Candidate overview: Kandace Lemhouse Worsham (Position 1), Sarah Cox (Position 2), and Mary Stayton (Position 7) did not respond to requests for participation. Debi Wilkerson (Position 3) declined participation.
What is your position on the Creswell School Bond measure put to voters this election cycle? Are there specific portions of it you support, or not support, and why?
MARGARET COLLETTI, Position 3: The School Bond, considering that it would not raise tax rates for Creswell, is a wonderful opportunity to improve the infrastructure of our schools, with the goal of making the buildings healthier, safer, and providing more opportunity and providing access for all students. While there is always much that can be done, the proposed plan for the bond funds is the logical place to start, as improvements in the buildings will provide better comfort, safety, and pride for our students and staff.
RONALD COLLETTI, Position 2: I am in support of the Bond Measure currently put up to voters this election, as it is a continuation of funding to support the Creswell schools and ultimately works towards improvements to the existing systems, without adding any new tax burdens to the residents. With the additional matching 4 million dollars’ worth of funds provided by the State, I feel it is in the best interest of the community to pass the measure in order to provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment to our students.
With over 500 students at Creslane, CSD boasts one of the largest elementary populations in the county. How can the board help ensure that the student-teacher ratio (17:1) remains low and that there are ample resources available to support the student population and its teachers?
M. COLLETTI: What drew our family to Creswell was the excellent rating the school district had. Between the Bond proposal improvements, and the goals set up by the Strategic Planning Meeting, the facilitation and progression of these assets to the school district will be able to draw not only students, but new prospective educators to the area. By keeping these items on schedule, we will be able to keep and attract talent to the area to maintain the ratio.
R. COLLETTI: I feel the best way to ensure the student-teacher ratio remains low and that there are ample resources available to support the student population and its teachers is through the investment into the facilities and resources to match the needs. As the school district makes fiscally responsible improvements, more people will find Creswell a desirable neighborhood to relocate to, furthering community growth. If we wish to see a prosperous community, we need to invest back into the education system, providing the opportunities required of the next generation, to include focusing on educational enrichment and overall well-being.
School safety is on the minds of many parents and students after the steady rise in gun violence across the nation. What can the board do to help keep students safe?
M. COLLETTI: Student safety is one of the key factors being addressed in the infrastructure improvements of the proposed bond, and a major step in ensuring their security against gun violence. As a school board, if elected, I would work with the group to incorporate the measures proposed by the Strategic Planning Committee, to include additional support for students and staff in mental health, and training in recognizing members of the school community that may be in crisis, to better ensure safety of the students.
R. COLLETTI: Communication is vital to ensuring student safety. As a former military member, a hunter, and a gun owner, I know we are unlikely to eliminate gun related problems in our nation. We as a community, however, can and should provide the schools with the resources to mitigate the risks of gun related violence occurring through increased security measures, updates to the existing systems, and funding for the necessary resources to educate the youth of risk factors, and staff of warning signs of a potential risk before an incident occurs.
In which ways should the budget be adjusted to better meet district goals and student achievement?
M. COLLETTI: In the spirit of creating a life-prepared student body, as outlined by the Strategic Planning Committee, I would work to facilitate a budget that would benefit the variety of interests represented by the vastly different interests of students, to include sports, STEAM, music, technical and mechanical education, and however we can provide training to best suit the capabilities of each student, in order to allow them to thrive into productive adults, and contributing members of the community of Creswell.
R. COLLETTI: Budget should be looked at from a current allocation, future need perspective, with emphasis on timeline processes. Projects that are time sensitive and determined most dire should be addressed first, with priorities placed on the safety, comfort, and general welfare of the students. Further budgets should look at programs of study with high need, and place improvements in those areas to ensure the best possible opportunities for all students whether they be in technical, or higher educational fields. The goals of public education should be to equip students for success, with the budget adjusted to best fit that belief system.
What issues are most pressing to the district and how do you plan to address them?
M. COLLETTI: As a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, I helped facilitate the need for students to be graduating life-prepared, whether that means that they will be entering into college, trade school, or the workforce. With the help of the Bond improvements towards providing space for life-minded enrichment, I would work with the Board to help provide programming to students of all grade levels to incorporate life skills training into their education, so that no matter which direction they choose to go after graduation, they can be productive members of our community.
R. COLLETTI: It appears the structural improvements, to include safety measures are the most pressing to the district, followed by improvements to the facilities to match areas of study needing funding. If elected I would research areas that are least funded and/or need improvements, as well as look at the areas currently funded and ensure fiscal responsible spending measures are voted on. I would do my best to support measures that work to provide the best possible education for our community, knowing that the support we provide this generation will come back to us in the form of well-educated, well-rounded Creswell graduates.