The Southeast Iowa Union is featuring the candidates seeking elected office to city councils and school boards in the region. The Union will profile the candidates in various races throughout this week. Today, we focus on the Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors.
The board has four open seats but only two candidates on the ballot. The four seats are currently occupied by Paul Miller, Warren Schaefer, Jennifer Anderson and Christi Welsh. Only Welsh is seeking re-election. She will be joined by Tim Bower, also seeking elected office. Bower was the only candidate to return a questionnaire.
1) What office are you running for and why?
I am running for an open position on the Fairfield Community School District Board of Education. I was born and raised in southeastern Jefferson County and graduated from Fairfield High School. My education took me from this community and provided me with a number of experiences and opportunities around the globe. I have been fortunate enough to return to Fairfield. As a result, I want to give back to the community and the school district that prepared me for the career path that I have been fortunate to have.
2) Have you ever held this office or any other elected position?
I was elected to three, four-year terms to the Muscatine School Board and resigned from the board when we relocated to Fairfield last year. I was elected by the Southeast Iowa School Districts, District 9 region as Director of the Iowa Association of School Boards and held that position for three years.
3) What are three challenges you see facing the school district?
Three of the most challenging issues facing schools today are finance, enrollment and student achievement. These all tie together and require the board to focus on these areas as a whole so improvement of our schools can be realized.
4) What is something the school district is doing well that you would like to build upon?
I have seen a strong relationship being developed within the district staff and supported by the board to work as one team. The district financial strength is continuing to become stronger. When this is happening, the district becomes stronger and able to focus in the areas of student growth, our number one priority.
5) Why should you be elected to this position?
My personal experiences while working with numerous student/parent groups have allowed me to be closely involved with schools and family members who are educators and my professional experiences have included managing and leading many projects. These projects have ranged from small to in excess of $60 million.
Professionally, I have had the opportunity to see the results of our education system. I have had the opportunity to mentor many students in the school-to-work program and through internships which has exposed me to a number of students with different goals. The school system must look beyond graduation and make sure the students have the tools to be successful, no matter where their chosen path is taking them.
The Fairfield Community School District currently has a budget of over $30 million. The district has also struggled with enrollment changes. This drives us to keep focused on our direction and continue to look at ways to assure our children’s future. Economic times are difficult and we have all felt the pain in some manner. We have a product/service to provide. Preparing every student in the school system to graduate and be able to contribute to society is our utmost goal. Anything less and the Fairfield Community School District is not meeting its intended function.