Election 2017: Q & A with Aden Morrison, Hayden School Board candidate
Steamboat Today: Do you favor the school district’s pursuit of a bond issue to help secure a “Best Grant” from the Colorado Department of Education, which would enable the construction of new middle and high schools? Why or why not?
Aden Morrison: I am not 100 percent in favor of the school district’s pursuit of the BEST Grant at this time. My main concern is how the district is going to maintain a $50 million to $60 million school building. I also feel that $22.3 million is a lot to ask from the community. I do believe however, that our schools are in need of updating but can be accomplished at a much lower cost.
ST: As the school district pursues a $22.3 million bond issue to help fund the new middle school and high school, do you have any concerns about the district’s tax base given the evolving circumstances in the national energy and power sectors?
AM: With all the talk of Colorado shutting down coal-fired power plants, the energy and power sectors are going to be bringing changes to our valley over the next 10 to 15 years. I think the Hayden School District needs to start planning for this now and be seriously considering the impact this could have on the number of tax payers in our district.
ST: Are you concerned with the challenges small school districts in Colorado face in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers? Please describe.
AM: Yes, I am concerned about recruiting and retaining teachers in small districts. Colorado as a whole is known for low teacher salaries, which makes it hard to attract and keep highly qualified teachers.
ST: What qualifies you to serve on the Hayden School Board?
AM: I have children in the Hayden School District, and I would like the opportunity to be a part of the decisions made that affect their education. I have also owned my own business for the last 11 years and understand budgets and the struggle of keeping long-term employees. I have come to realize that listening to others and keeping an open mind is key to success.
ST: In what academic or programmatic area do you think the school district should focus more resources?
AM: The area I would like the district to focus on more is trying to bring specials back to full time. (P.E., music, art, band and wood shop for example). With the cuts made recently in these areas (as core classes need to remain), I feel it has hurt our students. These areas are vital to those students who don’t enjoy school.