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School board: Carol Kappes

Why are you most qualified person for this position?

I am qualified for this school board position because I have a strong interest in education and having been involved in the school, I have seen a lot of progress and growth in the schools with students' achievements, teachers' development plans and all the buildings taking shape. With each year it's fascinating seeing all the improvements being done and I'm excited to have been a part of this. My experience on school councils and working on the budget process taught me to set goals, direct policy and know how the school district works.

If you could address just one issue, what would it be and how would you address it?

If I were to address an issue right now, the issue certainly is the science curriculum. The test scores need improvement. We need the science classes interesting to hold the student's attention and enjoy learning. Science instruction provides higher problem-solving and thinking skills. Teacher management should maintain positive energy and class sizes looked at to ensure they retain their learning skills. Fiscal responsibility for the classes and the student's needs will continue during economic hardship.

What criteria would you use to determine if the district is succeeding?

The criteria I would use to determine whether District 192 is succeeding is looking at the MCA and NWEA scoring. We need a strong pattern of moving up the ladder and staying with the standards. Another measure is adequate progress of the students learning within each school in the district. Another measure of a student's success in the classroom would be their readiness to learn, making and setting goals, taking an active role in each class discussion, and studying well for tests.

As the district attempts to balance quality education and low taxes, what are your priorities?

My priorities to balance quality education with low taxes is to keep the management of the classroom with resources for students' needs. I strongly believe that a lot of learning is developed in the elementary and middle school years. Watching those students that need a boost where they don't understand what is taught would require the use of curriculum specialists and teaching assistants.

What does the district do well? Where can it improve?

The district does well in meeting the needs of the students. With each passing year, I see new strategies and developments in the academic performance of the students and the curriculum tries to meet with best practices for teaching and learning. The district does try to communicate with parents and community of various activities and announcements, but I believe we could have a lot more people showing up to see more of these great events. When students see the support of their parents and residents of the community, they take on an active responsibility to do their best, and I believe that high quality schools not only enrich our towns, but increase our property values and are an integral part of what makes a community great. We all know that the students will one day be in the workforce, so they need the direction and guidance from all of us.