I am a parent of 2 daughters that are in the Poudre School district. We have lived here in Fort Collins for 15 years and in that time, I have gotten very involved in Education issues and advocacy throughout the district and state.
I have had the opportunity to sit on a few different committees in Poudre School District and at the State level on committees as a parent representative.
I believe that public education is the backbone of a great community and so I have continued to work on strengthening of the education funding system in Colorado for the past 4 years.
A great school district is important for students, teachers and the community. I would like to continue to serve as PSD Board of Education Director, to ensure that PSD is giving students an unsurpassed opportunity to be their best.
Our public schools are one of the pillars of a great society because it sets a foundation for kids’ future. That is why I have been working for years trying to find a better way to fund education in Colorado, working with a coalition of education organizations and advocates from all over the state.
It is absolutely imperative that we improve teacher salaries, so we have already passed a resolution to send a mill levy override (4A) to the ballot. Second, it is important that we provide the supportive staff, across the range from paras to occupational therapists, so that teachers do not feel that they are alone, and that educating a child is a team effort. Lastly, as a Board, we must make it a priority to fund our training and professional development program to enable teachers to refresh.
They have a place in our system, but I don’t think they should be funded with public funds, unless they are a public charter school.
I believe that we could continue to do a better job of identifying students’ learning needs early on, so that we can give them a strong foundation for learning and an understanding of the importance of learning, to support them throughout their academic life and beyond. A great example of this would be increasing our early childhood capability to get more students prepared for kindergarten, which might entail partnerships with outside organizations and private preschools.
Policies have been updated to make sure all entries are secured throughout the day, with a teacher at every door when students walk in, and a push button entry with camera visual. We increased Student Resource Officers last year by two. Enhancing student safety can be accomplished by continuing to make deep connections with students so that we are aware of possible situations before they occur.
I’m originally from New Hampshire and came to Fort Collins in 1990 to attend CSU for both my B.S. in Business Management and M.S. in Marketing. I have been involved in small business for my entire career beginning with starting a retail apparel company straight out of Grad School. I have been the General Manager of a promotional products company here in Fort Collins for the past 12 years. My wife and I have three children ages 13, 17 and 19 and feel fortunate that they have been able to be educated in such an excellent school district. I have been active in the school district as a coach of several baseball and basketball teams through Johnson E.S. and Webber M.S. , as well as a Cub Scout leader. More recently I have been a member of the PSD District Advisory Board and the Budget Advisory Committee. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the teachers and administrators in PSD and believe that with more support and engagement with the community we can make PSD even better. I have often thought about how innovative programs partnering students with local businesses could prove mutually beneficial. I’m a passionate believer that students should get exposure to more real world experiences while also learning about the value of personal responsibility, work ethic and financial management. Finally, I believe we need to strive to provide a distraction free learning environment tailored to meet different learning styles.
It has been said that an educated society is a stronger society. Our public education system serves the role of the great equalizer in our society, providing equal opportunity for people of all different backgrounds to excel and succeed in life. For decades our education system has produced high quality students who have lead the way in societal change, innovation in business and the improvement of the overall quality of life of their fellow Americans and millions of others around the world.
1. Higher average pay than other Northern Colorado school districts. Funding for this can come from a variety of sources including a tougher look at the PSD budget where "leaks" are identified and savings are used for teacher salaries.
2. Improvements to the retirement program including changes to low/no fee annuities as well as retirement planning resources.
3. Opportunities to earn more merit based awards (both financial and experiential) through partnerships with the business community
I feel that parents know their child best and should have the freedom to choose the type of school they go to whether it be public, private, charter or homeschooling. Children are not a homogenous group that learns the same way so alternatives should be available to insure all students reach their full potential. However, I do feel that if alternative schools get public funding they must meet the same vetting and certification standards as public schools.
There should be more emphasis on preparation for students' post-secondary experience. A large expansion of the internship and apprenticeship programs should be enacted to help expose students to different careers while also teaching them lessons of hard work and responsibility. Personal finance classes that give students a full understanding of college loans, the dangers of credit cards, an understanding of mortgages and insurance, as well as cost of living should be required.
Improvements have been made in severals schools to insure that emergency responders can have full communications connectivity inside the buildings. There have also been changes made to outdated intercom/speaker systems. Finally, more secure doors and point of entry procedures have been implemented. I think an expansion of the SRO program to give full time coverage to all schools in PSD is a priority that all voters would support as the safety of our students should be our #1 priority.