Candidate Q&A: Kevin Klecker
Editor’s note: Steamboat Pilot & Today has asked each of the local candidates in the 2021 Election on Nov. 2 to participate in a Q&A to better inform voters, asking the same questions related to each specific office. Visit SteamboatPilot.com/election for the latest election news and information.
Kevin Klecker is running for Hayden School District Board of Education.
Why are you running for school board?
After 28 years of serving the families of Hayden as a teacher, coach and athletic director, I want to continue to serve the community and improve our school district. I want to help create a positive school environment and a superior education for all students in Hayden, including my own children. I believe that we need to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to address our challenges with teacher turnover. We need to make sure we are providing the best education possible for all students, including those who have special needs and those who are gifted. We need to expand our trades and career programs, and we also need to prioritize our goal to become a School of Distinction to make sure that our children are prepared for work and college.
What improvements would you make to better facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas between parents and the school board?
One positive thing that has come out of the pandemic is that board meetings are now being held via Zoom, which has improved attendance and participation. We must continue to do this and ensure that all meetings have an online option so that parents can attend in person or from home. School board members should be accessible to the public and available through phone or email. They should also attend and volunteer at school activities and athletic events in order to support the kids, gain insight into what’s happening in the schools and provide opportunities for interaction with all stakeholders.
How will you ensure that curriculum and its delivery is fair, balanced and aligned with Colorado state curriculum guidelines?
As a board member, my job will be to make sure that the district staff who make decisions about curriculum and its delivery are empowered to do their jobs well. Principals, curriculum coaches and classroom teachers have the training and expertise necessary to make decisions that will provide our students with an appropriate, innovative and superior curriculum, and we need to make sure that they have the resources they need to achieve excellence for our students.
How would you rate the school district’s response to COVID-19, and what would have wanted to see done differently?
The pandemic has taught us that in-person instruction is essential. As a teacher and parent during the pandemic, I have witnessed first hand that kids are motivated and learn best when receiving instruction in the classroom; we can’t afford to have kids in front of a screen. Hayden has done a good job of keeping kids in school.
How do you view the state of the district and the quality of education it is providing students?
We do a lot of things really well in Hayden, but as in any school district, there are always things we can improve. We have a beautiful new building, small class sizes, strong vocational programs and extracurricular activities. However, we have a big problem with teacher retention. Although this is a common problem across the country, Hayden has a higher turnover rate than average. Teacher morale is low because of a lack of trust and respect, and that has a direct impact on student achievement. The school board needs to look for ways to improve teacher recruitment and retention and give teachers the resources and support they need to do their jobs well.
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