School Board Candidate Responses: How do we ensure that our schools remain number one in an increasingly competitive world?

As part of our goal here at County 17 of informing voters for this year’s elections, we sent out unique questions for candidates in state, county, and city elections, to let you better know your candidates.

This week, we are posting answers from school board candidates. The general election is Nov. 6.

Previous questions can be found here:

How should CCSD respond to potential cutbacks or adjustments to the funding model?

What do you see as the reason for this discrepancy between investment and results?

Sheridan County School District No. 2 has had three blue ribbon schools in the past two years, and a number of other Wyoming districts have had nationally recognized blue ribbon schools, as well. Campbell County has not had a nationally recognized blue ribbon school since 2007. Does this imply Campbell County schools are losing their competitiveness? How do we ensure that our schools remain number one in an increasingly competitive world? (limit 500 words)

Linda Bricker

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I could just re-write question #2, but that would be cheating! I guess you need to ask yourself what you are competing for first. If it is winning excellence in our kids then refer to my previous answer. I am not going to change the theme of my answers here because I really do know what works. My three boys were encouraged everyday to be the best people they could be. I raised them in the church and youth groups and they were also taught to work hard. It was not easy as even then I had my share of problems with raising children. That’s where my prayer life really took root as this world will always try to draw your kids away from what is good and acceptable. We cannot do this on our own. I couldn’t do it on my own either. People like Mr. Steiger, and numerous other amazing teachers helped keep my kids on track. Even coaches were instrumental in their moral values.

The final part of your question is how do we remain number one in an increasingly competitive world. My answer to this question is to stop pushing unnecessary classes, agendas, and propaganda and start teaching our kids to be entrepreneurs as that is what our country needs most when speaking about world competition. First, teach them all sides of a concept, teach them to think outside the box and then show them exceptional work ethics to go along with their God-given talents. There would be NO end to the “Blue Ribbons”they would earn in their lifetimes.

God Bless & Happy Trails

Doug Cox
(No photo provided.)
As a very competitive person myself I have often asked myself this same question.  It is one of the reasons I started looking into being on the school board in the first place.  Over the past year I have investigated these blue-ribbon schools and what are they doing that we aren’t.  I have also investigated the criteria that it takes to become a blue-ribbon school.  A lot of the criteria has little to do with the education that is being received in the classroom.   I am sure it is a nice reward for those schools that receive them, but I think it is more important to focus on making CCSD students the best they can be instead of being focused on ribbons.

David Foreman
(Candidate did not respond to questionnaire by the deadline.)

Joseph Lawrence
(No photo provided.)

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The National  Blue Ribbon Schools Program is for top performing schools and schools that advance in achievement for subgroups. The CCSD looks at each student as an individual. We want everyone to grow and succeed .

However, most schools  have a high mobility rate and it is difficult to show achievement  in subgroups because of that mobility. The CCSD schools that won the Blue Ribbons were both because of reducing achievement gaps..it is believed that Sheridan has a low mobility rate which would help in obtaining the necessary achievements.

Are we losing our competitive edge? No! We have great teachers that do the best job they can, teaching the curriculum as given by the Wyoming Department of Education.

We have added STEM labs to a number of elementary schools and to both junior highs. The teachers have  each student in mind when they plan. I believe that with best practices being utilized, we will continue to see great academic growth in Campbell County K-12 schools.

Anne Ochs (2-year term)
(Candidate did not respond to questionnaire by the deadline.)

Larry Steiger
(No contact information on file.)

Originally from New Mexico, Killough began his career writing freelance for a weekly magazine in Albuquerque while completing his undergraduate degree. In addition to reporting on uranium mining in western New Mexico, he spent three years reporting in western North Dakota during the height of the oil boom. He can be reached at kevin@county17.com or 701-641-6603.