Residents vying for seat on education board | Free content

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John baker

Age: 42

Current occupation: Database administrator

Education: Lake County High School, University of Maryland University College (Bachelor of Science)

Current Community Activities: Lake County School District Board of Education (Acting Treasurer), Lyric Theater of Leadville (Secretary)

How many years have you lived in Lake County: 11 years (1987-1998), 3 years (2018-present)

Do you have parents who work for the Lake County School District: Ashleigh Brown (wife)

Stephanie McElhinney

Age: 37

Current occupation: Business owner

Education: Washington State University (Bachelor of Science)

Current Community Activities: District Advisory Committee for Center Early Years Programs (Member), PB Swims (Member), Cornerstone Church

How many years have you lived in Lake County: 3 years

Do you have family members working for the Lake County School District: No


Compiled by Rachel Woolworth

Editor-in-chief

Lake County residents will vote for two Lake County School District School Board (LCSD) seats in next week’s election. John Baker, Stephanie McElhinney and Felicia Federico Roeder are running for the two seats on the board of directors.

Below are the questions posed by the Herald Democrat and the candidates’ responses. Federico Roeder was unable to provide answers before the Herald deadline for publication.

1. What educational, professional and personal experiences contributed to your decision to apply for this position?

Baker

As a graduate of Lake County schools myself and a parent of three current LCSD students, I have a strong desire to see our schools be the best they can be for the children in our community. I love our schools, and since they are one of the central points where our community comes together and the future of our city, we should have schools that we can all be proud to call our own. Personally, I have experienced several different ‘flavors’ of education, including my graduation from Lake County, the many vocational courses I took during my career as a teacher. 20 years in the US Marine Corps, graduating from college which included taking courses in different formats from different schools and getting involved in educating my children at several different schools in different states before returning to Lake County. I also taught and developed computer science courses for four years at the Marine Corps Communication Electronics School. Additionally, I have been serving on the Lake County Board of Education as an interim member since February 2021 which has significantly expanded my education knowledge. I hope that this diverse educational experience combined with my love for our schools can help me bring a new and valuable perspective to the Lake County education system.

McElhinney

While in Leadville, I saw change and growth within the school district. I want to get involved in the school district to help it continue to develop and provide the best possible education for my children and others. My background as a project engineer has given me tools to move projects and plans forward while helping to inspire others and bring people together as a team. Bringing the community together and helping to collaborate for better schools is the ultimate goal.

2. What is the biggest problem LCSD is currently facing? If you are elected, how would you work to fix it?

Baker

I think the most significant issue facing the Lake County school system right now is our necessary recovery from the “COVID slip.” We have experienced a learning loss that will need to be corrected in the years to come, as it is not something that can be corrected in one school year. An important part of this recovery will be the challenge of filling vacant staff positions and retaining our current educators. Compensation is always a major part of this goal, and I want to find a way to adequately compensate our staff, taking into account the current national inflation and the cost of living here in Colorado. While there has been a decent increase this school year with plans for more in the years to come, I want to make sure that happens so that we can continue to provide our students with high quality education and education. help succeed in the aftermath of educational difficulties from COVID.

McElhinney

The biggest problem facing LCSD right now is student retention until graduation. The job to fix this problem is to figure out what the overall problem is. I have heard so many reasons why graduation rates are low and why people are leaving our district. We need to find the source and start fixing it so that we can become the place where everyone wants their children to go. We want to have the graduation rates and show the surrounding counties that we are a place to go.

3. According to Colorado Measures of Academic Success test data for the 2020-2021 school year, the percentage of LCSD students meeting or exceeding English Language Arts and Mathematics standards lags behind the state average. What do you attribute this lag to?

Baker

I don’t think analyzing the 2020-2021 school year data set affected by COVID will provide the most accurate picture of our district’s performance, nor do I think it will. there is a single cause for this lag. Our current teachers and administrators are wonderful educators who have students as their top priority, and there are initiatives currently underway in schools that will be of great help in bridging this gap to bring our students above average. state, in particular a comprehensive audit of the district-wide literacy program with a recently awarded grant. While we are all concerned about this educational delay, I believe that with the dedication of our educators, the hard work of our students, and the strong involvement of their families, we are on track to improve dramatically.

McElhinney

The test examines scores during COVID. Several factors played into this score, the most important being that the children were in school consistently for about 18 months. We can help our kids catch up by creating a plan that helps them get back on track and keep moving forward. One of the things the district is already working on is a literacy program to help students.

4. If elected, how will you seek input from parents and Latinx students? Do you speak Spanish?

Baker

Although I do not speak Spanish, I will do my best to communicate with any member of the Lake County community. I greatly appreciate the members of our Latinx community and strongly believe that their comments and ideas should be heard and acted upon. I have a plethora of translation tools available for email communication and will seek the assistance of a local interpreter so that I can speak in person with anyone with concerns or comments for consideration by the board. .

McElhinney

I do not speak Spanish. I would continue to welcome open dialogue with parents and students. If there is a communication barrier, find ways to make sure their concerns are heard.


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