Bondurant-Farrar News


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thank You!

The results are in and I made the cut. I’ve been humbled by the support and interest in my running for the board. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you over the next four years. A heartfelt 'Thanks' goes out to all of you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Building Plan Report Available

On the school district website there is a link available that contains a report from the district consultant Duane Van Hemert of Iowa Schoolhouse Construction & Planning Services.  The report can be found here (link).

The report is a summary of the discussions held with various community groups in the Spring and was presented to the school board on August 15.

The report contains a good summary of the district growth, needs, and options for facilities and improvements necessary over the next few years.  It also contains a summary of district finances and resources to pay for some of the projects needed over the next few years.

The recommendations contained herein will likely be the basis for moving forward for developing detailed plans later this Fall.

I would value your input and perspectives as the district prepares to move forward.

Click on the "Send me and email" link in the upper right hand corner to send me your thoughts.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yard Signs Available

If you would like a yard sign showing your support for me, please click on the "Send me an email" link to the right hand side of this blog.  They look the picture below.

I will gladly drop one by your home or business.  I appreciate your support and look forward to the opportunity to serve you as a board member.

Preparing for Election Day

Election day is coming up fast.  It is Tuesday, September 13 from 7 AM until 8 PM at the Bondurant City Center.  I have provided information and links on the right hand side side of the blog here that will always be available.

You can also register the same day at the polling site if you have identification.

If you would like contact me, please click on the "Send me an email" link to the right.  I welcome your feedback and ideas.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aug. 15 Board Meeting

I thought I would put out a couple quick notes on the August 15 board meeting that I attended.  This was the last meeting before the election on September 13.

The agenda for this meeting can be found on the BF website (Link).

The big discussion centered on the plans for the new building.  The presentation was a follow-up to the June board meeting.  The goal was to create an actionable plan including a timeline that could be voted upon allowing the architects to proceed forward with more detailed building plans.

The building will run an expected $10 million with the funding to come through our capacity to issue sales tax bonds keeping our taxpayers insulated from another levy.

The plan presented had a Fall 2013 occupancy for the new Pre-K through 2 building.  The plan is quite ambitious but is achievable if work begins soon.  Board discussion though showed that not all board members were in position to approve a plan this quickly that has not been thoroughly vetted with the board or the community.

The next board meeting will not happen until Monday, September 19 so these plans won't be advanced until that date at the earliest.

Other discussion items on the 15th included finalizing the timelines with the middle school safe room, new staff hires and confirmation that the property tax levy rates were effectively the same from last year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meet the Candidates Article - Altoona Herald

In this week's Altoona Herald, there is a Meet the Candidates article.  I've attached the article (link) for your convenience.  I encourage you to read it and educate yourself on the choices for office on September 13. I again believe I have a lot to offer the district.

It's important to remember that you will have a choice of at least one fresh perspective and point of view for the board this September.  The district will benefit from the influx of new ideas and won't miss a step in terms of any acclimation of one or more new board members.

I would welcome any feedback or questions by clicking on the "Send Me an Email" link in the upper right hand corner of this blog.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why I'm running for the School Board

I feel that our democratic society has deeply benefitted from people lending their time and talents when they are able to do so.  I first became interested in helping the district when the district ran into its financial difficulties a few years back.  I felt that I might be able to help.

So when a board seat became available in October 2009 due to the resignation of a board member, I put my hand up for the opportunity.  Admittedly I had little experience with school boards so for many of the right reasons at the time I didn’t get selected.

What I did subsequent to that is volunteered to be the community representative on the board finance committee as well as the District Advisory Committee.  This has been a great opportunity for me to get versed in school finances and the complexities of how school districts work.  I still serve in these capacities today and thoroughly enjoy the exposures that I’ve had.

I think it’s amazing to see our district grow at the rate it has.  So much so that I find one of the big issues for the district is how to manage through the growth.  We are already planning for another school building to accommodate the growth.  Not only will our children fill those seats, but we also need excellent teachers to lead those expanding classrooms.

I’m committed to insuring we can get and retain those top teachers who want the more intimate and personal district like Bondurant-Farrar has to offer.  I’ve heard from some of you already during my petition drive about the importance of our teachers and I would love to keep hearing more.

To fully execute on these fronts, the district needs a long term vision and strategy that goes beyond the next 1-2 years and extends for the next 5-10 years helping layout it’s needs, goals, and definitions of success.

I have a passion for success.  So to me it’s been a bit of a disappointment to see Anderson get labeled with the “School in Need of Assistance” as measured under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA).  Anderson is not alone, as over 350 schools in the state held that status last year.  While many can take exception to the NCLBA and it’s strict measurement of a district’s success, there’s no denying that is one of the benchmarks we must continually meet as long as that law sits on the books.  I want to see this SINA status remediated regardless if I am on the Board and want to insure the resources are available to help see that more SINA labels don’t get added to our district in the coming years.

While I could go on, I want to touch on two remaining important points:

  •  First, I want to see the district leverage technology in the classroom to the fullest extent possible and as cost effectively as possible.  Our children will be even more dependent on technology in the future global economy.  Sadly many things we would call luxuries such as Elmos and overhead projectors have been heavily employed in many of other districts for quite some time.  Newer technology is upcoming daily and we need to be positioned to understand and embrace what we can afford.
  • Finally, I want to see the district continue to push transparency and interaction with the community.  For the record the district has done a good job of trying to promote transparency.  However I think it’s worth exploring a more user-friendly and comprehensive approach such as some sort of town hall forum where the board, teachers, volunteers, and community members can get together to review the accomplishments and remaining challenges facing the district and invite input.  This isn’t intended to replace the District Advisory Committee but rather invite even more community participation. 

I would appreciate your vote on September 13.  I invite you to provide feedback and input.  I want to serve your family’s needs the best I can.  If you would like to contact me, please clink the “Send me an email” link in the upper right hand corner of the blog.