Q. & A. with Margaret Huron, Steamboat Springs School Board at-large candidate
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs School Board, at-large
Occupation: Retired college professor
Hometown: Steamboat Springs
Years in Steamboat: 32
Family: Married with three adult children and four grandchildren
Civic involvement: Volunteer with various events such as Art in the Park, USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Balloon Rodeo, the move to the renovated Bud Werner Memorial Library, member of the Arts Council, director on boards for the Steamboat Golf Club and Steamboat Springs Pickleball Association
Q. Do you support the proposed $92 million bond measure? Why or why not?
A. I support the work that the current school board members and the community have done to bring this to a vote. I believe the process was as open and inclusive as possible, and my one vote will be counted along with all those other voters who are interested in the future of Steamboat Springs schools and our children.
Q. What direction do you believe the district should take if the bond measure fails?
A. Overcrowding is an issue that no one denies at this time. If the bond measure fails, it will be a challenge to address this concern in a timely manner to provide the best resources for our schools. I will be open to hearing all ideas that address a long-term solution that does not waste financial resources.
Q. How would you describe any involvement you’ve had with the local school district or any background or experience you have with education?
A. I am a retired college professor and have taught for 30 years. I also served as an associate dean of a large community college division. We were involved in expanding our campus facilities after a bond issue was passed, and I served on a committee to provide input into the building design.
Q. What do you believe the role of a school board member should be in relationship to administration and staff? To parents and students?
A. I believe it is important for us to provide the best resources possible, which means being responsive to the administration and staff concerns and ideas, as well as supporting parents and students in meeting the objectives set forth in our mission and the strategic plan that was developed in the past year. As a single member, I can listen to individual comments, ideas and concerns. As a member of an involved school board, I can research the facts and assist the group in making rational decisions that best meet our students needs.
Q. Why are you uniquely qualified to serve on the school board?
A. I don’t know that I am uniquely qualified. What I am is able and willing to work for the district. would like to be a part of helping to keep our schools performing to the high standards that they have already met and finding ways to improve on their achievements.
Q. Do you think the new state law requiring school districts to hold collaborative bargaining meetings in public has had a positive or negative impact on the negotiation process? Why?
A. It is my understanding that our school district already met that criteria before the law was passed, so I don’t believe the law has made any impact on collaborative bargaining here in Steamboat Springs.
Q. What do you think is the most important issue facing the Steamboat Springs School District in the coming years?
A. Overcrowding in the schools. This does not create a good environment in which to learn and requires students and teachers to waste resources on workarounds, instead of learning.
Q. In what academic or programmatic area do you think the school district should focus more resources?
A. I don’t have enough experience or information with the current situation to address this question thoroughly. I realize there is a push for more focus on STEM, and while I believe those elements of the curriculum can be strengthened, it should not be at the expense of other areas, such as the arts.
Q. What would be your top three priorities as a newly elected board member?
A. I believe the community will set my priorities as we determine how and if they are willing to address overcrowding. I am aware that the school board has a strategic plan with action items scheduled for this year, so those would be a priority. I would also want to familiarize myself with resources available to school board members so we are not “reinventing the wheel” when we address issues.
Q. How do you think schools should measure student achievement?
A. I think there is an over-reliance on testing, and there should be a means of coordinating tests so they are not consuming an inordinate amount of time. I believe teachers are the best evaluators of how students are progressing, and I believe their tools for measurement should carry more weight than tests from other sources.
I am running for election to the Steamboat Springs School Board because I have the time and ability to work on issues of concern to this community. I also want to give back to this town that has provided my family with so many years of treasured memories, beautiful environment and caring neighbors. I believe people who know me consider me to be open, fair-minded and rational — characteristics I think would serve the school board well.
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