School

District 2 Virtual Debate: Roxanne Atkinson and Jon Simmons

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For the instructions and other details concerning the Virtual Debate, CLICK HERE. 

Roxanne Atkinson 

SIMMONS QUESTION 1:

How has your past involvement in the Central public schools prepared you to be an effective School Board Member?

ATKINSON RESPONSE:

    My involvement in Central schools spans over thirty years. 

    I was actively involved in PTO and served in many capacities. I’ve volunteered and taught aerobic classes at Central Middle and Bellingrath.  I have worked with teachers in our system and understand the support that they need and expect from their school board. 

    Because I believed that our children should be able to attend schools in our community, I worked at the local level for the formation of the Central School system and the passage of the school taxes. I have a stake in this community and our schools.

 

SIMMONS QUESTION 2:

Name three qualifications unique to you that will benefit the Central School System if you are elected.

ATKINSON RESPONSE:

    I’ll  bring to the school board a willingness to work with its members to find solutions that will benefit the majority.  I’m a good listener, have a “can do attitude”, good communication skills and I enjoy working with people. 

    As a business owner, I develop a program to suit the needs of my clients, manage employees, work with a budget, and plan for the future of the business and promote it.

    With a degree in education and having been a classroom teacher, I understand the support that’s needed for our teachers to perform to the best of their ability.

 

ATKINSON QUESTION 1:

What is the most pressing need of Central Community School System and how would you work to resolve this need?

ATKINSON RESPONSE:

    Just as one has to perceive growth in a business, we have to assume that we will grow as a community.  Planning for the future needs of our school system needs to be one of our top priorities.  We’re almost out of space at Central High School and have to make some decisions about additional classrooms there. We also need to house more students in the Alternative Education program that is currently at capacity with twenty students.  I work well with people; assessing needs, getting recommendations, listening to opinions, and doing the research in order to reach a consensus.

 

ATKINSON QUESTION 2:

What issue facing children in Central would you personally address and work to solve as a school board member? 

ATKINSON RESPONSE:

    One issue that I would like to address as a school board member is to encourage and work with Dr. Janet Stevens and the non profit organization she has spearheaded.  There are hundreds of children who need help right here in Central.  Central Community Assistance Foundation (C-CAF) was formed to provide for the immediate physical, emotional, spiritual and economic needs of Central children and their families living in crisis situations.  These children and families need to know that we care about them and in turn give them the opportunity to grow strong in every way possible. 

 

Jon Simmons

ATKINSON QUESTION 1:

What is the most pressing need of Central Community School System and how would you work to resolve this need?

SIMMONS RESPONSE:

    Considering the success of our schools since we began our own system, we must fight any tendency to think we’ve “arrived.”  Our leadership must constantly seek ways to be innovative and effective.  We have outstanding teachers, and we must ensure their compensation is competitive.  Our performance scores are among the best statewide, but we should also evaluate ourselves against national standards.  Our students must be challenged at every level to excel and improve to their highest potential. I will work with the Board to focus on these priorities and provide our students with the premier education they need and deserve.

 

ATKINSON QUESTION 2:

What issue facing children in Central would you personally address and work to solve as a school board member? 

SIMMONS RESPONSE:

    The issue of substance abuse is very real in Central, and the School Board can be a vital component in the fight against this threat to our children.  Every person, family, business, and organization in Central is affected in some way, and bold action is required to make real progress.  The Board must take the lead in protecting our students, by establishing policies that will be clearly communicated, properly administered, and consistently enforced.  I pledge to keep this issue in the forefront by evaluating and establishing these policies as necessary, and fully supporting our community’s efforts to protect our children.

 

SIMMONS QUESTION 1:

How has your past involvement in the Central public schools prepared you to be an effective School Board Member?

SIMMONS RESPONSE:

    The 20-plus years of service my wife and I have invested demonstrates commitment not only to children and education, but to our own Central public schools.  I have spent countless hours working as a hands-on volunteer, a key participant in the original system effort, and as a committee member and leader.  One example is the Academic Committee, which I co-founded and is dedicated to promoting academic excellence at the highest level.  Through my years of involvement I developed working relationships with many key personnel, which combined with my experiences will enable me to immediately work effectively as a Board member.

 

SIMMONS QUESTION 2:

Name three qualifications unique to you that will benefit the Central School System if you are elected.

SIMMONS RESPONSE:

    First is my service history, as previously described. My only motivation is taking responsibility for our children’s education, and I will ensure that’s always remembered.

    Second, my experiences as a parent, volunteer and community leader provides necessary diversity working with our professional educators. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m willing to ask the tough questions from a different perspective.

    Third, my LSU construction management degree and 25 years of project management experience are unique compared to any other candidate or current board member, and will be essential to our multi-million dollar building program.

    For more, please see www.JonSimmonsCentral.com.

1 Comment

  1. Keith Holmes

    September 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Instead of speaking in general terms, I would like for each candidate to be specific in exactly what capacities and when they have been involved in the public schools of Central for the last 20 years. Also give us details on how you were involved and instrumental in the development of the school system we have today. Exactly what committees and volunteer work have you done to serve our schools.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from both of you.

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