Gene Dyson, School Board Seat A
I want to thank the Clarion for giving me the opportunity to give a brief synopsis about me, the person.
I am a man of my convictions. Just think about this: Who, but a tenacious person, would run for four straight years, as a candidate, attending forums, filling our questionnaires and going through the gauntlet, if not committed to my convictions?
So, if you should choose me in this next election, you will know how committed I will be in assuring our students receive a quality education.
For certain, I will address our budget, home school, and ongoing contract negotiations problems.
Gene Dyson is challenging incumbent Debra Mullins for Seat A on the school board.
Mullins did not submit a column.
Margaret Gilman, School Board Seat C
I want to thank the voters of the Kenai Peninsula for electing me to the school board one year ago. It has been a privilege to do my part in the formidable task of operating a public school system which is responsible for the education of nearly 10,000 students.
I bring a diverse perspective to the school board. My association with the district includes the role of a student, educator and parent. I attended schools in Kenai from second grade through graduation from Kenai Central High School in 1982. I taught language arts and QUEST in schools throughout the district for 12 years before choosing to become a stay-at-home mom. Currently, my children are attending Sears, Mountain View Elementary and Kenai Middle School, so I am actively involved as a parent.
Two major issues of importance facing the district are inadequate funding and a decline in enrollment. Our district is not funded in an equitable manner when we are considered as an urban school district even though we have some very small schools and schools in communities so remote they are not accessible by road. There is a state study due out in November which hopefully will fairly address this issue. It is incumbent upon us as members of the school community and the concerned public to become informed on this issue and use all resources available to make sure educational funding for all Alaska students is equitable.
One of the reasons for the decline in enrollment is the fact that almost 600 students who live in the Kenai Peninsula Borough choose to enroll as home-school students in another Alaska school district. This is a loss of almost $4.2 million which could go to support educational opportunities in our local area. It would be wonderful to welcome back those students and their families to our educational community. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has an excellent home-school program, Connections, which allows for a choice in educational options for students.
Connections students may enroll in extracurricular activities and special programs in our local schools in order to supplement their home-school program. Students enrolled in Connections are required to meet the same testing requirements and academic standards as all students in our district. I believe the state of Alaska should require that students use the home-school program in their district, if one is available.
I would appreciate your vote in the October election. If you have any comments, compliments or concerns about our schools, please feel free to call me at home (283-0860) or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margaret Gilman is running unopposed for Seat C on the school board.
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