Work: Educator – retired
Experience: Extensive background developing and designing instructional technology curricula. Has consulted, taught and managed education in China, Vietnam, South Korea Indonesia, Taiwan, Iran, Tanzania, Italy, Australia, Pakistan and America. Worked creating and delivering workshops on Blackboard Learning & Content Management System. Designed Laureate Online Education Inc.’s flagship MBA program. Worked as an assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
How long have you lived in Durango?
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Reading, computer projects, walking my dogs (I never really had a dog before moving to Durango), getting together with people.
Why are you running for school board?
My grandson is a student in the district, so I became aware of the educational system here, and I felt I might be able to contribute to the continued improvement of the schools using my extensive experience and knowledge in the field of education.
What school board issues do you care most about?
Oversight of policies in order to make sure every student has the opportunity to be successful and graduate prepared for the career or college of their choice.
What would you most like to see change?
I don’t believe in dictating what needs to be changed until one is fully informed and understands the past workings and the current plans, goals and issues. There are, however, issues I would like to know more about like literacy in the early grades and interventions for middle and high school students who are struggling.
Please list two ways in which you think Durango School District 9-R is improving and two ways in which you’d like to see it improve.
Improving: From the information I currently have, it looks like we are on the right track becoming more compliant with the state laws and national standards, which is resulting in our move to improved learning results. From personal experience, I believe our administration and teachers are on the right track with professionalism, experience, skills and communications and are moving to do even better with professional development both internally and externally.
Need to improve: All schools can do better; there is no end to doing better, even in high-achieving schools. From looking at the results report, literacy throughout the grades (K–12) is an area we can do better. Proficiency in literacy improves learning in all grades and all subjects.
Again, I feel I need more information and more involvement is needed to make fair judgments.
What do you think of the district using the traditional school calendar versus a longer or year-round calendar?
Currently, as a outsider, the number of “student contact” days seems short. I would ask the administrators and teachers if they feel they have enough time to teach not only their formal curriculum, but to include the informal or over-arching curriculum developing and teaching character, social responsibilities and emotional health. In other words, does our calendar provide ample time to serve the students well? If yes, then fine; if no, then we need to consider other options.
What do you think of Amendment 66?
That’s a hard question. I’m on a fixed income, so personally, that amendment will hurt me – a little. But without the additional monies this amendment will provide, very difficult decisions will have to be made that will negatively impact our ability to provide for all of our children.
How would you propose ensuring teachers are effective?
Support the superintendent in his move to better and more effective teacher evaluations. Hire well. Provide opportunities for professional development. Don’t just look at the negative and criticize – see all the good that is being done and recognize it. Support teachers and understand how hard most of them work and what a good job they are doing.