The filing period is closed for the Sitka School Board as well. And in the past week, a third candidate has filed to run for a term. Amy Morrison says the district should work to provide more options to students, remaining ‘relevant’ to keep enrollment up.
43-year-old Amy Morrison works at Venneberg Insurance. She served on the board for the Baranof Barracuda Swim Club for two years, and is currently a board member for the Alaska Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers. And Morrison says she wants a seat on the Sitka School Board as an opportunity to give back to the community.
“I’ve just been wanting for years to find a way to serve. That’s why I joined the incident management team with the fire department a couple of years ago. For me this is just a bigger capacity to serve,” says Morrison. “And I love kids and I see what a critical role that our schools play in the development of our children.”
Morrison says after raising 3 daughters in Sitka schools, she was ‘99 percent happy’ with the education they received. But, she adds, there are some things the district could be doing differently, like focusing on more than just ‘college prep’.
“I feel like maybe at least on the high school level we’re not offering kids alternative types of classes, even, like, your basic basic consumer economic types of classes that teach you how to file taxes or fill out a job resume or prepare for an interview,” Morrison says. “I feel like they’re preparing them for college but not really any other options.”
Morrison thinks that giving students more options will encourage families to keep their children enrolled in the district. More students, she says, means more money.
“There are so many other options for kids, whether it’s home school, private school, there’s online types of schools. Every single one of those that we lose, even kids that we lose to Mt. Edgecumbe High School, we’re losing money,” Morrison says. “And when you lose the money you’re losing the ability to provide these other extracurricular activities to our students.”
And she thinks that while cutting personnel isn’t an idea she’s fond of, it’s an option she’d consider under the right circumstances.
“It’s interesting to me that your average elementary school classroom tends to have three or four adults in it at any given time,” Morrison says. “It seems like there’s gotta be some way of cutting back whether it’s through personnel or other types of expenses.”
Morrison says she knows classroom student/teacher ratios are in-part determined by regulations at the state and federal level. There’s no easy fix for the district’s fiscal woes, and she says she won’t have the answers until she can really delve into the budget.
If elected, she may get that chance. The deadline to file for Sitka School Board was 5 p.m. this/Friday afternoon. Municipal elections are October 2nd.