Editor’s note: In last week’s Saturday Morning Press, we highlighted five of the 11 candidates running for Moffat County Board of Education. Due to lengthy answers and space constraints, the paper will run three candidates this Saturday and the remaining three next Saturday. Additionally, the newspaper will publish a separate school board candidate questionnaire compiled by the Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 12.
Last week, the Craig Daily Press interviewed several of the candidates for the upcoming school board elections, mail-in ballots for which will be going out to voters Oct. 15. This week, we bring you three of the remaining six candidates running for office.
Joel Browning, 28, District 5 Unopposed Incumbent
Resident of Craig/Moffat County for: “All but 2 years of my life.”
Current job or employment status: Owner of Identity Graphics
Personal education: Graduate of Moffat County High School; training in heating, air conditioning and refrigerator repair from Front Range Community College
Experience with local education: “I’ve been on the school board for eight months, and since I grew up here I have an interest in it. I’ve also worked with Young Life in the past.”
What inspired me to run (or run again) for the school board: “Just getting involved with it, I saw how much work it takes and it got me excited about getting involved and to try new things. Now’s a good time because we’ve got a lot of changes. I don’t necessarily want to be a board member when my (infant) son is in school, so now is a good time in my life to do it. A lot of people think since we’re a small town we have poor education, but I don’t see any reason why in Craig you shouldn’t be able to get as good an education as possible, and if I can make that happen for kids, I’m all for it.”
One area where the school district needs improvement: “Obviously our test scores could go up. A lot of people want to say they’re unfair or they’re counted wrong, but that’s one of the best tools we have to compare where we are next to other schools. We need a way to regulate how well we’re doing.”
One area where the district is doing well: “I feel like they’re not just sitting around waiting for things to happen. We’re constantly adjusting the Rubik’s cube to find out how we can do better.”
The reason you should vote for me: “Fortunately, I don’t have to run against anyone, but I’ve learned a lot about sticking with things through good times and bad. Owning my own business, I know sometimes you’ve got to cut things and sometimes people aren’t happy with it, but you’ve just got to do it. I’ve also seen that hard work pays off, and I’m willing to work hard to find results that will make everyone happy.”
Darrell Camilletti, 62, District 6 Challenger
Resident of Craig/Moffat County for: “I’ve lived in the Yampa Valley my whole life, and Craig for 25 of those years.”
Current job or employment status: Owner of Mountain West Insurance
Personal education: Bachelor's of science in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from University of Northern Colorado
Experience with local education: “I’ve had three daughters graduate from MCHS, and I’ve got three kids in the schools now. I do Maximum Commitment to Excellence, Moffat County Booster Club and I was president of the Hayden School District for four years.
What inspired me to run (or run again) for the school board: “I think we owe it to all the kids to provide them an opportunity to be successful in whatever they choose to do. I think the community has a responsibility to expect excellence from the school system, and I think we as a community need to contribute and have a proactive stance on making a positive difference.”
One area where the school district needs improvement: “They haven’t been as aggressive as they could be addressing some of their problems, like test scores and losing students to other schools like Hayden or Steamboat or GOAL Academy or home school.”
One area where the district is doing well: “I think the Understanding by Design program has the potential to change some of the outcomes and improve results.”
The reason you should vote for me: “I have a lot of board experience, I have a vested interest in this subject and I have high expectations. I think we have an opportunity to make a difference and I’ll give it my best shot to make it happen.”
Charity Neal, 39, District 7 Challenger
Resident of Craig/Moffat County for: 15 years
Current job or employment status: Registered nurse with The Memorial Hospital
Personal education: Associate degree in nursing from Colorado Northwestern Community College; currently enrolled seeking Master of Science in nursing with Western Governors University
Experience with local education: “I have three sons in the school system, a fifth-grader, a second-grader and a kindergartner, and I’ve been on the School Accountability Committee and the District Accountability Committee. Through redistricting, I’ve had a student in three of the four elementary schools, so we’ve experienced most of them.”
What inspired me to run (or run again) for the school board: “I really think it’s important to teach children to be lifelong learners whether that’s formal or informal. I can do what I can at home, but the schools are the key to teaching people to be lifelong learners.”
One area where the school district needs improvement: “We need to openly recognize any issues we have and discuss solutions. I think sometimes we gloss over problems instead of taking them head-on.”
One area where the district is doing well: “We have phenomenal staff and teachers in the classrooms every day. They’re all doing a great job.”
The reason you should vote for me: “I’m not afraid to ask hard questions and work hard to come up with answers and solutions.”
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.