School

District 6 Virtual Debate: Gerry Edgens and Ruby Foil

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

Gerry Edgens 

FOIL QUESTION 1:

What education and experiences do you have that will make you an effective board member?

EDGENS RESPONSE:

    The education I have to be an effective board member is quite simple.  Being heavily engaged and involved in our school system for the past 12 (twelve) years and working with our kids and adults in this system has been quite an education.  I have volunteered thousands of hours in all areas of this community.  The thing is, there are no Bachelor of School Board Member degrees offered at any college that I know of.  My parents raised me to believe that you can achieve anything you want if you work hard for it.

 

FOIL QUESTION 2:

What do you think the role of a school board member should be?

EDGENS RESPONSE:

    To set policies, budgets and procedures, and set goals for the Superintendant in order to direct, evaluate and support his efforts.  A school board member should be an active, vocal member that expresses his own opinion and be able to agree or disagree with other members.  He should have the whole school system’s best interests at heart and not his own personal agenda.  He should have a vision for the future, but know what’s going on in the present.  Lastly, the #1 role of a board member is doing what is best for our children.

 

EDGENS QUESTION 1:

Can you justify a “no” vote to investigate allegations of teachers’ jobs being threatened by Administration during Special Ed Audit?

EDGENS RESPONSE:

    No, under no circumstances can I justify refusing to investigate an allegation of such threats.  One of the School Board’s top priorities should be to protect the students and teachers from being threatened at any time.  According to the Special Ed Audit, the word has travelled to other schools that Special Ed Teachers shouldn’t come to Central because they don’t have the support of the board.  In my opinion, anytime there is a question of threats, it should be investigated to find out the truth.

 

EDGENS QUESTION 2:

Having disbanded its construction committee, should the board be accountable for cost and delays incurred in the mishandled bid process?

EDGENS RESPONSE:

The current School Board allowed the construction committee to be dissolved.  The committee served many purposes. It probably would have caught the mishandled bid that delayed school construction by approximately 30 days, which in turn will likely cause our new facilities not to be ready for the start of school in the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012 as scheduled.  Also, we are approximately $4,000,000.00 over budget before construction begins, not including the legal fees incurred due to the mishandled bids. Ultimately, the school board should be held accountable for not doing its job.

 

Ruby Foil 

EDGENS QUESTION 1:

Can you justify a “no” vote to investigate allegations of teachers’ jobs being threatened by Administration during Special Ed Audit?

FOIL RESPONSE:

    Absolutely. To vote to obligate the taxpayers to an expensive investigation before even being able to question the auditor would have been fiscally irresponsible. There is a procedure in place to file a grievance. No grievance was ever filed. The employees brought their concerns to board members who immediately contacted the Superintendent. He investigated and took quick action. Those employees are still employed by CCSS. The auditor, who investigated the entire special education program, felt that the issue was handled correctly. Personnel issues and laws of confidentiality restrict the releasing of names and actions. This issue was appropriately addressed.

 

EDGENS QUESTION 2:

Having disbanded its construction committee, should the board be accountable for cost and delays incurred in the mishandled bid process?

FOIL RESPONSE:

   I fail to see the connection between the two. Board members and members of the public should not be involved in determining the low bidder. We have a professional staff who is responsible for this task. During its charge to select a construction manager, the construction committee did not detect an important error in the architects’ application.  Who is to say that they would have detected a problem with the bid?  In the end, we have actually saved money because of this issue, and at this time, we do not know if there will be any delays.

 

FOIL QUESTION 1:

What education and experiences do you have that will make you an effective board member?

FOIL RESPONSE:

    My professional resume includes experience as a teacher, counselor, principal, and school board member. I have earned 70 hours beyond my Master’s Degree. This background has given me knowledge of the curriculum and the needs of students.

My 15 years as an administrator gave me experience in evaluating employees, developing budgets, and overseeing the operation of a multimillion dollar school facility, as well as working with food service and transportation, and providing for public relations.

As a board member, I serve on the finance and policy manual committees. I also chair the student services committee.

 

FOIL QUESTION 2:

What do you think the role of a school board member should be?

FOIL RESPONSE:

    The main function of the school board is to set policy. The school board is responsible for governing the school district. They must engage in long range planning, setting policy, and communicating with parents, staff and the general public.

The hiring and evaluating of the superintendent is a major responsibility. The board must hire a superintendent with knowledge and leadership skills and give him the authority to direct the system without their micro-managing it.

Another responsibility of the board is to approve budgets that are balanced and oversee that the spending of taxpayer’s money. Board members should be ambassadors for the system.

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