Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 18, 2018

School board candidate questionnaires

Mar 14, 2018

Editor’s note: These are the questionaires the Washington Chamber of Commerce sent to all the school board candidates for the special election March 20 for District No. 2 on the Washington School Board.

 

James Almelien

Why are you seeking a seat on the Washington School Board, and what experience and qualifications do you have?

I am seeking a seat on the Washington School Board because I believe Washington students deserve a quality education. Coming from a family that includes 16 educators, I have a strong knowledge base of what is needed to help students, educators, and administration. Also, after retiring from my retirement job, I have the time to give back to the community. With regard to my experiences and qualifications, I worked for 38 years in the utility industry and held various positions from rank and file to management. During my career, we went through two mergers where I was appointed to numerous committees to come up with the best processes moving forward. I learned government processes while I was on the Winfield city council for over 11 years. I also helped get Washington Main Street up and running. I am a member of the Washington Airport Commission and the Kiwanis AM’ers club.

What is your decision-making style, and how will you use that on the school board, and working with District administration, committees and the public?

I utilize several different decision making styles when approached with opportunities . I adapt to the situation when making a decision. After accessing all of the information that is pertaining to the task, I choose what will responsibly and positively impact different processes, individuals, and fiances.

What do you want the Washington School District to accomplish during your 4-year term?

I envision an environment that is safe and nurturing to all, where students learn and administration and educators work together to make Washington Community Schools excel. In four years, I want Washington to be the school of choice for all involved, be it students, educators, staff, or administrators.

The State is approving a 1 percent, $32 million increase to the $3.2 billion education budget, at a time of declining or slow growth in State revenue. What strategies should the District pursue to sustain a quality education for students?

My experience and qualifications will help the district with coming up with solutions to money problems. I have successfully worked with budgets, prepared budgets, and made hard decisions during my career. The district needs to remove waste, streamline processes, and put into place effective measures that will save taxpayers money while still continuing the quality of education that the students deserve.

Dana McDole

Why are you seeking a seat on the Washington School Board, and what experience and qualifications do you have?

I am seeking a seat on the School board because I am passionate about our district and making it great. I will advocate for the students, community and all staff, and am not afraid to speak up on issues or go against the norm.

I have six years experience serving on St. James School board and then served four years on the Washington District School board. I have taught in the classroom setting and been in management most of my career, where I have had to work with multiple different ideologies and ideas, to come up with a shared common end goal.

What is your decision-making style, and how will you use that on the school board, and working with District administration, committees and the public?

My decision-making style is collaborative and solutions-oriented. I feel that a team approach with all individuals having an open mind, is necessary to make positive change and implement goals. This style, and my experience in sales and management, enable me to listen with an open mind, and ask open-ended questions to come up with a positive solution that benefits everyone and is the best for our district. I am not afraid to go against the norm in a respectful way to work toward a solution, if that’s needed.

What do you want the Washington School District to accomplish during your 4-year term?

4-year goals - continue to develop the 10-year facility plan; advance the work of the Teacher Leadership Compensation(TLC), and/or support the development of our teaching staff; and continue open communication, and different methods of communicating.

The State is approving a 1 percent, $32 million increase to the $3.2 billion education budget, at a time of declining or slow growth in State revenue. What strategies should the District pursue to sustain a quality education for students?

Before I left the board, we set a plan of implementing the early retirement program that has prepared us for what we saw as a funding cliff with our largest three classes leaving us; because of that proactive work, the district is in a position to continue to attract and retain strong teachers despite continued low funding from the State. Our continued sharing with other districts has aided in this as well.

I hope that we can set ourselves apart because of the work that was done three years ago when I was on the board.

Lori Orris

 

Why are you seeking a seat on the Washington School Board, and what experience and qualifications do you have?

I am seeking a seat on the Washington School board because I think that we have an excellent school district and resources for our children, especially in special needs and education. I want to be apart of the school board to watch it grow. I am a member of the IFAPA (Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association) and have been for 10 years, I have worked with numerous children of all different backgrounds that have been in our school district, and lastly I care about the school district and community.

 

What is your decision-making style, and how will you use that on the school board, and working with District administration, committees and the public?

My decision-making style would be one that benefits the school district as a whole; I would not make a decision if it was not something that would postively affect our school district. Decisions should not be based off what one group would benefit from, if it would negatively impact the whole. I know how to use my voice and speak up for what I believe in.

What do you want the Washington School District to accomplish during your 4-year term?

To continue and excel in providing quality education to every child no matter what their needs are and to prepare them for transition into a postsecondary education and most importantly giving them the tools they need to succeed in their future.

The State is approving a 1 percent, $32 million increase to the $3.2 billion education budget, at a time of declining or slow growth in State revenue. What strategies should the District pursue to sustain a quality education for students?

Countinue the core basics and if need be cut back on elective courses if the budget is not there, if it allows then continue as normal.

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