What do you believe is the fundamental role of education?
I believe the fundamental role of education is to prepare the students for careers that will fulfill them and the needs of the workforce. As we can see by our need for qualified workers in this day and age, the school system should be exposing children to careers that interest them and helping them work toward those careers.
How would you promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in your school district?
I would promote rigorous academic instruction and excellence in our school district by setting clear expectations through policy. Students will benefit through setting behavior boundaries which will then create a more academic setting.
How do you define Critical Race Theory? When implemented in school policies and curriculum, do you think Critical Race Theory differs from simply “teaching history?”
Critical Race Theory is a way for students to learn about race and racism. I do not believe we need to implement it in school policy or curriculum. We need to focus on our students' basic reading, writing, math, science, history, and future employability in our School District.
How do you define Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? Would you encourage the implementation of any SEL model in your school district? If so, which model and why?
Social Emotional Learning is the ability for a student to deal with their emotional and mental well being through self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, social awareness, and relationship skills. As a teacher for 14 years, I have had some students who are lacking in these skills. Some students benefit from learning these skills and these same students often don’t learn other content until these skills are taught to them. They can’t learn basic concepts until their social emotional needs are met. Most students have learned these from their life interactions and their parents; But some need the training at school. For the next two years, Core Project is being used in our 6-8 and high schools. For the next five years Character Strong is being used in K-5. A team of our counselors, teachers, and administration chose those models and I trust their choices.
How would you respond to the Idaho State Board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, which argues that schools should adopt anti-racist practices, focus on social justice, and conduct staff-wide implicit bias trainings? Should teachers be required to attend these kinds of trainings?
I would respond to the Idaho State board and Department of Education’s recent dissemination of resources such as the SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools, by talking to our District Superintendent and Counselors if necessary. I would see if there is a need in the district or if it is a primary focus for us moving forward. I don’t think it would be a focus for us, as our focus as of late seems to be getting students to grade level in all subjects.
Should your school district be required to teach a sex education curriculum? If so, should this curriculum include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? Should parents and guardians be required to provide consent before their children participate in any sex education curriculum?
I believe our school should teach sex education even though they are not required by the state of Idaho to do so. I believe abstinence should be strongly encouraged, but the anatomy of the body and safe sex should also be taught. I was a middle school teacher for many years so I understand that sadly many students are sexually interested in middle school. Abstinence and safe choices need to be taught at school so students are educated. Letters go home allowing parents to opt their student out of the classes so if a parent doesn’t want their child in the classroom, they won’t be. I don’t believe sexual orientation or gender identity should be taught in middle school. Children are already going through a lot at that age. I feel children can talk privately to their parents, trusted adults, or school counselor if they have questions pertaining to that.
How should school districts respond to the Idaho School Boards Association’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify?
I am not sure how school districts should respond to the ISBA’s recommendation that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of their gender with which they identify. I think that is a very gray area that I have never experienced. I would prefer they be allowed to use unisex or single stall bathrooms. If none were available, I would most likely see what options the Superintendent, Principals, Teachers, Staff, Parent(s) and Affected Student(s) came up with and I would then support that option.
Do you support mask mandates in schools as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy? Do you support implementation of any other policies or practices designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19?
I do not support mask mandates. I believe without a mandate, anyone who wants to wear a mask can do so, and those who don’t want to wear a mask accept the risks associated with their choice and shouldn’t have to wear a mask. I believe in freedom of choice. By mandating masks, you are taking away one's freedom to choose to wear a mask. I think more importantly the student must be given time to wash their hands well, clean the classroom and public areas, and students that are legitimately sick should be allowed to stay home.