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School Board Candidate Q&A

Raymore-Peculiar School Board Candidate: Scott Bruegge

Illustration Credit: 123rf stock image

Campaigns are underway for Board of Education seats in ten local districts, and election day will be Tuesday, April 3. The KC Education Enterprise is asking each candidate to respond to a list of questions that may help voters decide how to cast their ballots.

Scott Bruegge, who is running for election to the Raymore-Peculiar School District Board of Education, responded:

1. What skills and experience would you bring to a position on your local Board of Education?

a. I have strong leadership skills and a solid background working with many school districts in the operations of student transportation services over the last 20 years.
b. Much of my day-to-day job functions are related to financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting for $30+ million of annual revenue.
c. Experience with living in a safety culture environment, where there is no substitute for safety.
d. Ability to think strategically.
e. Common sense judgments and solid decision making confidence.
f. Customer service orientated and part of a learning organization.
g. I am an alumnus of Ray-Pec, businessman and parent with children in this school district.

2. Are you – or have you been – a parent or grandparent of a child in public schools?

a. Yes, I have fraternal twin daughters in 8th Grade and the Ray-Pec East Middle School.

3. In what school or district activities have you been involved?

a. I served on the Long Range Planning Committee for the Ray-Pec school district.
b. I was part of a focus group on communication of key stakeholders in the Raymore & Peculiar communities.
c. I also participated in a strategic planning session as part of the Ray-Pec CSIP (Comprehensive School Improvement Plan) review.
d. I am also active within other school districts throughout Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma – giving regular updates and reports to administrators and board members on student transportation.

4. How frequently do you attend board meetings, and how long have you been attending board meetings?

a. I typically attend 10+ board meetings each school year at other school districts across Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma as a part of my job in the student transportation industry. As for the Ray-Pec school board meetings, I’ve attended board meetings in December 2011, January 2012 and the School Board Budget Workshop meeting in February 2012.

5. What do you see as the board’s role and responsibility?

a. Clarify district purpose through communication of policy.
b. Connect with the community and be responsive to their interests.
c. Employ a Superintendent.
d. Delegate authority as effective leaders.
e. Monitor district performance.
f. A school board has one single, unified purpose…success is achieved when school boards govern districts in which every student is learning, in every subject, every year, no matter what.
g. I would work as a team member and a bridge to the district community as their elected member. I would take an active approach to my involvement, asking tough questions when needed and ensuring accountability as a responsive leader.

6. What is the role of the Superintendent?

a. The Superintendent shall be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the District. He is responsible for the effective operation of the District; general administration of all instructional, business or other operations of the District; and for advising and making recommendations to the Board of Education with respect to such activities.
b. Develops long-range plans for the educational and operating programs of the school system in order to meet the needs of the community for high quality educational offerings.
c. Develops and recommends educational and operating policies for consideration and action; implements approved policies.
d. Directs, administers, and coordinates the education program and the operation of all schools in the system in conjunction with administrators.
e. Encourages the use of knowledge about sound educational trends by keeping the district informed.
f. Establishes and maintains a program of public information designed to communicate objectives, needs, problems, and accomplishments of the Schools to students, staff, parents and the community.
g. Involves members of the community, whenever feasible and practical, in improving school programs.
h. Develops procedures and techniques to attract, employ, evaluate, and retain highly qualified staff for the School District.
i. Directs and administers, through delegation, the supporting business and services of the school system in an efficient and economical manner, including: budgeting, accounting and purchasing services, building operations and maintenance, payroll, school meal programs, transportation, facility construction and renovation, and other general school business activities.
j. Supervises methods of teaching, supervision and administration in the schools; directs K-12 curriculum and staff development programs; assures on-going revision of curricula.
k. Supervises the enforcement of all statutes affecting the schools and the implementation of all federal and state educational programs.
l. Performs such other tasks as may be assigned by the Board of Education.

7. Can you – or should you – support a board decision you do not favor?

a. As a board member, you are one of a seven member team where you only have authority as a whole and not individually. Boards work with policy and not the everyday specific problems within a school district. As board members, making decisions is done as a group, I fully expect that not everyone in the group will have the same opinions on every topic for discussion, it is in that process for each of the board members to become engaged, challenge and filter out what’s best for the student achievement success. I truly believe that once all the data and details are given, a board should vote in favor or in opposition of what they believe is right; however regardless of the vote outcome each of the board members should respect the overall board decision and direction.

8. What are some of the challenges currently facing your district?

a. The economy and resulting impact on funding to the District’s budget is the most critical issue.
b. Strategic Planning Goals & Objectives is another item of major significance. The goals of Student Success, Communication, Workforce Focus, Leadership/Governance, Technology, Fiscal Responsibility, Performance Measurement and Stakeholder Focus encompass key performance indicators for the district’s success. The district is in the early stages with these leading themes that will be the foundation for the next 5 years Strategic Plans.

9. What are some of the district’s strengths and weaknesses?

a. The Teachers are the greatest strength…no doubt.
b. Lack of community involvement is probably the biggest weakness.

10. What do you think is the most important thing board members can do to support children who attend school in the district?

a. A big part of the board’s role is to connect with the community. The best way to monitor district performance is to “manage by walking around”. I want to be an active and engaged board member. To be effective in this position, being out in the community and engaging people to be involved with the school district will only help our schools and community. Creating opportunities to be an active part and involved with key goals will only validate their support of the school district.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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