Q&A With The School Board Candidates
1. Describe your background: family, education, occupation, community service, involvement with local schools.
I have been married to my wonderful and supportive husband, Jim, for over 40 years. We have two children and three grandchildren. I received my education through the Glasgow School system, and I credit my successes in my career to that education along with dedicated, hard work.
I am retired from the State of Montana Department of Labor & Industry, where I was the manager of the Northeast Montana Job Service Centers in Glasgow, Wolf Point and Poplar. Six months prior to my retirement I was the interim Bureau Chief for the department overseeing all the Job Service offices in the state.
My past community service activities include secretary/treasurer of Two Rivers Economic Growth, director of Milk River Activities, Inc., director of Valley View Home, president of Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce, and chair of Northeast Montana Community Management Team. I currently serve as president of Great Northern Development Corporation, chair of Great Northern Development Loan Review Board, vice president of First Lutheran Church Council, first vice president of VFW Auxiliary, member of Valley County Compensation Board, member of the Montana State Vocational Rehabilitation Governor’s Advisory Council and chair of Northeast Montana Relay for Life.
My involvements in the past with local schools have been through coordinating activities with school-to-work programs, job fairs, disability programs and Jobs for Montana Graduates. My involvement lately has been through attending my granddaughter’s programs and activities.
2. How has your experience prepared you for a trustee position?
I had over 17 years in management for the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. During that time I hired and managed several staff, prepared and managed multimillion dollar budgets, developed, managed and monitored several grants and programs. I wrote grants and negotiated contracts, interpreted laws, regulation and policies. I have developed policies and procedures at the local as well as state level. I have had to establish and maintain relationships with individuals, multiple agencies, organizations, community partners, legislators and state and federal leaders.
In addition to management, I have been a member of the Montana Public Employees Association Union, so I do understand both sides of issues and concerns.
I feel my work with boards helps me understand the board structure and realize they all run somewhat differently.
Overall I believe the skills I’ve obtained will help me become a valuable member to the School Board.
3. Why are you running for trustee?
I have thought about running for some time, and now that I am retired I am willing, in fact eager, to devote the time and energy that this community deserves. I have a deep passion for Glasgow, and I feel it is important to be of service to your community. I was born, raised and proud to have been educated here. My two children attended elementary school here, and I have a granddaughter in first grade and a grandson that will be attending in a couple of years.
Because of that, I feel intrigued to take an active role in the ongoing improvement of our local educational system. I am open-minded, and I feel I can bring a broad perspective, fairness, and objectivity to the position. I like to work in a team environment, and I enjoy the process of making appropriate and responsible decisions.
4. What are the most important issues for our schools?
The most important issues are always our students, teachers and administration. That’s first and foremost.
Another important issue for our schools at this time is the $16.8 million building project and all the planning, budgeting and construction that is on the horizon.
Another issue is the continuing transition to the Common Core State Standards that need to be fully implemented by 2015.
In addition is the ongoing responsibility of implementing unfunded mandates while ensuring continuous improvements to our academic and extra-curricular programs within the budget.
Safety policies and procedures are also an important issue that needs to be continually assessed and evaluated.
5. What are your goals for continued high student achievement to support college and career readiness?
The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to ensure that all students, regardless of where they live, will graduate ready for college and careers. My goals will be to help ensure the smooth transition of the Common Core Standards, to communicate across all areas, and support the professional development needs and opportunities for teachers so they may successfully implement the standards by 2015.
6. How can the school board foster the tradition of school partnership with businesses and the community as a whole?
The school board can foster the tradition by the expansion of and continuing communication strategies now in place. Those include the school calendar, school website, the Great Scot!, and news articles and stories. In addition, we are fortunate to live in a community that truly supports the school district. This is evident by the recent approval of the $16.8 million bond issue. By inviting interested individuals and business leaders to help in the planning of specific topics (such as the building project), the school board can encourage partnerships in other areas of needs or goals for the school and community. This process can ensure the continued support and improvement of our educational system and overall community development.