County10.com is reaching out to candidates in contested school board races across Fremont County and providing a questionnaire for the individuals to fill out and return. Responses to the questionnaire will be published as they are turned in.
Former Fremont county School District 21 Board of Education Trustee David “Grundy” Snyder is seeking to return to the board. There are three seats up for grabs in the Nov. 6 general election. Also vying for the positions are incumbents Kay Ferris, Tex LeClair and Bonnie Washakie. Challengers are Zedora Enos, Kathryn Ferris Lone Fight and Lynette St. Clair.
Why are you running for Fremont County School District 21 Board of Education and what background do you have that is relevant to the position?
I am running for the FCSD 21 board as a citizen of the district that believes that a quality education of our children is absolutely essential in today’s world. I had been a board Trustee for FCSD 21 for eight years serving at different capacities during my time on the board. I served for two years on the Fort Washakie Charter High School Board before we were able to have our district unified. The Unification dissolved the charter to bring our school back to a K-12 school district. I served as a regional director and was elected the president for the American Indian / Alaskan Native Caucus for the National School Board Association and I served on the Fremont County BOCES board for four years.
All together I have 18 years of experience in being a member of an educational board from the Head start level to a seat on the NSBA AIAN Caucus.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the school district?
I believe that the current policies and politics that surround the school are the greatest challenge that the school faces. The School needs to regain its focus on the Children of our district and follow the policies that give the Superintendent the direction necessary to do their job properly.
Future funding cuts in education will adversely affect all school districts around the state and the nation. We will have to ensure we as a district board insulate the core educational components from these cuts, while striving to trim the fat from the budget so we can continue to provide as many diverse educational opportunities for our students as possible.
What is the school district doing well and where should it be making changes?
I believe our school has a great staff that is competent and able to generate a love of learning in our students. The District has implemented many new initiatives that are having a positive effect on student achievement, which enable continued student improvement and gains toward AYP.
I believe we as trustee’s need to create and follow policy that let the people we hire do their best to create a learning environment that will allow our students to thrive. The board trustees need to support the efforts of our staff and administration so they can perform their duties.
How valuable do you feel athletics is to the district’s mission?
Athletics allow the students to gain skills that are learned from being a part of a team. This is something that isn’t always taught in a classroom. They are shown that where there is a challenge it can be overcome with knowledge of the challenge, practice and teamwork.
With declining revenues, what areas of the district’s budget would you consider open for discussion?
I believe that sitting down with the administrative team and fellow board trustees we can come up with a solution to any budget issue that will arise. The Admin team have the insight as to how the school runs and would know where to trim any excess expenditures for future budget years.
Where do you want to see the district in four years?
I see our District as having four straight years of AYP. Finalizing the plans for the new K-12 school building. Having a campus that provides a positive environment designed to facilitate continued learning. Improved graduation rates for our high school students.
I will work with fellow board trustees, community, and staff to come up with ideas that will allow us to make gains in all these areas.