Both of the candidates running in the Nov. 7, 2023, general election for Douglas County School District Board of Directors District A — incumbent Susan Meek (nonpartisan) and Andy Jones (nonpartisan) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.
Here are the candidates’ responses to the question: How would you support the diverse needs of your district’s students, faculty, staff, and community?
“Public schools operate most effectively when there exists a robust and trusting partnership among parents, teachers/staff, and students. Achieving a balance among these stakeholders necessitates continuous dedication to collaboration, empathy, and fairness. The ultimate objective is to establish an educational setting that places the academic achievement and well-being of every student at the forefront, while concurrently valuing the viewpoints and contributions of students, parents, teachers/staff, and the wider school community.
Among my key priorities is the establishment of safe and welcoming schools. This entails working closely with parents, teachers, and students to continually review and refine all school policies. The voice of each stakeholder group is essential to maintain balance and each of these stakeholders have rights that help provide a roadmap for charting the course forward.
Another top priority is the cultivation of a culture characterized by trust, transparency, and accountability. This requires the establishment of transparent lines of communication with parents, teachers, and students to actively seek their input and provide regular updates on board decisions and ongoing initiatives.
Ultimately, attaining this equilibrium among the interests of parents, teachers/staff, and students hinges on a steadfast commitment to shared values and objectives. By placing a safe, welcoming environment, stable teaching and learning environments, equal opportunities for every student, and a culture of trust at the forefront, the board can foster an environment where all individuals feel respected, supported, and empowered to contribute to the success of our great school district.”
“From top to bottom, the value of ‘Every Employee, Every Day’ will ensure that Douglas County schools are the desired and final destination for every employee. We have to do better at not only recruiting and retaining our best employees, but also increasing the quality of life for those employees.
- We pay every professional a flexible and competitive compensation that honors the employee’s contribution to our kids.
- As one board member, I will empower our superintendent to ensure that every level of management is prepared to evaluate authentically, provide professional growth opportunities and that every employee has reasonable means to address his or her grievances.
I have been a stalwart defender of our teachers and staff. No one else in the community queried the superintendent and board for how they mishandled teacher pay raises as a result of 2018 mill levy override. I stood at three public comments (Nov 2018, Jan and May 2019) asking the hard questions that the board should have asked about how little teachers were getting (2.76% average) and held them accountable. NO ONE ELSE DID THAT!”
Click on the candidates’ profile pages below to read their full responses to this and other questions.
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