School board forum addresses wide range of topics |

School board forum addresses wide range of topics

Lauren Blair
Moffat County High School sophomore Olivia Neece, co-captain of the MCHS debate team, asked questions of candidates for the Moffat County School District Board of Education Tuesday evening at the MCHS auditorium. Speech and debate student leaders Jake Stewart, head captain of the team, Gage Rowley and Wes Atkin also helped moderate the forum, organized by Moffat County Education Association.
Lauren Blair

— Whereas last week’s school board candidate forum addressed a handful of hot-button issues, Tuesday night’s forum covered a broad spectrum of questions, from student testing to evaluating teachers to what changes candidates would most like to see in the school district.

Moffat County Education Association hosted the event with the help of Moffat County High School speech and debate team captains Jake Stewart, Olivia Neece, Gage Rowley and Wes Atkin, who posed questions to the candidates on the stage of the MCHS auditorium.

Here’s are some of their answers:

District 7 candidate Charity Neal, on implementing change: “I get frustrated when I sit in meetings and I hear, ‘It takes us five years to make changes in district.’ That just cost my student five years.”

District 5 candidate Jo Ann Baxter, on assessments: “We look at these statewide assessments and then we compare ourselves to other school districts. That is a very difficult thing to do. We are not the same as Hayden, we are not same as Steamboat… We need to find a way to report that we are achieving success with our students and we may not be seeing that reflected in these standardized tests.”

District 3 candidate JoBeth Tupa, on attracting students to the district: “I don’t think the community feels that the school district is transparent across the board. I think asking those (homeschool) parents why those chose to take students out of the district is the first thing I would’ve done.”

District 3 candidate Travis Linsacum, on resources: “We need to educate this community and we need to get a mill levy passed. And we need to use that money to get more resources such as iPads so our students can be successful.”

District 1 candidate Amy Shaffer, on direction of the district: “One of the reasons I’m running for school board, as the mother of pre-schooler heading into public education next year, I’m asking, why am I so interested in homeschooling? That shouldn’t be… If I’m this worried about public school system, I need to be part of the change.”

District 1 candidate Darryl Steele, on balancing a budget: “When I was elected to Moffat County Commissioners, we were in a pretty tough financial situation. The budget hadn’t been balanced in six years and we had to make some pretty tough cuts… I know how to balance budgets, I know how to do that without affecting bottom line, which in this case is education.”

District 1 candidate JNL Linsacum, on changes needed in the district: “The only thing I can say needs to be addressed is teacher retention. Teachers are overworked and it’s hard to be a teacher today… I’d like to help our teachers so they’re not so stressed and overworked.”

District 1 candidate Neil Folks, on vocational training: “There seems to be a quite wide disconnect between our vocational education programs and our business people. This would be a good way to build good skilled labor for those who don’t want to go onto college or for those who fell through cracks.”

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