Pat Moser: Prioritizing academics, retention and transparency
I am a retired public school educator with 35 years of experience as a high school teacher, college principal, director of district-wide professional development, and instructor in the education department of the University of the Texas to Dallas. After my retirement, I became head of training at FedEx Office headquarters before starting my own corporate training consultancy.
With a solid background in both the public and private sectors, I know what it takes to run a successful educational program and what our students need to thrive after graduation. I am a candidate for the Summit School District Board of Education with three other accomplished women: the group 4 For The Kids. We all have the same goals but very different life experiences.
I have happily lived in Silverthorne since August 2020 when I moved here to be closer to my daughter, son-in-law and toddler grandson. In addition, I have a son who lives and works in Washington, DC
As a dedicated member of the school board, each issue would begin with the question “How is this best for kids?” And every decision that I would support must demonstrate that it is a decision that is a priority for children. I have no political aspirations or ulterior motives other than helping our schools to deliver an educational program that best prepares our children to achieve their future aspirations.
My three priorities are:
Priority # 1: Improve academics
It is common knowledge that the Summit School District’s standardized test scores on measures of Colorado educational achievement have declined steadily for several years. I do not in any way automatically point the finger at the teachers as the reason for the drop because I am convinced that the teachers are also disappointed with the scores; however, it is high time to find out the real reasons for these declines and reverse them. Outages are obviously happening somewhere in the current Summit School District curriculum, and the CMAS scores clearly reveal this disappointing truth.
Priority 2: Retention and support of teachers
I know from personal experience that faculty members on school campuses become like family to one another. A revolving door of colleagues who have become his second family increases the stress on the faculties. Increased stress leads to lower morale and decreased joy in teaching. How can the loss of morale and joy not affect our children? Admittedly, a decent salary is a factor in reducing turnover, but what else to do to stop revolving doors? For example, can we consider helping with housing and / or daycare? We need to find solutions quickly so that we can restore year-to-year stability for the staff in our schools.
Priority 3: Transparency
Unfortunately, mistrust now exists between many members of the community and the Summit School District. Many parents ask, “What’s in the program and how is it presented to my child?” Parents shouldn’t have to wonder and worry about their children’s school day. Let’s put the program online along with all the teaching materials used in the classrooms.
Taxpayers who see the continuing downward trend in student returns wonder what they are getting for their hard-earned taxes. Principals and teachers wonder how they are supposed to implement the equity policy when no guidelines have been established and communicated.
These concerns and many others naturally arouse mistrust and frustration. These doubts are apparent in public comments made at the May 13 school board meeting, in opinions on the district’s strategic plan, and in letters to the editor of the Summit Daily News. Transparent and honest discussions and decisions pave the way for reducing the underlying stream of doubt that is sure to impact our children.
Pat Moser is running for a four-year seat on the Summit School District Board of Education. Learn more at 4ForTheKids.com/pat-s-bio.