GILLETTE, Wyo. — Election season is well underway and County 17 has sent a list of questions to each candidate who has filed to run for office in contested races.
These questions are designed to give our readers a better understanding of the people behind the names on the ballot. All candidate responses submitted to County 17 are republished as they are received. County 17 solely made minor edits to the responses, for clarity. Minor edits may include correcting punctuation, capitalization or spelling.
Below, get to know David Foreman, who is running for re-election to the Campbell County School District Board of Trustees:
1. Please introduce yourself and describe your educational and employment history. Please include your name and hometown along with highlights of your past involvement in the Campbell County community.
My name is Dave Foreman and I have been a resident of Gillette and Campbell County for over 30 years. My wife, Judy, and I raised our family in this great community. I served as the principal of Twin Spruce for 24 years. I hold a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in educational leadership. I was selected as Wyoming Secondary Principal of the Year in 2005. I have served on numerous local boards and committees throughout my career that pertain to education and supporting our Campbell County students.
2. What prompted your decision to run for the school board? What do you have to offer the community as a board member? What do you believe your role is as a board member?
Education continues to be my passion. I believe I still have a lot to offer by serving on the school board. I bring experience as an educator and longtime Campbell County resident. I care deeply about the youth of our county and always put students first. I am also an advocate of teachers and school staff. As a trustee I represent the community and the decisions I make will be reflective of community needs and concerns. Being an active listener and following through with concerns will provide opportunities to continue to build trust with all stakeholders.
3. How do you propose Campbell County School District attract and retain quality educators and other staff, given employee shortages? How can board members help provide an environment in which employees can thrive?
Teachers need to feel valued. My hope is that all of the teachers in CCSD and those I have worked with in my career know how much I appreciate them. It is my goal to continue to provide teachers with unwavering support while also working hard to eliminate disruptions and obstacles that may take away from their teaching. Teachers need to be fairly compensated and respected for the work that they do. During my time as a principal at Twin Spruce I tried to create a family environment where teachers worked as a team to support students. My role as a school board trustee is to do the same across all of our schools.
4. What does a successful school district look like?
A successful school district looks like a place where students excel and maximize their potential. A place where students have opportunities to pursue their interests and learn from their mistakes. A place where students can make lifelong friendships and become prepared to be a productive citizen. A place where teachers feel supported and their work valued. A place where employees enjoy coming to work and are good at what they do. A place where parents and stakeholders feel welcome and involved.
5. What does the school district administration do well?
We have about 9,000 students in our schools. Being responsible for their education, as well as their safety, is a very big responsibility. There is an increased burden placed on schools and I think the school district administration keeps the best interest of students in mind while trying to meet all of the expectations placed on them.
6. How has education impacted your life?
Education has been my life. I have spent my entire life serving as a student, teacher, principal, or school board member. I have no regrets and feel like I have dedicated myself to our students and the people of Campbell County. You cannot put a value on education other than priceless. I am proud to have been an educator and want to continue to be a part of the future of our county.
7. What advice would you offer parents of school-aged children to empower students in their learning?
I served as the principal to many of our current parents while at Twin Spruce. I would encourage them to reflect on what they felt like they needed most from their parents during that time. I would also encourage parents to teach their students to develop resiliency. It is a given that students will face many challenges during their time as a student, but it is how they respond to those challenges that will determine their success.
8. What lessons did our school district community learn from the COVID-19 pandemic? How will you help the school district’s efforts to recover the academic losses associated with the pandemic?
The best lesson we learned is that together we can overcome anything. We learned that no matter the obstacle, we need to do whatever is necessary to keep kids in school. We learned that students learn best from being in a classroom with their teacher, not at home through a computer. We learned that students did experience academic loss during this time and we need to work extra hard to catch them up to where they need to be. We can do this by supporting academic interventions, after-school tutoring opportunities, and offering summer school programs. We also need to support student mental health needs through district programs.
9. Should the school board promote more community involvement? If so, how? If not, why not?
Yes, I am very proud of our community and believe it has a lot to offer our students. Our community support of schools is outstanding. Many of our local businesses provide opportunities to our students that are not seen in other communities. We have strong partnerships with community groups that also benefit our students. That being said, we can do more, whether it is participating in our students’ education through volunteering at a school or voicing a concern to staff or board members. I encourage parents to be active with their school’s PTO and stay involved in district decisions they feel are important.
10. Is there anything else voters should know about you and your perspective?
I want to thank everyone for their past support and I look forward to the opportunity of working together in the future.