Q. & A. with Kevin Lind, Hayden School Board, at-large candidate
Hayden — Hayden School District, At-large
Occupation: AxialArts Architecture, co-owner
Hometown: Jamestown, New York
Years in Hayden/Routt County: 10
Family: wife, Wendy; son, Noah, 11
Civic involvement: Three years, Grant Commission member, Steamboat Springs Education Fund board
Q. Do you think the school board should extend the calendar to offer additional classroom days?
A. Yes, especially at the front end of the academic year. Years ago it appeared that summer break between Memorial Day and Labor Day made sense. Today, however, with the increased significance of state testing and student preparation, adding classroom days, especially at the beginning of the academic year, would set up teachers and students for greater success.
Q. Do you think the current school board has done an adequate job planning for the future?
A. Yes and no. Education, unto itself, is an investment in the future, both for individuals and communities as a whole. It appears that Routt County school boards, however, are faced with the challenge of maintaining current district functions, programs and quality staffing while attempting to plan for future needs and enhancements. We’re lucky to have a new Hayden School District Superintendent, Mr. Kasper. With his experience and vision for Hayden education, along with a passionate school board, administrators and teachers, planning for the future should be a prominent goal.
Q. What are the biggest challenges you feel the school district faces?
A. There are likely many more challenges than I realize, and serving on the school board will certainly reveal more about these challenges. The quality of our education system is an important factor in drawing families to Hayden, not to mention economic growth. Maintaining a low student-to-teacher ratio is beneficial. Attracting and keeping high quality teachers is a challenge and should remain a priority. Developing methods for generating student motivation for learning is another critical area to explore.
Q. Would you be in favor of consolidating school districts with Steamboat and South Routt?
A. No. I think Steamboat and North Routt, South Routt and Hayden districts all have very unique characteristics that should continue to influence how each district functions. With the technology we have available now, however, I think all the Routt County school districts should be collaborating and sharing information, systems and technologies to benefit one another.
Q. In what academic or programmatic area do you think the school district should focus more resources?
A. Many successful people in our communities are creative problem solvers. Creativity is an area of human development, especially during the early years, which deeply impacts the learning process. The visual and performing arts programs in public schools are often the first to be eliminated when school funding is down. Strengthening these programs would influence student motivation for learning and provide new perspectives for study in the mainstream STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses and core curriculum.
Over the years, my work has provided what I imagine is solid experience for being an effective school board member. My wife, Wendy, and I started our architectural company, AxialArts Architecture, in 2003. During the design and construction process, we embrace the benefits of collaboration with clients, developers, engineers, builders, craftsman and city agencies, just to name a few. Additionally, I have extensive experience on large projects that require listening to and understanding the often diverse needs of numerous clients within a homeowners association. For many years I have been serving on design review boards as the architectural consultant for several Routt County developments. I also serve as a member of the Grant Commission for the Steamboat Springs Education Fund board, heading into my fourth year. I feel strongly about supporting the unique and valuable agricultural and ranching heritage of Hayden. Our family participates in programs such as 4-H, both with our son and as buyers at the Routt County Junio Livestock Sale. And with our 11-year-old now starting sixth grade at Hayden Middle School, we have great incentive for doing what we can to make our public schools the best possible environments for teaching and learning.
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