Spend a Week in San Diego
In uncertain times, I believe my experience as a board member for the last nine years will help our district navigate the ambiguities introduced by the pandemic. My in-depth understanding of our budget forecasting will be valuable as we evaluate enrollment fluctuations and state funding adjustments during the legislative session. In Sherwood, our long-term approach to budgeting has allowed us to avoid dramatic cuts while forcing us to only make the strategic, purposeful investments that maximize student outcomes. Over the past year, we gained experience with several new strategies and technologies to meet the needs of students (eg. online campus, flexible schedules). I believe some of these approaches align with our existing, proven methodologies and could potentially enhance the outcomes for many students.
Building an Education System for Lifelong Learners
During my nine years on the board, the district has made focused, purposeful investments to produce some of the highest student achievement outcomes and high school graduation rates in the state. In the last 15 years, we have seen the introduction of smartphones, cloud computing, machine learning, and 4G/5G. Information and technology are no longer changing; it is accelerating. We need to continue to emphasize critical thinking over memorization in all subjects. I’m also a strong believer that a high-quality education is more than test scores. We need to make it easier for students to pursue outstanding opportunities in our non-core subject areas such as the arts (eg. music, visual, literature), sports, shop, and technology. We also need to continue the extremely important mental health work that we initiated to help kids deal with stress and anxiety.
4. What do you see as the major issues facing the Sherwood School District?
As a 20+ year Sherwood resident, I’m ecstatic that, “school overcrowding” is (finally) not on the list for the first time in this century. I’ve very proud to say that our bond projects were delivered on-time and on-budget. With that said, the pandemic has created some issues and opportunities. The first issue is the budget impact. As an experienced board member and engineer, I strongly believe that I minimize the ambiguities introduced by enrollment fluctuations, increased pandemic costs, school funding formula adjustments, and uncertainty of a legislative session. On the plus side, we also need to reflect on some of the pandemic-related changes that could have significant benefits for students (eg. cloud campus, flexible schedules). I also believe that we need to examine the college/career pathways so our students can have a smoother post-graduation transition.