Q. & A. with Brett Mason, South Routt School Board, District 7 candidate
South Routt School District, District 7, running unopposed
Occupation: Security and transportation manager, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
Hometown: Oak Creek
Years in Oak Creek/South Routt County: 38
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Family: Wife, Stephanie; four Children, Bobby, Jephery, Danielle and Ashley; four grandchildren, Alexis, Elizabeth, Samantha and Payton
Civic involvement: Appointed South Routt Board of Education July 2010; elected to a four-year term in November 2011; former board member of Community Agriculture Alliance; former Routt County reserve deputy; former member and supporter of Routt County 4-H
Q. Why are you qualified to serve on the school board?
A. As a proud graduate of Soroco High School, I have a connection to the school that goes way back. I have a tremendous desire to see the district succeed. My work history has provided me a broad and diverse background in budget adherence, personnel management and decision making.
What do you think is the most important issue facing the South Routt School District and what can be done to address it?
A. Declining revenue, due to declining enrollment.
Q. What strategies would you suggest for the South Routt School District to address declining enrollment?
A. Improve the district’s school performance rating. We need to begin “marketing” ourselves better. We have very successful programs and opportunities in our schools that are not available at neighboring districts. Continue with, and expand, our relationship with CNCC to provide students with career-ready skills, so those that choose not to go directly into college can get into the work force with good jobs.
Continue to be fiscally conservative and not draw down current reserves
Would you support the South Routt School District pursuing district consolidation with Steamboat Springs? Why or why not?
A. No. I believe that consolidation would lead to a loss of identity of our district and community. I do support the continued collaborative efforts between the two districts. Steamboat, because of its size and successes, has assisted us greatly in technology and finance and help to create efficiencies that save our district resources.
What role do you think the South Routt School District and/or school board plays or should play in the overall South Routt community?
A. The school district plays a huge role in the South Routt community. We are one of the larger employers in South Routt. Along with the local municipal governments and businesses, we have to create opportunities to collaborate and work together for the benefit of all residents, not just those with school-age children. Increasing available and affordable before- and after-school care and early childhood learning are areas we are currently working on.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and leadership team at the district. We have a very talented and dedicated group of people who care greatly for the students and want them to succeed in life. I would also like to thank our residents. There is a long history of their support of our district through passage of bond issues and mil levy overrides. I encourage the voters to get to know their candidates and ask questions as to why they are running. I truly believe that Soroco is on the verge of great successes. Community members, please visit your buildings, meet our staff, be engaged. It takes a village. We are South Routt.
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The Steamboat Springs School Board will continue to hold meetings in a virtual format for the foreseeable future, as a plan to move meetings to Steamboat Springs Middle School will take time to accommodate.