By Press Times Staff
SEYMOUR – With Board President Greg Leisgang and Trustee Kurt Peterson not seeking reelection, City of Seymour residents will have two new people representing them on the Seymour School Board.
Candidates on the ballot for two Zone 1 seats include Steve Kane, Paul Bucheger, Stacy Smith and Lindsay Kraft.
The Press Times emailed each candidate the same question and gave them 200 words to respond.
What do you see as the most important issue facing the Seymour School District and Zone 1, and if elected, how will you address it?
A: I think the most important issue facing Seymour Community School District is the fact that Seymour is ranked 341 out of 442 districts in the state based on its test scores.
I believe this ranking is contributing to our declining enrollment and adversely affecting the growth of our community.
If elected, I will work to increase our ranking by addressing issues, such as teacher retention, the high rate of special education staff turnover, maintaining order in the classroom and removing unnecessary distractions.
A: In my opinion, the most important issue facing the School Board is creating an atmosphere where community members, administrators and teachers work together to provide our students with the best education possible.
If elected, I would cooperate with the other board members to make research-based decisions in order to achieve the best interests of our school district.
I will do this with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
I am prepared to listen thoughtfully to people with different perspectives, while retaining the flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing world.
I pledge to invest the time and energy that will be necessary to honor my commitment to every child in our district.
My goal is to help create a school district that students, teachers and community members can all be excited to call home.
A: I chose to become more involved in this process, because I saw a need for change.
I recognize that our district’s performance with standardized testing and overall outcomes has declined in recent years.
We need a change.
This will require a clear process for improvement.
I understand that progress doesn’t happen overnight, and that we need hard work and determination from people who care.
As a board and a community, we will need to come together, even when we disagree.
If we all have the children’s best interests at heart, I am confident I can help to make a change for the better for our School District.
I have many years of experience working as a social worker, which has allowed me to gain insight and skills to be able to bring people together.
We live in a world that is divided, and I truly believe more progress can be made, if we can respect all viewpoints and come together with a common goal.
I want Seymour to remain a desirable community.
I see what this community is capable of, and I am proud to call Seymour my family’s hometown.
A: I think the most important issues facing the Seymour Community School District (SCSD) are a lack of accountability for district leadership, a lack of consistency for both students and staff and a lack of continuity from staff member to staff member, grade-to-grade and even building-to-building.
District leadership needs to be held accountable, and the most current situation is staffing.
Why is SCSD unable to retain staff?
Exit interviews need to be conducted in a timely fashion, staff complaints need to be addressed and the board needs to ask the difficult questions.
We can not continue to surround ourselves with the “friends and family” concept when it comes to staffing.
Without staff retention, it’s almost impossible to maintain any consistency and continuity for the remaining staff and certainly the students.