Candidate Q&A: Timothy Frentess Jr.
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.
Timothy Frentess Jr. is running for Hayden School District Board of Education.
Why are you running for school board?
I am running for the Board of Education for Hayden Schools because I believe in community service. I would like to see our district do what is best for kids. I would like to be part of that.
What improvements would you make to better facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas between parents and the school board?
I believe that now that our major construction is complete, and COVID-19 policies are in place, that everyone will have a better opportunity to refresh our regular communication with parents and the community, mindful that there is always room for improvement on past practices. The past couple of years proved stressful for everyone in every district, and I appreciate the work that was done, and now we can build on that and make it even better. Communication has been a priority I have been working on.
How will you ensure that curriculum and its delivery is fair, balanced and aligned with Colorado state curriculum guidelines?
First, the responsibility of oversight for day-to-day management of curriculum and adherence to state standards is not the primary concern of the board. It is necessary to have qualified staff and administrators in whom we can have confidence to achieve that. I believe that the oversight of those people is the board’s job. A board that is micromanaging is seldom most effective. Although every district has some bumps in the road, I must commend our hard working and talented teachers. They have worked under extremely stressful circumstances lately, and 95% of them did an amazing job. Truly professional and dedicated to their students. Also, Colorado is unique in that our constitution decrees local control for our students education, so in addition to state standards, our districts are answerable to the community who pays our bills and elects us. So, we have to make sure their priorities are considered and met. State standards are important, but our focus is to represent our particular community and our constituents always with what is best for our students foremost in mind.
How would you rate the school district’s response to COVID-19, and what would have wanted to see done differently?
Everyone in our district from top to bottom tried their utmost to keep students safe and healthy. As information increased, and knowledge was gained, we adjusted accordingly. Staying abreast of the most current information and using it to our best advantage is all we can ask of anyone. Respecting parents and their wishes must be among our priorities. Most of our community believed that having kids receive in-person instruction as much as possible was best for their students, so that is what we did.
How do you view the state of the district and the quality of education it is providing students?
Many things in our district have improved. Financially, we are challenged just like every other district in the state with the ever changing state funding levels and programs. But we are overall healthier financially than we were four years ago; that has been a focus for this board and superintendent. We had been teetering at very dangerous financial levels. Staffing shortages, attracting and retaining staff, and providing training and support is plaguing everyone involved with education at all levels so that remains a work in progress. We still are working toward our goal of District of Distinction, and I think we can achieve that. But, as I said before, we all have room for improvement.
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