Thayil: Some school board candidates know little about educational processes

Thursday, Sept. 13, I was fortunate to be able to attend a school board forum sponsored by the Apache Junction Republican Club. The purpose of this meeting was to allow citizens to meet and question those running for our school board.

Having been involved in education and administration for years, I welcomed this opportunity to meet and discuss important issues regarding educational management.

Naturally, I went with my questions, some of which were: Why are you motivated to run for the school board, what is the function of the school board, how does the board determine what is the most important issue, what is the role of the superintendent and how would you relate to the superintendent one-to-one?

In addition, I asked how accountability data can be obtained, for example by administering surveys to students, parents, as well as the teachers.  I questioned as to whether the results would be made public, as well as experience in creating budgets.  Finally, I asked what their vision of education was.

I was shocked, saddened and dismayed as the main responses were… ”Oh, I will have to think about that and I will learn after I get elected.”

I might add that Dena Kimble did not show up as she said she had to attend a volleyball tournament.

Braden Biggs was the only one who could give attentive, thoughtful replies to my questions, as he appeared to have a clue of effective administrative techniques.

I truly believe that those elected to the board of education should have some knowledge of the educational and administrative processes and be aware of the best ways to keep our students and parents involved in the educational process while, at the same time, being acutely aware of the stressors teachers are under and best ways to reduce that creating a work environment conducive for learning.

In summary, I was truly heartbroken and saddened after talking with those candidates present.

Dolores Thayil
Gold Canyon

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