Mullins sees technology as way to expand course offerings

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Debra Mullins' background may be in health care, but education is her biggest priority these days.

A retired nurse, Mullins has spent a total of 12 years serving on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education -- first from 1981 to 1987, and again from 1996 to present.

She also has served on the Association of Alaska School Boards -- both in the 1980s and for the past three years -- and recently was nominated for Alaska School Board Member of the Year.

Though she had not initially planned to run for her board seat again, Mullins said she changed her mind at the last minute. She will face Gene Dyson for Seat A on the board.

"I guess I wanted to see the kids through the exit exams," she said.

Another project Mullins hopes to tackle if re-elected is expanding course offerings at area schools through technology.

"I think we should use technology to our benefit and the benefit of our students," she said. "We've made a start. My hope is to provide Nanwalek, Tyonek and other outlying schools with the same class offerings as schools like (Soldotna High Schools)."

Video conferencing and other online correspondence courses are ways she sees of providing those services.

For the most part, though, Mullins said she doesn't have a lot of specific goals for the board.

Her motivation for running for the board, she said, is one of service.

"I don't have any axes to grind. I don't have any special interests," she said. "My interest is education in general, in having an educated population."

And though Mullins' three children are no longer in the school system -- they all graduated from Nikiski schools and did great, she said -- she said she believes her responsibility to providing education hasn't ended.

"It behooves us as the older generation to offer our services -- as volunteers, mentors, grandparents reading in classrooms -- to have an educated younger generation," she said. "We all buy into it whether we have kids in the system or not."

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