Why I Am Running
I am running for the RSF School Board to bring the community together and find common ground, so that together, we can resolve the issues facing our school district.
Finding Common Ground
In my years of managing teams where opinions range a wide gamut, I have been able to distill out a set of principles to form a common ground that most people can agree on. I will bring my experience of measured leadership to the Board, so that it will have a a solid working relationship. I have heard from many people that they want a cohesive Board so that the difficult issues facing the district can be resolved.
It is to this end, that I will bring an openness of mind and foster trust between all stakeholders: Students, Parents, School Board, Faculty, Education Foundation, and the Community at large.
I believe in being responsive to the Community. I will seek out peoples’ thoughts and solicit their input through individual discussions and surveys. When a concerned parent or community member makes an effort to come to a Board meeting and make a public comment, I think it’s important for me to have a conversation with that person to ensure that their concerns are heard. Public officials are elected to serve the community and to hear and consider all voices, even those that they may not agree with.
Balancing the Budget
One point of common ground, among the residents in the Roger Rowe District, is to have a balanced budget. As a General Partner of a Value Investing group for the last 15 years, I have vast experience in reading balance sheets and income and cash flow statements. I would use this experience, along with my experience in running a software business, to balance the district’s budget.
Currently, we are in a deficit situation that needs to be resolved. I have always been against raising taxes to solve our problems with our residents’ money. So we must solve this issue immediately and make sure we have accurate budget projections for the next 5 to 10 years. In my opinion, we should be be running surpluses so that we can have reserves to draw upon for the next economic recession. The District needs ample reserves to have flexibility in the future for our children.
Before approving any spending, I would ask the Superintendent and Finance Director for the full budget and make sure that the district can afford it. This means looking at the budget at every meeting, and comparing previous projections with actual numbers and then reviewing forecasts. This is what every family does over the kitchen table, and the School Board should be no different.
Enhancing the Curriculum
Another point of common ground is enhancing the quality of our academics. Improving our curriculum and preparing the kids for STEM fields is important to me. Last November, I met with the former Superintendent to discuss instituting more STEM programs, including 3D printing and Computer Science. I was pleased to hear the initiation of a Computer Science program for the younger grades for this year.
Only once we achieve a budget surplus, I will push for measured and careful investments in programs that will continue to prepare the students for the ever quickly technological landscape. The balanced budget always comes first.
Most agree that school safety is paramount in making sure our children are safe. This starts with helping the children to “know each other” and to include one another, so that no child feels like an outcast for any reason. School assemblies, guest speakers, and practice exercises can embolden children to work towards this end. Also, safety is enhanced by the faculty working with the sheriff and RSF Patrol to ensure proper protocols are in place for emergency situations. The Board has already been working with several parents on these items, and I will continue that work, if elected to the Board.