Times-Call Questions

The deadline has come and gone to return the Times-Call Questionnaire. (I did not know how to spell questionnaire until this week.  I tend to use one "n" and two "r"s.  If you see that in my blogs its because I forgot to run spell check.)

Again, please remember that these answers have a strict word limit.  Please let me know if there are points you would like me to clarify or additional questions you would like me to answer.

I also encourage you to read the Times-Call on a regular basis so that you can see how other candidates answer these questions.  (There are other elections to consider, too.)

Name:  John Creighton

Age:  43 on Election Day

Education: K-12 Atwood, KS Public Schools; BA – Economics, BS – Business Administration University of Kansas; MPP – Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government

Occupation:  Public opinion research and professional development (Independent Consultant)

Civic experience:  Past president St. Vrain Rotary; Longmont Multicultural Task Force; Intercambio Teacher; past co-chair Central Elementary PTO; past chair Yes on St. Vrain Valley Schools (2004 mil levy override campaign); past member Longmont Long Range Planning Commission.

Personal: Wife – Joni (18 years); 3 Children – Emma (10), Joe (8), Grace (5) 

1. Why are you running for school board?

I’m bullish on public education.  We can provide opportunities to our children that our parents could not have imagined.  I want to help St. Vrain reach its potential by working urgently to:

·         Create high demand schools, including focus schools such as dual-immersion language and science schools.

·         Support practices that enable all students to have enriching experiences at their own pace.

·         Make sure all students are ready to learn and intervene aggressively when they’re not.

·         Set high standards, provide rigorous oversight and then let principals and teachers do their job.

·         Reclaim public schools’ historic role of building communities.

2. What is your vision of the American educational system in 10 years?

In 10 years time, families will seek out schools that:

·         Allow students to take responsibility for their own learning;

·         Tailor curriculum to students’ needs, interests and passions;

·         Emphasize working in teams so students can learn with a diverse group of peers;

·         Enable teachers to focus energy on high-value instruction;

·         Integrate technology into all areas of learning;

·         Allow ample time for personal relationships and play;

·         Provide learning experiences in and outside the classroom;

·         Base student promotion more on knowledge and less on classroom time;

·         Provide immediate, detailed feedback on assessments to students and their families.

3. How can the SVVSD improve its graduation rate and better prepare students for life after high school?

Here’s what I’ve learned from people with far more experience than mine:

·         Don’t let students struggle at the start.  Aggressively intervene in early grades when students fall below grade level.

·         Make sure students make steady progress through the middle years.  Sustained frustration is unbearable for anyone.

·         Make sure students are in a learning environment where they feel safe, welcome and cared for.  Healthy mentor and peer relationships are key.

·         Create opportunities for students to give back to peers and their communities.  Everyone aspires to contribute.

All this requires vigilance on the part of us adults.

4. How should the SVVSD accommodate current and future growth in the district?

The key is to maximize use of all schools.  Too many schools are under capacity.  First, we must create a portfolio of high demand schools that students are eager to attend, where teachers love to work and give parents confidence.  This will take pressure off popular schools and retain students who leave our district.  Second, we must review boundaries for the entire district not just one section at a time.  Third, we must consider new ways to organize schools – e.g. house two schools in one building or combine online, at-home learning with on-site learning.  Last, we must accept that growth is sometimes clumsy.

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