I was born in Manhattan, KS., I have also lived in Hays, Penn., back to Manhattan for college and now call Hiawatha home. I have a bachelor’s in accounting from Kansas State. I have family all over the states and in other countries. My own little nuclear family is composed of my husband Stacy, who grew up here in Hiawatha, and our two children, a freshman at HHS and a 7th grader at HMS. I have worked in a few different industries in my life including a grocery clerk, automobile parts delivery and sales, tax accounting, a short stint at a local casino, medical records/billing and insurance.
1. Sufficient funding for staffing and facilities to grow our schools to keep up with needs as well as being attractive to potential incoming families and businesses. The patrons of the district have to trust and believe in the district so there are no hard feelings (no more than the normal discontent in paying taxes) in handing over their hard-earned money for use by the districts. Also, effective transparency & communication to the parents of the children and other patrons of the district.
2. Schools receive their funding based on student numbers. We can’t control the number of babies born or the number of people that choose to move to our area but we can choose to make our district attractive in the quality of learning we offer, this is why we chose to have our family here. Our district does a good job at that and we have great teachers and staff, we need to keep educating our teachers and staff so they have the skills and tools to meet and overcome obstacles within their job and more effectively educate all types of learners. Being purposeful and frugal in our budget is important as well so we are making the best choices for the long-term survival of our community.
3. I would like to see a chance for staff to get development opportunities more often. Sometimes opportunities and needs come up and to have to wait so long to get the staff the tools they need can be detrimental to the kids. I see the need for some facilities changes, these details have been brought up in past meetings and the square feet per kid we have available is below the recommended average. We have seen over the last two years how crucial it is to have space for our students.
4. I think it is a necessary happening for the future of our district and to facilitate the most effective learning for our kids. This needs to be done carefully and with consideration to future needs as well as with much deliberation and research as you get one chance to do something that big correctly.
5. The role of the board is to respectfully listen to all patrons while encouraging communication and bring their comments and concerns to the rest of the board. Sometimes the need is for the board member to direct the patron to the correct district personnel. They also have their own life experience and knowledge that they need to apply to the board discussions as well. Flexibility of thought is important because there are many things we don’t know and have never experienced.
6. I won’t tell you that I am the best candidate for this position. I only know that I want what is best for the kids, staff and community I live in. If that is the other candidate, then they are the best candidate.