How Would These Candidates Unify the Board of Education?
This is the fourth article in a series. In an effort to better understand what voters want to know about the seven candidates for the Board of Education, we invited the community to send in questions. Each candidate was given the same set of ten questions and were invited to respond to any six of them. They had six days to submit their answers. The questions ranged from handling division on the BOE to keeping school taxes low and to more pointed questions about book banning and school segregation.
Five of the seven candidates responded by the deadline. Juan Pabon sent his late and will be included in the remaining articles. We have not yet heard from Jim Smith.
We will present the responses in a series of articles, publishing them in collections that will allow the community to directly compare responses from the various candidates. Responses are listed in no particular order and the order will vary from article to article. The first one tackled the question of keeping taxes low and was the only question that all five respondents chose as one of their six to answer. The second looked into the candidates’ specific backgrounds and asked them to pinpoint some of the issues they see in the district. Yesterday’s story asked the candidates what they would change in the district if they had a magic wand.
Today we’ll learn what the candidates think about yearly goals and how they might help to unify the Board of Education.
What are your yearly goals and how will you measure yourself across them?
Joe Canova is the only candidate who opted to respond to this question - “Yearly goals are set by the board via the board and superintendent at the board retreat. Areas that I feel should be included are enhancing student achievement, supporting educators, and fostering community engagement. Success can possibly be measured by improved student performance, educator satisfaction, and increased community involvement.”
How will you try to unify a BOE that can be contentious and divisive?
Fahim Abedrabbo - “Board members will have different points of view when it comes to making decisions on the dais. Board members need to have open dialogue and understanding of one another in order to realize what issues and concerns are most prioritized to individual board members. As a collective unit, as one team, you may not always agree, but it is important to keep an open mind and do what is best for the students and the district. Disagreements and disruptive viewpoints should be left at the door before coming into the meeting.”
Juan Pabon - “ I've answered this question before, and I think the answer to this is very simple. We are all adults, we are all elected officials, let's act like it. I can understand people backing their own opinions and their own decisions, but if the majority don't agree, let's calmly discuss our differences and either re-evaluate our decisions or come to a compromise. Back and forth arguing or dividing the members of the board should not be the solution, this is a public office, not child's play.”
Joseph Siano - “When it comes to unifying a contentious and divisive Board of Education, there are various strategies that can be employed in order to ensure the entire board is unified. Firstly, communication is key: make sure everyone on the board is treated with respect, listens actively, and takes part in open dialogue about important topics. Second, focus on shared values – this can be done by developing core statements or agreements that shape how decisions are made by highlighting unity over discord. Finally, strive for transparency throughout the decision-making process so everyone knows what policies are being proposed before they’re put into action.”