2017 Board of Education Candidate Profiles
Candidates for the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education answered the following questions:
- Tell us about yourself and your connection to the Adams 12 Five Star School District.
- What are your goals as a member of the Board of Education?
- What do you think will be the top issue facing Adams 12 Five Star Schools in five years? How would you propose to address it?
- What is your vision for Adams 12 Five Star Schools and how would you support this as a member of the Board?
The Board of Education has five directors that are elected at large to four-year staggered terms. Adams 12 Five Star Schools has a director district plan of representation which requires school board members reside in a specific geographic area. At the November 7, 2017 election two directors will be elected, one from Director District No. 3, and one from Director District No. 4 for a four-year term each.
Joshua BASTAIN | Director District 3
1. I have been involved with a large number of district level boards and committees over the last 10 years including: The District School Improvement Team (DSIT), District Accountability Committee (DAC), Instructional Materials Committee, Graduation Requirements Committee, Five Star Leadership Academy, budget committees and other shorter duration groups. I have been involved at a school level for multiple different schools as a volunteer including judging CHSAA competitions including the state tournament in Speech and Debate. I have also assisted at the school, state and national level in judging competitions, providing advice and feedback for events, assisting in prep, and fundraising for these clubs at multiple schools: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), Technology Student Association (TSA), Alternative Curricular Education (ACE). In addition I have been invited to speak to classes at a variety of levels and have volunteered for activities like hour of code and day of code, READ day and assisted on field trips to a variety of locations.
2. My goal as a member of the Board is to build a complete community expectation of educational excellence. It is essential that not only parents or staff feel that education is important. It is key to build an expectation among everyone in the community that education is important. This includes parents, students, teachers, staff and the community as a whole. The district has to provide a consistent high quality education. The synergy created by the district providing an excellent education and the community expecting an excellent education translates into benefits throughout the entire community, makes it easier for teachers to teach, students to learn, and a better utilization of the tax dollars allocated for education. Everyone wins.
3. The top issue facing the district will likely be growth. The district will need to plan on building at least 2 more new schools to keep up with planned growth in the next 5-10 years. The district can also help mitigate some of the impacts of growth by incentivizing movement to less crowded schools through magnet programs and choice options. Balancing the number of students in each school and providing the opportunities for high quality educational programs will be a key consideration for not just Adams 12 but all the school districts in the north metro area. But this is also an area where Adams 12 cannot just go it alone. The district will need to reach out to other governments (city and county) and work with these governments to ensure that decisions made by these governments take into account the school districts needs. For example, it doesn’t make sense to approve a large number of houses where there will be families with children if there isn’t a school built or planned to be built. A bit of work upfront would help prevent a lot of problems down the road.
4. I want this school district to be the premier school district in Colorado. That means I will work to ensure educational excellence, options for families and creating a whole community expectation of educational excellence.
Kathy PLOMER | Director District 3
1. I have deep roots in Adams 12 and a longstanding commitment to the district that I believe makes a difference in the lives of its students. I was elected to the Board of Education in 2013 and currently serve as School Board President. I have a 16 year history of volunteer service and leadership in Adams 12 that has taken many forms: a classroom volunteer, a PTO President, a School Improvement Team member at four schools, a District School Improvement Team leader, a Board of Education member and President, and a founding member of the Adams 12 Community Action Network (Adams 12 CAN). I have two daughters who graduated from Adams 12 and are currently in college and a son who is a junior at Legacy High School. My husband and I have lived in Broomfield for 23 years, and made a conscious decision to send our children to Adams 12 schools.
I have a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Michigan and 24 years of work experience in the field of public health. I currently work part-time for Tri-County Health Department on a fall prevention program for older adults and run my own consulting company.
2. For the second year, Adams 12 received the State’s highest “Performance” rating reflecting academic growth for students across the district. Graduation rates have been steadily climbing, our ACT scores are the highest they have ever been, and we are closing achievement gaps for our English Language Learners and students who live in poverty. This growth is a reflection of a system (Board of Education, district, administrators, teachers, staff and community) working together to make, positive things happen for our students. As a BOE member for the last four years, I am proud to have been part of these successes and my goals are to continue this progress forward by working in partnership to:
- Make sure students in all schools have diverse and rich learning opportunities that prepare them for life and foster a love of learning.
- Continue to build and utilize strong school/community partnerships to strengthen the district.
- Expand opportunities for students in career and technical fields.
- Operate the district in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner.
- Attract, support and retain the best teachers, staff and administrators
- Listen to and serve Adams 12 stakeholders.
3. Meeting the needs of diverse students in an ever-changing world will continue to be the top challenge for Adams 12 for the foreseeable future. Our schools are educating students for jobs that don’t exist today and we must provide every child with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate their future. Students come to us with very different needs, gifts, and backgrounds. All students need to graduate our schools with foundational skills in literacy, math, science and social studies. Beyond these skills students must graduate as problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and adaptable life long learners.
How do we achieve this? We use research, innovation and best practice to drive our learning environments. We provide diverse learning environments and authentic learning opportunities for students to interface with the real world. We expose students to multiple careers and pathways to success. We graduate students who are both career and college ready. We employ the most qualified administrative and teacher leaders in our schools. We continue to listen to our community—our business leaders, higher education professionals, municipal and state government officials, our own teachers and staff and parents to help us understand students’ needs and how to help them be successful.
4. My vision is that when people think of the Adams 12 Five Star Schools they will think of educational quality, and a caring sense of community. To build this reputation we must build a system that delivers what people hope for and expect for their children. I want families and community members to have confidence that every school in Adams 12 will offer their children a safe, caring and engaging learning environment. I want Adams 12 to be known for innovative approaches to teaching and learning and for using best practice approaches to meet the learning, social and emotional needs of all of its students. I want people to feel that the district is welcoming to all students and families and that their needs and ideas will be reflected in the direction of the district.
The Board of Education sets the tone, and direction to achieve this type of vision. They contribute to this vision by creating an atmosphere where innovation and creativity are valued; where respectful dialogue occurs on challenging issues; where multi-stakeholder problem-solving is utilized and where the community feels a sense of pride and ownership in Adams 12 schools and their success.
Brian BATZ | Director District 4
1. Currently serving as Director 4 for the Adams 12 Board of Education.
- Parent of three boys, all who are either in or have graduated from the Adams 12 School District.
- Married for 24 years and reside in Thornton for most of my married life.
- My community involvement has consisted of: Thornton High School IB Parents Group Board member, flag football and soccer coach, Thornton Citizen Police Academy, Thornton Water Ambassador, Northglenn United Methodist Church IT/Video/Photo assistant, Board Member for our Burgundy HOA community and a Denver-north photographer for the Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue.
2. As a school board member I would advocate for the students but also offer insight and guidance with the district challenges.
- Some specific goals are:
- Create an open communication channel between the district administration and the parents.
- Engage with parents so they can assist in the success of the district
- Create a sense of community between the businesses that exist in our district and our schools.
3. Top issues: parent/community involvement, funding, school over-crowding
- Initially it is important to have a clear message to the parents of Adams 12 students. This message is to explain that success happens with more involvement. Advocate for your kids. Advocating takes many shapes. But the foundation is to have more involvement.
4. My vision is to continue to build a first class school district by advocating for our children in our schools; to build school and district pride that our communities deserve so that parents, community members and businesses can experience the rewards from enriching our future generation.
- My goal to continue with the positive district momentum
- Reward positive behaviors
- Advocate for students, parents, teachers and the community that it serves.
You can view a full profile of the candidates at adams12.org/board-elections.