Bud StrangeI am a candidate for the Naselle School Board. I am asking for your vote in the November 5th election. My background includes being a lifelong area resident and graduate of Naselle High School; married 43 years; raised two children that also are Naselle High School graduates; volunteer firefighter with the Naselle Volunteer Fire Department for 33 years; fire commissioner of the Naselle Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years; board member of the Naselle Water Company for 16 years; a small business owner for 36 years and computer programmer, systems analyst and manager for 30 years.
I have spent my adult life serving the Naselle community. I have been a part of many positive changes in my roles as a water board member, volunteer firefighter and commissioner. My business background and conservative approach have helped streamline efficiencies both operationally and financially.
If elected, I will be a voice for the people. I will work to ensure that as much information as possible will be put in front of the residents of our school district to keep them informed. As an example, I have created a web blog: http://naselleschoolblog.blogspot.com/ that anyone can share thoughts about our school. I also have videotaped the monthly board meetings and posted them on YouTube. This allows people to keep informed without leaving the comfort of their home if they choose. Although there is room for more communication improvement, I consider this a good start. With the blog having over 2400 views and YouTube monthly board meetings having over 1800 views, this tells me our community is very interested in what happens at our school. Without being a board member, I have been a factor in positive changes at our school and will continue to work towards positive change.
I believe I can offer a useful perspective to the board by drawing from a range of experiences. I attended a public, primary school in a small rural town, and ultimately completed a master’s degree in the field of natural resource management at Yale University, in the oldest forestry school in the country. In addition to this, I also attended two community trade schools, including CCC, to learn how to weld. My work career has involved running small businesses, working for a large company, a non-profit, and a state agency. Aside from establishing our veterinary clinic, I’ve spent my entire career working in the field of natural resource management. I’m currently employed by the WDNR as the restoration land manager for 28 counties across the state. I’m also a member of the DNR wildfire team.
We have a great school, which I believe is a reflection of our community, and I’m committed to helping to maintain this greatness. I also believe we need to address some significant challenges faced by our school. The following are key issues I believe I would need to focus on if I become a member of the School Board.1. First and foremost, we need to work hard on maintaining good communication between the school district and the community it serves. The most important job I would have as a school board member would be to serve this function. Strong community support is key to a strong school and this results from good communication.
2. Low student enrollment is a big challenge for us. I believe that we can improve enrollment by providing school programs that give parents reasons to send their kids to our school.
3. Associated with meeting the challenge of low student enrollment is increasing non-tax based sources of revenue as a way to help us to be less dependent upon inconsistent public funding.
4. Our school needs to evolve, building our curriculum to keep current with our world. There are two key areas I believe we need to focus on. One is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There is an acronym for this called STEM. A program exists for supporting this curriculum that I think could be a good opportunity for our school. The second area is Global studies, in particular foreign language. Our community has had strong international ties from the beginning and it is even more important now to develop an understanding of international issues. Being introduced to multiple languages at an early age, like most of our community founders were, is a key part of this.
5. We need to develop a facilities bond with the community to address some vital school improvement needs. I believe this starts with asking the community and the school staff to identify together what the priorities are. This requires getting broad community involvement at the beginning and participation throughout the process. It also requires constant communication.
6. Finally, we need to focus on building our School Community. Our school is more than a place to learn academically, our kids learn much more than the three R’s at school and we need to provide the right environment for this learning as well. The school is also our community center. We need to understand how our school can serve the community and ensure that it meets this need.