Carson City School District seat 6 | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City School District seat 6

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal
NEVADA APPEAL | NEVADA APPEAL

Name: Barbara Howe, RD

Age: 43

Hometown: Quincy, Calif.

Occupation: Registered Dietitian

Family: Husband, Peter Hansell

Political background: First time running for office

If you could get state legislators to do something to help improve public education, what would you ask from them?

Medical, energy and food costs are climbing faster than wages. We lost manufacturing jobs, and now it’s accounting, customer service and computing positions. What will be next?

To compete in a changing world, we need a great public education system. For Carson City to boast of greatness, we need to hire/retain quality teachers, lower student-teacher ratios and develop programs to prepare incoming students.

Public education has produced many of the leaders for the largest corporations. Public education will train the future workers, entrepreneurs and scientists, helping us compete and succeed in the world. Public education has allowed this country to prosper in the past and it will allow this country to prosper in the future.

I ask state legislators to remind their constituents of the value of public education. Remind the business community that public education prepares their workers. Remind the retirees that their nest eggs grow when our companies prosper and profit. Remind the taxpayer that property values depend on the next generation’s ability to buy a home.

High school graduates make 60 percent more than dropouts. A college degree doubles your salary. Remembering these facts, public education can focus on what it does best: educate students.

How would you help students meet the mandates of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act? What’s the biggest deficiency in this district’s program?

I am running “for the health of it.” Good food will help students perform better.

“No Child” is the symptom, not the problem. We need to focus on the problems. Let’s fill children with knowledge, not junk food. As Kirk Caraway summarized in a Nevada Appeal editorial, “…teaching our children how to eat may be more important than any of the Rs. Teach them how to make healthy choices and you will give them the tools they need to advance in life.”

Many parents are swayed by marketing campaigns concerning what foods to feed their child. This results in students lacking basic nutrition. We need to counter that message; good food improves mental and physical health. I worked to change the food offerings at the University of Michigan while employed there and I would like to do the same here. I have assisted Sheila Story, the chief school nurse and Seeliger’s PE teacher Michele Van Voorst with health issues. I have written grants and know that there are foundation support for these kinds of activities.

If we focus on some of the causes for students performing poorly, the symptoms will take care of themselves.

Contact information:

882-0485

barbhowe@excite.com

Name: Jeff Fontaine

Age: 51

Hometown: Bethlehem, Penn.

Occupation: Director, Nevada Department of Transportation

Family: Wife, Sohyla; Son, Maxwell (4); Twin son and daughter, Ian and Madline (2)

Political Background: First campaign for political office

If you could get state legislators to do something to help improve public education, what would you ask from them?

I would ask state legislators to make public education a priority. Local school districts must rely on the Legislature to approve the state budget for school operations.

While there are myriad unmet needs in our growing state, adequately funding public education is essential. Funding for class-size reduction, all- day kindergarten, and teacher salaries need to be considered together.

Reducing class size only works if the school district can hire and keep qualified teachers. I would also ask legislators to continue the Millenium Scholarship Program, and to evaluate how well Millenium Scholars are prepared for college.

In addition to funding, I would ask legislators to give school districts more autonomy to manage their educational programs. Nevada is a diverse state, and the needs of the Carson City School District are different than those in Las Vegas or Ely. School districts should be given an opportunity to perform and meet goals based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Lastly, I would also ask legislators to consider measures that enable parents to participate in their children’s education. For example, allowing working parents an hour or two off per year to participate in a school activity.

How would you help students meet the mandates of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act? What’s the biggest deficiency in this district’s program?

The 2005-06 school year was a year of improvement for the Carson City School District in meeting the mandates of the “No Child Left Behind Act.”

All but two schools made “adequate yearly progress.” However a number of schools, including Carson High School, were designated as “in need of improvement.”

The 2005-06 statistics indicate a decline in student proficiency levels for English-language arts and only a small percentage improvement in student proficiency levels for math in the middle schools. Too many students in kindergarten through eighth grade are testing below the standard range of achievement.

I would intensify the efforts that the district has made over the past year, including using data to focus resources on the schools and subjects with the most needs, coaching and community outreach.

I would also want to evaluate the district’s curriculum to assure that what is being taught will enable students to meet the State’s academic standards.

Finally, I would want to see that the district is teaching students how to take the proficiency tests. The biggest deficiency in the district’s program is meeting the needs of special education students. This is a similar problem for many schools throughout the country.

Contact information:

Telephone: (775) 883-9648

E-mail: FontaineJAF@aol.com