Candidate for School Board
I have a wife, three sons and two daughters.
I’m a registered Republican who identifies as a Constitutionalist.
Retired, but I occasionally consult with the family pest-control business.
Mechanical work — mainly on trucks and diesels, industrial heat treatment and stress relief, pest control
I’m running for office because I have an opportunity to give back to the wonderful community of Juneau. I see some areas in our school system that I would like to see changed and expanded. I see other areas in the school system that are just running great, really. I wouldn’t want to mess with those. And really, it’s about service. I think we need to bring more industrial art-type things to our high school and our junior high as well.
What’s something in Juneau’s standardized test data that informs an education policy you want to implement or action you want to take?
I see the test scores are continuing to drop. I think that we are entirely too lax in some areas because there are a number of skill sets — reading would be one of them — that are disciplines. You cannot become proficient at them if you do not become disciplined. The onus needs to be more on the student if they are not willing to take on the responsibilities and put the effort in. There’s no amount of pressure that a teacher is going to be able to apply to make the student learn.
What do you think of how the district has handled COVID-19 in schools so far? Would you like to change anything?
I would like to change some things. First of all, I think that in order to get the school back open they did what they had to do and complied with the recommendations. I don’t disapprove of that. I am not an anti-masker or an anti-vaxxer, at all. But, I do disapprove of the mandatory masking and taking the control out of the hands of the parents. I’m a big fan of parental rights and I think that the parents make the best choices for their children and I would have preferred that they left it up to the parents and the students. But, they chose not to do that.
My approach is to listen to the person, understand them, have an open discussion. I provide my information to them. I listen to their information. Sometimes, people do persuade me with good, solid information backed up by facts and evidence. I am capable of changing my mind, and I have many times. I would hope that they would be able to be as malleable. In the end, though, if we can’t agree, then we have to just agree to disagree, and we’ll have to move on.
Well, I have three sons who have graduated from the school system. When we first moved to Juneau, my oldest son finished out his high school at Juneau-Douglas High School. My next two sons, they went to Thunder Mountain High School. My middle son, he spent his first four years in the public school system and then we pulled him out. He was falling behind in reading. Then he remained in private school all the way up until the eighth grade. The youngest one was in private school from kindergarten all the way through the end of seventh grade. And then he went into the public school system in eighth grade.
Which parts of Juneau do you think are underserved by the school district, and what will you do about it?
I can I tell you that, geographically, there’s no answer to that question because the school bus goes everywhere. Socioeconomically, we provide everything that they need to learn, so I don’t see that as a factor. But I do see an area where students are underserved. Now, I call it industrial arts. There are a lot of students that would like to get involved but they can’t because there’s not enough of them. What I’m understanding is that there’s not enough shop space, there are not enough qualified instructors and there’s not enough equipment.