Q&A Tuesday: Carson City School Board candidates Dailey and Wilson
Debby Dailey: 59, is a Carson City School District teacher’s aide. She has two grown twin sons and a grown daughter.
Joanna Wilson: 53, is a homemaker and a lawyer. Her husband is Jim. Her children are Katy, 21, and her husband, Loren; Sarah, 19; Annie, 16; Jessica, 14; and Henry, 7.
Why are you running for the school board?
Dailey: I believe in good education.
Wilson: After serving for four years, I feel that I am just now in a position to influence the forward motion of the school district. It is not easy to come into a government position, learn all the intricacies of the budget, administrative rules, rules of procedure, personnel issues, interpersonal relations, and put your own imprint on the organization. Change is not easy. It is a slow, delicate process that requires some upheaval, tempered with lots of tender care. I have a lot to offer this district and am at the point in my education that I can begin to wield some positive influence.
How are you qualified for this position?
Dailey: I have teaching experience and was a lobbyist at the Nevada State Legislature.
Wilson: I have served on the board for four years, the last six months as its president. I am acquainted with many teachers in the district, as well as administrators at both the school and district level. I think most of these people are aware of who I am, my position on most things and that I can be trusted to do what I say I will do; perhaps not in the manner that they might prefer, but there is no doubt I will do what I say I will do. If I am proven wrong on an issue, I will be the first to admit it and change my actions accordingly.
I have both a law degree and a master’s degree in special education, which I feel give me an unusual insight in both the intricacies of education and administrative law as well as the needs of the educational community.
What changes would you like to see in the Carson City School District?
Dailey: I would like to see the school expanded in order for our children to have a better atmosphere in which they can learn the skills they need for the new millennium.
Wilson: Our biggest challenge as an educational community are the requirements of the so-called “No Child Left Behind” law. I see this as a challenge, not a hindrance to the education of our children. I would like to see a bigger emphasis on a “can-do” attitude, rather than an expression that this law is impossible so why try? Empire Elementary and Bordewich-Bray Elementary are both exemplary examples of a “can-do” attitude and the amazing changes that can result if we all fight for the children and their education.
I would also like to see a more community involvement. It is time we as parents and non-parents alike stepped in and became active participants in our children’s education. We can all do something to help. If we have time, we can volunteer in the classroom, on the playground, in the office. If time is limited, we can take things home and work on them for the teachers, participate in setting and cleaning up before and after events, donate money, supplies. A note or a phone call to a teacher thanking him/her for all she/he does could make such a difference in the lives of the people, who next to the parents, are perhaps the most important people in your child’s life.
What would you like to see remain the same?
Dailey: The academic qualities the school provides.
Wilson: This school district has made a concerted effort to see that the “extras” are included in our curriculum and are first-class. Band and music programs, art programs, field trips are all important learning tools for our children and add so much to both their education and their pleasure. I want and will fight for the continuation of these programs.
Because of budget constraints in this time of economic slow down, some monetary cuts are necessary. But I intend to fight and see that these programs as they have in so many other districts. I think our district administrative team is fantastic. They are innovative, creative and have an almost desperate desire to improve our district, not retain the status-quo.
Our teaching team, as well as the school-level administration team, is the best. They have so much to offer our children. I hope we can keep them and retain the fine educational environment we have all worked so hard to develop.
What are the biggest challenges you see facing education today?
Dailey: To teach our children that honesty is the best policy.
Wilson: Money is the single largest challenge all school districts are facing today.
In this, the year of the 50th anniversary of the “Brown vs. Board of Education” landmark decision, we still face great diversity issues in our schools, even here in Carson City.
What will you do to address those challenges?
Dailey: I will lead with the basic principles of decency, honesty and fair play, which is affirmed by the pledge I took when filing for candidacy. The “Code of Fair Campaign Practices” I signed is on file with the Elections Office.
Wilson: Money is finite. The district has no control over our funding. But I will fight in the 2005 Legislative session to increase the state’s per-pupil allocation. The education of our children is the education of our future. Nothing is more important, and someone must be willing to raise the issue loud and clear. I will (along with my school board) do that.
Diversity is a sensitive issue that requires innovation and cooperative learning. I was instrumental in creating a Diversity Task Force in the district, which under the careful guidance of our superintendent and several Hispanic and Native American community leaders, parents and students, along other board members, has opened up a whole new dialogue in our community on issues of diversity, race relations, prejudices (both real and perceived) and education.
Finally, all problems facing the school district must be met with frank and open discussions tempered with creativity and cooperation. The more people involved in the education of our children, the better and more productive the solutions. I encourage everyone in Carson City, whether they have children in the schools or not, to become more involved.
Our children are our future.
What are your outside interests?
Dailey: I belong to the Women’s Marine Corps Auxiliary. I am a former vice president of Big Sisters of America, and I have chaired or served on committees for community charities and neighborhood gatherings.
Wilson: My family. I love to read, I walk for exercise and occasionally swim. I am active in my church and do some scrapbooking with my children.