How many years have you lived in Sitka and in Alaska?
Often on since 1999. My wife and I first moved here as traveling nurses.
Occupation: Registered nurse and respiratory therapist
Pretty normal. I am married with an eight year old son, dog and a cat.
I am involved with coaching my son through T Ball and little league.
Previous government or other relevant experience:
Why are you running for a seat on the Sitka School Board this year?
I wish to continue the good work that the board has already done.
What are your top two priorities if elected?
Being a good listener and always keeping the kids first.
What is your position on requiring vaccination or regular testing of district staff?
I feel strongly with what the school district has been doing in regards to following CDC guidelines. By following what the district has put in place will ultimately benefit the kids to keep them safe and to help them return to a normal school year.
What is your position on requiring vaccination or regular testing of all students 12 and older??
I believe that regular testing and being vaccinated are great tools and should continue to be used.
When a vaccine is authorized for children under 12, what will your position be on requiring vaccination or regular testing of this age group? ?
I don’t believe we’re there yet, but when we are I will collaborate with the rest of the board gain as much information about the new testing as possible and formulate a plan from there.
Requiring students to wear masks has become highly political in some parts of the country. What is your position on masking in schools?
I believe the approach being taken by the district is appropriate in regards to masks and kids.
The initial rounds of CARES Act relief in the Sitka District were spent equipping the schools to deliver remote education, under a tight timeline. What do you think is the best use of the later round of relief funding, which can be spent over a longer timeframe? ?
The mental health aspect of the pandemic as it affects school-age kids. I believe many more issues will come to light but this seems like a pretty important aspect that could use a closer look.
Historically, the Sitka School Board has been focused on educational equity and closing the “achievement gap,” which is now also sometimes called “the opportunity gap.” How would you keep this issue in your sights during the district’s ongoing pandemic response?
I don’t believe this is something that we will lose sight of. We have incredible teachers and staff within our district that will continue to do great work.
Do you support the push for “culturally responsive education” in the district? What do you think culturally responsive education accomplishes?
Yes I support culturally responsive education. I support using all information available to achieve goals. Sitka is rich with heritage and culture and learning more about it , I believe will enrich the entire community.
For many years the Sitka School District has followed a “whole child” philosophy, educating students as broadly as possible in academics, career and technical education, the arts, and sports. Is this still a realistic objective, given the constant budget pressure from the state? Or has something got to give?
I am definitely the new kid on the block and I’m not gonna pretend to know everything about the budget. However It is important to keep students well rounded. With the help of the rest of the board I would like to see this continue.