Spring Election 2016: Twin Lakes School District #4 (Lakewood School) candidate Q&A

Voters in Twin Lakes School District #4 (Lakewood School) will be able to cast a ballot in a contested school board race on April 5.

Voters will be able to vote for two candidates. The candidates with the top two largest vote totals will fill the seats.

The same questionnaire was submitted by westofthei.com to each candidate, by email or by mail.

Here is their biographical information, followed by their question responses:

Amanda Hahn — No response.

Kathy Ticha —  Age: 71. Education: high school. Occupation:housewife. Previous elected or governmental experience: 17 years on Lakewood School Board.

Steve Turner — Age: 47. Education: Triple Major in Business Administration, Human Resource Management and Psychology. Occupation: Executive Vice President of Operations at Yunker Industries. Previous elected or governmental experience: Existing school board member, Wilmot Union High School.

Scott Whipple — Age: 35. Education: B.S Biology and Health Education, M.S Educational Leadership. Occupation: Assistant Principal.
Previous elected or governmental experience: None.

1.) Why are are you running for the Twin Lakes #4 School District board?

Hahn — No response.

Ticha — My love for Lakewood has kept me involved on the Board for the past 17 years.  I am happy to be working with a wonderful staff and hope all continues on the right course for many years to come.

Turner — The existing school board has done a good job bringing a variety of programs to the school yet our test scores remain well below the state average and student transfers continue to rise. My primary reason for running for the board is to reverse these trends. I have 20 years of organizational leadership experience creating and sustaining meaningful change. I intend to leverage all I have learned and apply it toward the improvement of our children’s educational experience at Lakewood. Having two children at Lakewood and having watched the challenges the school has struggled to overcome; I have a burning desire to move Lakewood back to where it once was.

Whipple — I have two students that attend Lakewood so I am invested as a parent and a community member. I want to support the positive initiatives that are currently happening at Lakewood. I feel I have something to offer the current Lakewood School Board and my strength would be providing a new perspective with an educators viewpoint. I have been in education for twelve years, both as a teacher and administrator. I worked 11 years in a low income school district with low student achievement. Through this work I have been a part of a team that has strengthened the overall school experience for students and have seen students academic achievement increase. It is not an overnight fix, but hard work that takes dedication and commitment.

2.) What will be your top priorities if elected?

Hahn — No response.

Ticha — Since the remodeling and improvements are done it is now time to get on with the priorities for programs for the children.  Our staff is one of the best in the county and they are always presenting us with super programs to better prepare the kids for the future.

Turner — I have three main priorities for Lakewood if elected: 1. Improve execution of our existing programs and drive accountability pertaining to all of the processes and procedures that put our kids education at the top of the priority list. 2. Continue the anchoring of the culture around the betterment of our children. I believe the existing board has made some progress in this area, however much additional focus is needed to ensure that the entire Lakewood team is fully honed in on the education of our kids as the very center by which actions occur and decisions are made. 3. In my humble opinion our kids need a better start to the educational careers. The test scores support this view. Many of our early learners are coming in behind the curve. It is essential that we find ways to positively impact their earliest learning years. By doing so several key attributes will follow: A) Our kids self-esteem will rise with their educational confidence. B) Our kids will no longer be battling from behind to keep up and begin forging their way ahead of the curve and C) Because of their early success, more of our kids will learn to love learning. I believe this is the “x” factor in getting them off to a better start as we have all had those teachers that helped us feel good about ourselves, helped us learn and thus built within us this intangible love of learning that carried us forward in our educational careers.

Whipple — Educational research supports that teachers have the greatest impact on student learning. My priorities will be to support initiatives to align curriculum, provide teachers quality resources to support their efforts, and a focus on professional development to constantly grow our teachers practices. Budgets, leadership, and policies will be reviewed as well to determine their overall impact on student growth and will be a focal point to continuously improve Lakewood school district.

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