Meet your school board candidates: Part 3
Craig — After presenting interviews with those running for positions with the Moffat County School Board throughout the past two weeks, the Craig Daily Press brings readers the final three candidates.
Patrick Germond, 44, District 4 challenger
Current job or employment status: Retired/disabled veteran
Personal education: Associate of arts with an emphasis in psychology and criminal justice, Bachelor of Science in psychology with an emphasis in early childhood development from Regis University
Experience with local education: “Last year, I had four children attending school, in every level of the Moffat County school district, and thus have had a substantial amount of interaction with various school district employees. Over the years, at numerous times, I have been a classroom volunteer, which has given me an appreciation of the high quality of teachers we have locally.”
What inspired me to run for the School Board and why you should vote for me: “Several years ago when Moffat County School District scored in the bottom 1 percent in the state, I was in shock; then when the administration was not held accountable, I was profoundly disappointed. What sealed the deal was when, again, last year our school district did very poorly, I felt I needed to contribute. People of our community are entrusting their most precious loved ones, their children, to Moffat County schools, and if anything was going to change, it would have to happen at the school board level. Having children attending the school district gives me a personal stake in our schools’ future. Our school district is experiencing an education crisis. I have the passion and the resolve to hold people accountable. Those who have failed and whose pernicious ideas have lead the school district in this downward spiral; I will be asking for their resignations, effective immediately.”
One area where the school district needs improvement: “Ineffective school board members and administrators who have sold us the same excuses over and over again, that this year they got it figured out and that things will be different, need to be replaced, those whose very intransigence has caused this problem. An example of this is in the last weeks, I have seen many compliments in this paper directed toward the leadership and outgoing board members. I ask you, what private sector management job do I know where the company can be in the bottom 1 percent of the market, and people would be complimenting the management and giving them accolades? Delusional. This community must stop accepting excuses such as ‘It is complicated’ or ‘The parents need to be more involved’ and start requiring results. We have to break the cycle of ‘going along to get along.’ Other school districts around the state, Steamboat for example, have to work with the same fundamentals, such as state testing, teachers unions, kids from broken homes and overall state guidelines for discipline and regulations, and they are succeeding in their academic endeavors. Compounding the problem, Moffat County’s administration and school board have built walls between themselves and the public. They need to allow public input at board meetings again. At this time, parents must be put on the agenda before they can speak to the board at public meetings.”
One area where the district is doing well: “On the bright side, we have great teachers. If they are given more support from the administration on things like discipline and more control over their classrooms, our school district would turn around very quickly and show marked improvement within a year or two. But to get there, we will have to elect parents and new members to the school board. That is, ‘God willing and the river don’t rise.’”
Tony Peroulis, 55, District 4 challenger
Resident of Craig/Moffat County for: “My entire life.”
Current job or employment status: Owner of Peroulis Brothers Trucking
Personal education: “I’m a graduate of MCHS with a master’s in the school of hard knocks.”
Experience with local education: “I’ve been active with PAC and parent-teacher conferences, and I’m president of the Booster Club. I’m also in Maximum Commitment to Excellence and Friends of Moffat County Education.”
What inspired me to run (or run again) for the school board: “I think that a new perspective is needed. You can’t ref from the sidelines; you’ve got to be in the game. I’m wanting to get in the game, help the district succeed and raise the bar for the students and hopefully the whole community.”
One area where the school district needs improvement: “Communication is one thing, district-wide. I think we also need to make sure with new things they’ve implemented, and with (Superintendent) Joe Petrone leaving, we need to make sure we’re in the right direction moving forward.”
One area where the district is doing well: “There’s an open-door policy with the administration wanting input from the community, and I think that’s a good thing.”
The reason you should vote for me: “My main focus is accountability, and the first person I need to hold accountable is myself. It goes from there — the kids, the parents, the teachers, the administration and the entire community. If there’s accountability, everybody knows they have to have a reason to succeed, and if everybody’s focused on that, I think it’ll really help us succeed.”
Sue Voloshin, 47, District 2 Challenger
Resident of Craig/Moffat County for: “A lifetime, except when I was attending college.”
Current job or employment status: CFO of Mountain West Insurance
Personal education: Bachelor of Science in business finance and real estate from Colorado State University
Experience with local education: “My husband and I both graduated from MCHS, and we currently have three children in three different schools, and I’ve attended meetings here and there when I could. I’m also involved in Maximum Commitment to Excellence.”
What inspired me to run (or run again) for the school board: “It’s an opportunity to serve and make a difference in our kids’ lives. Our kids are the future of our community.”
One area where the school district needs improvement: “We’re facing a lot of challenges in the public school system, and we need people within the business community that will help set the direction of our expectations because there’s a lot of finance and performance issues that we face.”
One area where the district is doing well: “There are a lot of examples in the classroom and in the school programs, and I think we need to look at those successes and learn how to duplicate them in other programs.”
The reason you should vote for me: “I grew up in Craig, I’m an active member in the community and I think I recognize that we need involvement from individuals with roots in Moffat County. There’s a lot of people coming and going, but I think we need to recognize where we’ve been and where we need to go, as well. I want to make a positive contribution in all our kids’ lives, and this is a pivotal time to make some changes.”
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.
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