Teton School District

Alexie Schiess Hulme -- Zone 5

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for you candidacy.

Alexie Schiess Hulme

Alexie Schiess Hulme

Hi I am Alexie Schiess Hulme, I have deep roots in Teton Valley. I was born and raised in Victor to a cattle rancher, potato and barley farmer where I learned from a young age to work hard and finish what I started. I graduated from Teton High School in 2003, then furthered my education at BYU-Hawaii, BYU-Idaho and finished my secondary education with a Bachelor’s of Science at Utah State in Exercise Science. While there, I worked with the athletic trainers and physical therapists for the football and track teams. I am currently working as a chiropractor’s assistant. I am a team player and have a great listening ear. I now have a child in the Teton School District, as well as many friends and family members. I would like to contribute to this district in a positive and uplifting way.

Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member.

As a school board member, I will take on all necessary rolls to help maintain rules and policies for the district and students. I am invested in the learning of the students of the district. I will work closely with the superintendent and the administration teams to help them achieve their goals and policies. I will further my education with the necessary conferences and trainings I need.

Please describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position.

The community can expect me to be honest, have a listening ear and have integrity with everything I do. I can assure you, the community, I will give this my all. I will pour 110% into this position. I will see to it that budgets are set, met and revisited regularly. I feel the teachers and staff in the district are the backbone of the school system and should be taken care of.

Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why this is important to the community.

I have a few accomplishments that have qualified and molded me for this position. After college I took a job with the Professional Bull Riders, where I was the Director of Merchandise Marketing. I traveled to nearly every state, where I was responsible for sales and marketing of a multi-million-dollar operation for the company. I was a project secretary for Headwaters Construction, and an office manager for High Mountain Group, the property management company at Teton Pines. I am currently working, and have for the last 6 years, for A3 Merchandise, as a consultant at the following events: Barrett Jackson Auto Auctions, Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, CMA Music Festival, CMA Award Show, Mecum Auto Auction, Goodguys Car Show and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. I take pride in being able to know how to manage budgets, deal with fast-paced stress and, most importantly, a team of people.

Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and teaching raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.

I will support the levy 100%. The school district needs money to function efficiently. If the majority of the community is in support of the levy, then I, as a school board trustee, will rally behind the community and the school in their majority vote. After meeting with the Teachers Education Association last month, I was educated on how the school is funded through the state. I would guess a fair portion of the community doesn’t understand how the funding works. We need this levy. Without it the school’s income is reduced by 20%. I will constantly encourage the community to support it.

What challenges currently face the Teton County School District and how would you work toward finding solutions?

There are two important challenges that the school district faces. One: the safety of our children. Our district could use a peace officer at the high school level.

Two: finances. We need more money to make everything run more efficiently. Getting more funding from the state and other resources will be a priority on my agenda.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

Teton School District has nothing but sunny skies ahead! We have seen some hard times, but we are focused on moving forward and not dwelling on the past. It is my goal that we will have more respect for ourselves, our staff, our school buildings and our community. We have so much to look forward to!

Nan Pugh -- Zone 5

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for your candidacy.

Nan Pugh School Board Zone 5

Nan Pugh School Board Zone 5


The beauty of this valley drew me to move here over ten years ago, but I decided to transplant my roots because of the connected and proud community that has a strong sense of commitment to each other. Education is my passion. I have over 15 years of experience as an educator and non-profit leader. I have already served four years as a school board trustee and I understand the finances, the policies and can lead the new trustees as a seasoned board member.

I understand our role as school board members is to work together to set a clear direction for the district, overseeing the finances and empower our staff. As a former educator, I know our teachers are our biggest asset. They have the most challenging and vital role in educating the next generation. If I am re-elected, I want to spend the next four years using my knowledge to continue working to make TSD401 one of the best public school systems in the state.



Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member.

The role of a school board member is to work as a team to set a clear direction for the district on behalf of the students’ best interests. I was part of the team that established the district’s first strategic plan. We identified a vision for the district and set goals.

One of my philosophies is the African proverb “to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I believe it is important to work together with our different perspectives to create a united vision. 
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Please describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position.

If elected, the community can expect me to continue to be an attentive listener to the community's needs and concerns. I will be thoroughly prepared on school district issues, make the tough decisions when needed. I understand that our assets are our people and I will be a fully engaged and respectful team member. I would like to keep up with my current Board commitments of Finance Committee Chair, the district representative on the Education Foundation board. The community will continue to see me balance the business of running the district while also paying close attention to the district's priorities. 
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Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why this is important to the community.

The accomplishments I’m most proud of are adopting the 2018-2019 Strategic Plan and passing the school construction bond with an 80% approval.

Four years ago, as a Board, we took our time and heard from the community that the district needed to focus on student achievement for our Strategic Plan. We set goals and priorities and have held ourselves accountable to those goals. We are now ready to set the bar higher. If re-elected, my main priority will be to help lead the process for an updated strategic plan.

The school construction bond failed twice in the past and we knew we needed to do a better job showing the community why new school construction was vital for student achievement. An 80% approval of the bond speaks to not only how we can unite our community, but what we can accomplish when we do. 
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Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.


I support the supplemental levy, here’s why. Schools, just like a business, need adequate funding to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, the State of Idaho has consistently and significantly under-funded public education, leaving the burden on local taxpayers to ensure adequate funding for our students. Due to consistent and significant underfunding by the state, our district has used the supplemental levy consistently since 2007 to close the funding gap. However, we are not alone, of 115 Idaho school districts, 93 have supplemental levies.

The national average of per-pupil spending in 2018 was $12,526. This is $4K more per pupil than what Idaho provides and $8K less than the highest performing public schools in the nation.

If our focus is to increase student achievement, we need to reduce student-teacher ratios, attract and retain excellent teachers, provide student and teacher support such as counselors and a Curriculum Director and provide additional programs such as full-day kindergarten, all of which cost money and most of which is covered by the supplemental levy. Teton School District also faces additional challenges such as a high cost of housing, which makes it difficult to attract and retain teachers.

Simply put, given the current state of school funding, without the supplemental levy we would be forced to lay off teachers, support staff and end additional programs, reversing the progress we've made in the last few years to increase student achievement. This would not only have devastating effects on our students and staff, but the community as a whole as young families would look elsewhere for quality public school education for their children.

Finally, I would like to add that school funding and per-pupil spending is not the only factor in student achievement. We know that effective teachers are the single most important factor contributing to student achievement, which is why I will continue to advocate for increased teacher funding.

What challenges currently face the Teton County School District and how would you work toward finding solutions?

I think one of the biggest issues facing the district and board is that we have been working from a reactive position rather than a proactive one for the last year. We have learned some valuable lessons and have taken steps to ensure these lessons are entrenched as part of our policies.

Consistency is another challenge. We will have at least two new members who will need to be brought up to speed on our strategic plan, our policies and the financials. Having three new board members will take even more time to get started on the work. My solution to this lack of consistency is to run for re-election.

I believe that each school needs to create a 3-5 year plan that then drives our next district strategic plan. Then we prioritize goals and budget requests, for example, a new curriculum for this year and new computers the following year.

At the Board level, we also have our work cut out for us to complete Board level Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) so the Board is better set up for success, improve efficiency and quality of our work and avoid mistakes. The SOP will provide consistency in decision making in areas such as hiring, budgeting, and superintendent evaluations. When I joined the Board there were several practices were outdated or non-existent systems such as how we track the district budget, or how we evaluate our superintendent. The SOP will provide the Board standardization of how we get out work done, which will provide our staff and the public consistency and predictability in our decision making.

All of this work is going to take buy-in at all levels: the board, the superintendent, the administration, teachers, and support staff. I have strong working relationships at all levels which is important to create that the buy-in that is needed. I’ve already started this work and I am eager to complete it.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

The future of the Teton County School District is that we want to become one of the highest performing public school districts in the state. Our decisions will be made thoughtfully and well researched. Despite all the challenges the state presents, we continue to demonstrate a can-do attitude in Teton County. When we hear each other out and work together we overcome obstacles and challenges like we did with the bond at 80% approval. Today we have a new student report card that will better inform us how students are performing. We will soon have two new schools and significant improvements to the rest of our schools to better meet the needs of teachers and students and the community. When our students leave our District, I want them to have had a positive school experience and the skills they need to be successful in whatever path they pursue. Our students are our future. Our investment in them, whether that is our time, treasure or talent, is invaluable.

Cricket Romanzi -- Zone 5

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for your candidacy.

Cricket Romanzi school board zone 5

Cricket Romanzi school board zone 5

I am Cricket Romanzi, a mother, wife, business manager, supporter of the valley’s non-profits and 20 year resident of Teton Valley. I am running for school board to serve our children and community and help build a stable school district that enhances every child’s learning experience. A high standard of education cannot exist without attracting and retaining quality teachers, administrators and support staff. To do so will require communication, compromise, integrity and transparency. I will bring these qualities to TSD401. My son has been educated in the Teton Valley public school system for the past 10 years. I have a vested interest in our school district. I am committed to advocating for the highest standard of education for our kids, in preparation for college or career/technical training. My 30+ years of professional experience includes managing budgets and people. I have spent my life balancing a personal and household budget and I have spent over 6 years managing a business with an annual budget of $400,000+. The fact that our district is operating on a deficit budget is of grave concern to me. The School Board is responsible for the budget and I would like to bring my fiscal responsibility and experience to the board and work to change this deficit to a surplus.



Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member. 

The role of a School Board member is to work collaboratively with the other board members, superintendent, teachers, administrators and public. The work requires transparency and openness about how decisions are made. The board, as a group, must create policies while following best practices and listening to input from the staff and from the public. A school board member needs to allow for varying points of view, taking in each side’s concerns, even when there are many complex ideas and systems to understand. Ultimately the position requires making sound fiscal decisions in order to provide a stable future for public education in Teton County.

Please describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position. 

The community can expect me to be a dedicated, responsible School Board member. I will be prepared and on time for school board meetings. I will listen, learn, ask questions and be accessible to public input. I will bring confidence and transparency to financial matters. I will respect others’ opinions and work diligently to ensure all students receive the highest standard of education as well as make sure our educators are valued and heard. I will strive to fulfill every opportunity to build collaboration with staff and community. My priority is making TSD401 the best choice to educate our children.

Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why this is important to the community. 

For over 6 years, I’ve managed the Stillwaters Spa at Teton Springs’ in Victor. I manage an annual budget of over $400,000 which has made a profit every year I have been in my position. I was able to deliver a profitable budget by being a strong organizational leader and fiscally responsible manager. I will use my personal and professional experience to be diligent in my decision making for our Teton Valley schools. I will be transparent about spending YOUR taxpayer money. We (as the board) owe this to you, our children and the community.

In addition to managing an annual budget at Stillwaters Spa, I manage a staff of 15+ individuals. I listen to their needs and concerns and make decisions that affect the entire staff. I am a clear communicator and open about how and why certain decisions are made.

My experiences at Stillwaters Spa illustrate my track record of strong work ethic and fiscal responsibility, while maintaining staff morale. Just as I am committed to the budget and staff at Stillwaters Spa, I will be committed to our school district’s budget as well as its students, educators and district leaders to make our district a place where students can thrive.

Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.

Over the years, the district has had to pass levies at the ballot and emergency levies in order to have adequate funding to pay for a growing district. I have supported the supplemental levies for our district to operate. Unfortunately, Idaho does not fund our schools at the levels necessary to operate successfully. This is an ongoing conversation we all must engage in at the legislative level. As a board member, I will use my platform to advocate for more state money in order to properly fund education for our children. At present, the Governor has formed a task force committee to make recommendations on budget funding for public education. Teton Valley needs to be part of this conversation. I will be a strong voice for Teton County in securing needed funding for our district.

What challenges currently face the Teton County School District and how would you work toward finding solutions?

I feel there are two great challenges facing the Teton County School District.

The first is of a financial nature of two aspects. There appears to be a lack of transparency with the community regarding two fraud cases in 2017 and 2018. The second challenge is the current school budget with an estimated $250,000 unaccounted-for deficit. This amount could be more. I will work diligently to understand the circumstances surrounding these current challenges. I will also work to find solutions to these financial challenges by opening communications between the school and the community. The school district administration and school board need to re-gain the trust of the community so we can build a stable financial school district.

The second challenge is attracting and retaining dedicated, quality educators due to the rising cost of living in Teton County, Idaho. As a board member, I will work to find the funds necessary to ensure we offer competitive wages. I plan to include this challenge as part of the conversation with the Governor’s task force committee to secure the funds necessary to run district 401 properly. We need stability in our district staff to create a stable educational environment for our children.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

The future of the Teton County School District looks open for positive change and greater purpose. We are currently at a crossroads. In the answers to these questions, I have laid out a plan to move us from the crossroads to a place of stability for our schools. My vision will build a strong vibrant district that offers a higher quality education for all students. We are a diverse community, who all love our children and want the best opportunities for their education. Your vote for me is for a candidate that is confident, thoughtful, transparent in communication and fiscally responsible to make District 401 a school district where our children can thrive and succeed.

Shannon Brooks Hamby -- Zone 1

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for you candidacy.

Shannon Brooks Hamby

Shannon Brooks Hamby

Hello, I’m Shannon Brooks Hamby and I am running for school board in Zone 1. I am a parent of a student in our public school system and have lived in Victor with my family for 16 years.

I am uniquely qualified because of my relevant leadership experience. I have served as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Teton Valley and the Board Chair for the Teton Valley Foundation. Currently I am a member of the Executive Team for Climb Wyoming, a statewide nonprofit focused on job placement for single mothers in poverty, where I have oversight of our multimillion-dollar budget that includes federal, state and local funding.

I bring a deep interest and skills in developing highly functional teams. I am most excited about the opportunity to increase the effectiveness of the school board through compassionate leadership that honors our shared desire to see our children succeed.

Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member.

School board members are responsible for the critical and challenging task of deciding how limited resources will be used to maximize the success and impact of our local educational system for our students, staff and community.

Please describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position.

I will bring thoughtful and strategic decision-making to the role. I will be informed and come to meetings prepared. I will take accountability for my mistakes and hold others to the same expectation. I will communicate directly and openly and treat people respectfully. I will engage in productive conflict. And I will approach the role with curiosity and compassion.

Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why this is important to the community.

As the Board Chair of the Teton Valley Foundation, I led the organization through a multi-year transition that increased our effectiveness and financial sustainability.

I established board policy and culture that allowed us to explore major strategic changes to come to the best decisions for TVF and the community. We revisited our strategic goals and determined that some of our programming was out of alignment with our mission. We challenged our current vision for the Kotler Arena and came up with a plan that better suited our community and reflected our fundraising and operational capacity.

Our success was dependent on the board and executive director engaging in hard conversations, managing criticism from the community, challenging each other and operating transparently. As a result, we increased functionality and sustainability across the organization - better serving the community on every level.

Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and teaching raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.

Yes, I do and will support supplemental levies for our school district.

Because the state of Idaho provides insufficient funding for education, 80% of counties in Idaho use supplemental levies annually to fund their school districts. Last year 96 districts raised over $200 million through supplemental levies to support local public education. Currently we raise approximately $3.1 million per year through our supplemental levy.

Through their support of our supplemental levy, our community has consistently demonstrated that they value a thriving school district. Through the supplemental levy, our community has funded a lower student-teacher ratio by providing funds to hire more teachers. They have recognized the importance of paying our teachers salaries that exceed state levels. And they have made it possible to implement full-day kindergarten and hire for critical roles like a Curriculum Director.

What challenges currently face the Teton County School District and how would you work toward finding solutions?

I believe there are three primary challenges facing our school district:

1) Alignment of funding and strategic priorities: We need to be vigilant that we are allocating funding and resources in alignment with the district strategic plan, which was the result of hundreds of hours of community, staff and stakeholder input. This requires regular high level discussion about budgeting decisions, current needs, outcomes and a strategy for where to invest our resources for maximum impact.

2) Attracting and retaining quality staff: We must remain focused on attracting qualified teachers and administrators, and retaining those that bring deep experience and effectiveness to their role. This requires engaging with staff for input, revisiting process and policy and regularly assessing successes and challenges in our hiring and retention plans.

3) Board functionality: The board needs to continue to evolve in communication practices, conflict engagement, transparency, respectful dialogue and structure to allow for the effective strategic deliberation that will serve our educational system and community in the best way. This requires proactive attention to process and relationships, and strategic thinking that informs problem-solving and decision-making.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

Focusing on the future requires an acknowledgement of where we are! The current momentum within our school district - new schools, exceptional teachers and administrative staff, diverse educational opportunities, and a commitment to improving and learning at all levels - is really exciting. We must maintain this trajectory. I envision students that are challenged and engaged, have access to a variety of educational tools and pursuits and are prepared for their next step. I envision teachers and administrators that are treated fairly and respectfully, receive the support they need and prospects that are lining up to work within our district. And I envision a school board that is creating a culture of excellence through thoughtful and strategic deliberations and decisions.

Jacki Cooke -- Zone 1

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for you candidacy.

Jacki Cooke

Jacki Cooke

My name is Jacki Summers Cooke. I am running for the position of School Board Trustee, Zone 1. My husband Casey and I have four children: Cade, 23, Libby, 21, Cooper, 17, and Coy, 4. We all consider ourselves lucky to be born and raised in Teton Valley. Collectively, with my education and raising my children, I have 30 years of experience in the Teton School District. Next year will start my fourth run-through of K-12 and I can’t think of a better time to run for school board. I believe in public service and I’ve had my eye on this position for a long time. I think my work experience has set me up to be a great candidate for the job.

I was employed at the Teton Valley News for 10 years, moving from type-setter to writer and editor. I regularly attended every public meeting in the valley. I know what being in the public eye is all about, how meetings are run and the hard work that is expected. I have been attentive and knowledgeable of the issues since that time, anxiously waiting for my turn.

For the last 16 years I have worked in numbers: 10 years at Cooke and Kearsley as a bookkeeper; six years at Carson Concrete as office manager and 12 years co-owning Cooke Cabling, a fiber optic contracting company with my husband. With kids involved in sports and work, efficiency is my game. If I can figure out how to do something faster and smarter, my day has been made. “If you need something done, ask someone who has a lot on their plate.”

Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member.

A school board is the watch-dog of the district budgets and how state and local funds are allocated. Unfortunately, our district currently has the appearance of over or frivolous spending. The public needs to be reassured its money is being spent in the most economical way. I can see ways our district can be more efficient with its funds and would love a chance to tackle the budget.

A school board member governs the district by adopting policies, providing leadership for and evaluating the superintendent, establishing contracts and setting teachers wages all with the priority of keeping the bar on the highest academic achievement possible for ALL students in the district.

Please describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position.

I plan to go through the district financials with a fine-tooth comb. I want to know every detail.

I would love to lobby the state legislature to allocate more money to schools while looking for additional sources of funding. I think our district is working hard on grants but I see that students should work a little harder on fundraising for small needs. Rewards come from hard work!

I think there are ways to improve our school testing results by finding and focusing on the “holes” in the system. I have ideas to improve graduation rates by implementing more technology-based classes and encouraging students who may not be ready to go to college to hit the workforce with technology certificates that will keep them more interested in staying in school. I intend to advocate for the student, working to give them the best possible education, fine-tuned to their specific needs, while keeping a home-town community atmosphere of small classes, personal attention and unity.

Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why this is important to the community.

For the last 23 years I have been first and foremost a mom to great kids. That’s my best contribution to our community. With busy kids, I have also been known to be the queen of team or club fundraising. I know how to make the most money possible out of a concession stand and I’ve hosted fundraisers that have met lofty goals. I am also known for “mothering” children other than my own. Nothing hurts my ears more than to hear a teenager say they can’t afford to go to college. I’ve personally made sure more than a handful of those kids found the right college, were given scholarships and were able to afford school. In a small community the personal things you do for each other mean the most. Things like hosting fundraisers for unexpected funerals and wrangling up a home in a tough rental market complete with a household of possessions for a family who lost all of theirs in a fire are some of my proudest accomplishments. This is my community and I will, and have done, anything I can do to help.

Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and teaching raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.

If a levy is proven to be necessary, I will always absolutely support it. I completely understand belt-tightening will not give the district its projected $3.1 million necessary to keep the district running. It is not commonly understood by the community that the State of Idaho has grossly underfunded education to the point we would not be able to function in our current situation without a levy. I am ready and willing to travel to Boise and lobby for more adequate funding of schools.

We have one of the highest cost per student figures in the state (topping $9,000 each), caused by some of the highest salaries in the state. I believe we can work on to get those numbers down. Those aren’t statistics we should be proud of. I know it’s hard to live off a teacher salary in Teton Valley. I also know big bucks bring better teachers and we have many long-time teachers who are paid at the top of their pay ladder. That said, I think we can still whittle away at the $3.1 bond number. Any time we can accomplish what we need to accomplish at a smaller figure, we are on our way to appeasing taxpayers, which is very important to me.

By selecting three community elementary schools, Driggs, Tetonia and Victor, when we approved bond funding last year, we may have shot ourselves in the foot to ever get away from a levy, unless the state does some changing. Idaho funds on student hours and has calculations that suggests we should only need a certain amount of administrators, custodians, bus drivers, etc., for the students we have. Well, we need two-thirds more than that. When the district polled the community if it wanted three schools, we collectively said,” YES!” A levy every two years is probably the ramification.

I think our district is working hard on grants, which are essential, and I also see that students should work a little harder on fundraising for small needs. Rewards come from hard work!

What challenges currently face the Teton County School District and how would you work toward finding solutions?

Probably the largest challenge to the district is state funding. Until we can get it changed at the state level, it will never go away, especially to a district that is still growing by leaps and bounds.

I would put the health and safety or our children as the next challenge. Our world is not like it used to be, unfortunately. Our children are more sensitive, more suicidal and more prone to attacking other students with guns or bombs. They have more outlets with social media to bully and mentally harm each other. We must do everything in our power to keep them safe and make sure their environment is one of peace, compassion, and sense of community. Unity in our schools has to start with unity among adults. I believe our teachers can spearhead that effort by getting parents more involved and into the schools. Our district also has some wonderful mentoring programs and is on the right track. I would love to see a teen living course be mandatory and not just available to all junior high and high school kids. Maybe if we can confine them and talk about the tough stuff we can reach a few more and intervene quicker.

Improving our standardized test results has been our district nemesis for many years. It’s a seemingly daunting task when our district is also known to have a very large demographic of hispanic and underprivileged students. I think the new after-school and summer school programs targeting those groups has been a tremendous help and our numbers are starting to go up. Unfortunately, it’s possible that some teachers may not be reaching all students as well others, causing a potential for scores to be low. In my experience, just one year of an inadequate teacher can cause a ripple effect for a few years in testing results. I would like to think we are on the bottom of the ripple and the movement will only go up from here. I hope to continue to implement programs to help targeted groups and also come up with rewards or incentives to teachers who are influential or successful in raising scores. A happy teacher is an even greater teacher.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

The future of the Teton School District is very bright. We have gorgeous new buildings, many high-quality teachers, wonderful students, concerned parents who act as great watch-dogs, community heritage and the amazing opportunity to still be a small school system with community values and top-notch education.

I would love the chance to give back to a district that has given me so much.

Ticia Sheets -- Zone 2

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for you candidacy.

Ticia Sheets

Ticia Sheets

Ticia Sheets, School Board candidate zone 2. I am the mother of a second grade Duel language Program student. I am an extremely self-motivated, self- employed business owner of 2 business for 20 years. I have experience in management, communication, decision making and budget planning. I have a proactive and positive can do attitude.

I feel this is a great time to be on the school board. Our district is moving forward. The new schools and remodels are underway and now it is time to look forward with enthusiasm to the future of our district.

Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member.

The School Board is a group of dynamic people from the community that work as a team along with the superintendent and the district. The role of a school board trustee is to listen, communicate and then make decisions based on the vision, mission and goals of the district. Keeping in mind how our choices will affect every student every teacher, the whole community and the overall the districts strategic plan.

Please describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position.

Should I be elected to school board the community can expect me to advocate for our children. I would like to see even more thoughtful progressive programs that will help students learn how to use creative thought process and critical thinking skills. I don’t just want them to do well on paper I want to see the children fully engaged with learning.

I would like to see students get involved with the decision making process by inviting student representatives to join the open board meetings.

I will support the teacher’s Professional Learning Process communities in all of the schools.

I will advocate for effective leadership in our schools by supporting lines of communication with the administration, teachers and students. I will be an objective listener and I will make decisions based on facts not opinions. I will talk to students, community and educators. I will stay current with the ISBA.

Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why this is important to the community.

My biggest accomplishments are building my home, family and business, being a responsible and considerate neighbor. As well as respecting the diversity and culture of this unique community.

Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and teaching raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.

Yes, I will support the levies. The state budget is not adequate to fund our district. On the most basic level we have a few simple unique factors: First this district supports elementary schools in each community. Second, cost of living is sufficiently higher than most counties in Idaho. We need to pay our teachers! The district cannot accomplish much without our amazing teachers. The budget needs to be adjusted on the state level. Then we can stop paying these levies.

What challenges currently face the Teton County School District and how would you work toward finding solutions?

Focusing on the goals of the districts Strategic Plan is a constant challenge. We need to keep revisiting the vision and renew outdated ideas. The plan is solid and must keep moving forward.

Increasing student achievement. We need to find a balance between learning and testing. Supporting progressive positive curriculum and support programs that will allow students to be invested in the process and the results of their accomplishments.

We will need to align the budget factors and find priorities, look and plan ahead.

Another constant challenge is Transparency, we need to be sure that all invested can get the information they need to understand the decisions of the district and the board.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

I see a community of learners, teachers and administrators working together. I see a school board and Administration that can create change in a fluid manner. I see happy and successful students moving forward into and college and careers. I see great proud schools in Teton Valley, Idaho.

Debbie Hunt -- Zone 2

Please introduce yourself. This should include why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a school board member and why the time is now for you candidacy.

Debra Hunt

Debra Hunt

I’m running as the Zone 2 School Board Member. I have lived in Teton Valley since 1989. My husband and I have a local business, CRASH, and we love living and working here in Teton Valley. We have 3 children, all of which graduated from Teton High School. As a property owner and taxpayer, I want to make sure that the money taxpayers are giving to the school are being used for the fundamental educational needs of the children in our community. We need to make sure that the money is not only consistently accounted for and tracked, but also spent in the most financially responsible way. I believe in being very conservative in our spending. I am running with the goal of focusing on the education our children are receiving, and not political agendas. If elected, I plan on listening to my constituents on any and all issues, doing what’s best for our community. I look forward to uniting and putting our efforts on the things that truly matter, and I look forward to getting back to the basics when it comes to fiscal and educational decisions for our students.

Please describe in your own words the role of a school board member.

I believe the role of a school board member is to set the goals according to the state standards of education for our district.

To ensure and maintain district resources, oversee the financials, that policies are aligned in a manner that supports goals and the districts vision.

Adopt and or discuss, with the ability to create policies.

Monitor and assess the districts performance and to keep the public informed and engaged. (communication)

Describe what the community can expect from you should you be elected to this position.

As a potential member they can expect to see me work hard. I would use all resources available to make the best possible suggestions to the fellow board members in which we would work together to make the best decision for the district. I will listen to all that participate in the district within our community and advocate for all, to provide the best for our students. To keep the public informed and engaged.

Describe a specific accomplishment you’ve led and why it is important to the community.

Set goals to build 3 more Gate Boxes (gate boxes are electrical units that power-up the airplanes before a flight) per day – exceed goal by 2. New company standards were then set for 7 per day.

Managed in Telemarketing Sales – Increasing Sales 17% every month consistently for 1 year.

Br. Mgr. at local bank in Victor, ID - Built Trust with my clients-Customer Service – Increased Deposits 15%-20% every year for 9 yrs.

Provided fund raising ideas to non-profits in the community which bought in funds for their organizations.

My husband and I started our own business from scratch and utilized all our prior accomplishments and now we have a thriving business. Which is providing this community a service. Customer satisfaction of 99%.

I feel I set goals and obtain them; It has shown in my work prior and I continue to set the bar.

Over the years, the Teton County School District has been able to afford additional support staff, teachers and teaching raises due to a supplemental levy which Teton County voters have passed through a voter ballot. If elected, will you support these levies as a school board member or not? Please explain.

I understand that this has been in place since 2007 and renewed every two years. I would like to see the fund allocations, the priority of these funds, and to know if there are any other methods to reach and or maintain other types of funds. I do understand that if the levies continue then it can become permanent. Some of my concerns are that if some of this is for teachers pay, then why is there an increase of teachers leaving after a year or so, a loss of para’s and talk about safety measures for the students and faculty. Since 2007 I have not seen much in safety equipment placed in the schools from the levy monies. I have recently seen the new safety walls placed at the middle school as well as the high school. I believe 2 years ago; a student had a gun for half the day at school. That should have never happened. But I do not know all the circumstances to the situation. I am not against the levy; I just would like more information to provide a logical answer. Hoping I will have more information prior to the voting of this levy.

What challenges face our school district and how would you work to find solutions.

I have heard of many things, but I don’t know for a fact the issues at hand. I do have a lot of research started on some of the topics that people have been talking about to find so very useful tools and alternative funding methods. I feel communication is one huge problem I see. I will say that if I am on the board and an issue is presented to me, I will do everything I can to research and find a solution with explanation. I work hard and am willing to help provide, alongside our board, the best future for our kids.

What does the future of the Teton County School District look like to you?

I see positive interactions with the teachers, students, board members, superintendent, constituents as well as the entire community. Communicating honestly with sensitivity, integrity, responsiveness, with patience, and transparency. All items brought before the board should be looked at and given a fair and honest effort. And given a response to approve or deny in a timely manner. Items should be placed in priority and handled as such. I would like to see more community interaction. It takes all of us to help support these kids…

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