research overlapped with databases students were using at Poudre School District. Now the library and school district work to purchase these databases together, saving money for each organization. I believe we can find more opportunities for this type of community collaboration.
Poudre School District has some of the best teachers and staff in the state. Unfortunately, many of them are finding it hard to live within the district on their current salary. Teachers have not had a significant pay increase for several years. We want our teachers to be an integral part of our community, so we need to provide compensation that enables our teachers and staff members to live within the district they serve.
Poudre School District is one of the finest school districts in Colorado and offers many choices to meet the educational needs of students and their families. Taxpayer dollars for schools are decreasing, and putting that money toward school vouchers would fund private, rather than public education, limiting the reach of our educational resources. Simply put, I do not believe school vouchers are the right choice for our community.
I would like to see the Poudre School District teach more computer science, starting in elementary school and offering various courses and levels through high school. Many are doing this already, but I believe it should become a core class that high school students must take to graduate, like math or a foreign language. Computer Science and coding are skills that every graduate will need, whether they are entering the job market or pursuing a 2-year or 4-year degree.
I believe we should increase opportunities for communication between board members, the school district, and our students’ parents. Using social media is a great way to achieve this; platforms like Facebook and Twitter are accessible to most parents any time of day or night.