Below are complete answers from Vallivue school board candidates.

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Antonia Brinegar

Zone 3

Incumbent

1. In light of the recent budget crunch, where are the areas you believe spending could be cut?

As a current appointed board member, I would look to the administration staff members to make recommendations for cuts. I think that Vallivue hires excellent staff people, so we hope that cutting staff will not have to be a reality this year. Currently, I do not have recommendations on where to cut, however, I'm sure this will be an issue that the Trustees will have to take up along with the admin staff very soon.

2. Where on the priority list should sport funding be and should cuts happen there as well?

Extracurricular activities--whether it be sports, music, drama, art or the like--is very important in the educational process. All students learn differently and being part of a sports team is more than just learning a sport. It's about learning how work as a team, learning how to mold personalities into a winning group. Leaders are born on in the gym or on the field, so I would hesitate in cutting sports if we can help it. I would not recommend cutting drama, art or any other program if we do have to. I have heard that some school districts across the state are replacing coaching positions for the younger teams with volunteers and this may be a reality for Vallivue, but until we see what our budget actually will be, I would not recommend cutting sport's teams. However, I believe that in light of the buget shortfall, everything should be on the table and cutting activities equally and fairly should be on the table as well.

3. What are your three major concerns? Please elaborate as to why these are your concerns.

I'm not sure if you are asking about cutting here?? My first priority is student education and making sure that if we have to cut that education is not adversely effected, so that would be my first concern--making sure education is not negatively impacted by cuts. My second concern is for the excellent teaching staff at Vallivue. Performance wanes when their jobs are uncertain and I hope we can preserve as many jobs aspossible. My thrid concern is ensuring that students get a well-rounded education that includes music, drama, sports, etc. All of these things together make sure that we produce well rounded students that are ready for college and for the work force.

4. What are the three best things that have happened in the school district in the past two years?

I think it's hard to pinpoint one thing, actually. All of the Vallivue schools work hard and take their jobs very seriously: teachers are volunteering to stay let to help the "double loopers" with reading and math while they wait for the bus; middle schools and the high school have aftershool homework programs; various schools are encorporating the various cultures into their activities, etc. I am very proud at what each and every school is doing. If I was forced to choose, I would say that recently, Desert Springs has received honors for being the only elementary school in the state of Idaho to make LEP status this year. This is a huge honor and shows that they are working hard to make sure that all students are educated. The opening of Rivervue this year is also a great start for struggling students. This program allows students who are struggling a smaller classroom and more teacher attention to make sure they succeed. Along this same line, Turning Point is also a great addition to try to get struggling students on track. The thrid thing is the increase in honors classes at all levels has also assisted the higher learners in achieving success and--at the high school level--gaining college credit to start their college carreers off right and in a smaller environment where they can receive the attention they need to succeed.

5. If you could wave a magic wand, what three things would you change immediately? Please provide detail.

I believe that Vallivue is on the right track overall. I would hope that we would not have to cut any staff members from the Vallivue school district; I would ensure that administration for a school the size of Vallivue had similar number of administrators than that of other schools in the state have; and I would make sure that there was funding enough to fund all extracurricular activities--including fieldtrips for all schools.

6. Tell us about yourself: your job outside of volunteering on the school board, your family, if you have kids and if how many are in the school district, other ways that you are involved in your community.

I am a contractor for the state of Idaho through an agency called Advanced Servcies where I provide Service Coordination for individuals with disabilities or families with children with disabilities. I am married to my husband, David, of 14 years and weI have 3 children: Antahn (11yrs), Imani (7yrs) and Dante (3yrs). My son, Antahn, and daughter, Imani, are both currenlty at Lakevue Elementary. My youngest son is not yet in school. My parents, Nancy and Steve Belknap, live in Homedale--where I attended through high school--and they are both public school teachers: Nancy has taught for 33 years in Marsing and Steve is a 1st grade teacher at Parma. I volunteer an hour per week at Lakevue Elementary which is very fun; I am a Governor appointed board member on the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities; I volunteer as a board member on Disability Rights Idaho (the Protection and Advocacy group in Idaho); I volunteer to assist a person with a mental illness in Payette in managing her money; and I also provide support for a group in Nampa called the Self Advocate Leadership Network. I used to be an avid softball player, but with the introduction of children who play softball, this is something I might try to fit in sometime in the future.

7. Why are you better than your opponent?

I don't know my opponent, so I cannot say that I am "better'" than he is. I know that I was chosen over him to be appointed to the Board in Feburary 2011, so the current board members saw in me something that they did not see in him, however, that doesn't make me "better." It just mean I was chosen over him. I know that I have learned a lot about running a school district the size of Vallivue since my appointment in Feb. and I feel that I'm a good fit with the other board members and feel that I'm not finished with this work. I just hope that the public feels the same way on May 17th.

8. How important do you believe technology is in the district and how would you like to see it used.

After visiting schools and seeing Smart Boards and how they provide the students with immediate feedback on their learning, I feel that technology is extremely important. I don't feel, however, that we should replace teachers with computers but instead use technology to enhance student's education through using it conjunction with their teachers.

9. Why is being a part of Vallivue so important to you?

Being a Vallivue Board Trustee is an investment in our future. Not just mine or that of my family but the community in which we live, the state of Idaho, and the United States. If our children's education is not taken seriously, then we damn them to a life that is of lower quality of that where education is put first. I want what every parent wants: for my kids to be successful members of society. This cannot occur without a proper education.

 

Bob Brady

Zone 2

Challenger

1. In light of the recent budget crunch, where are the areas you believe spending could be cut?

I think all areas of spending should be looked at carefully to see if any excesses exist. Any spending should be examined to determine if it provides benefits to the students in the Vallivue School District. As a budget is developed we should always ask how the cost benefits the young people entrusted to our care.

2. Where on the priority list should sports funding be and should cuts happen there as well?

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Sports should not be exempt from review. I feel that sports are an integral part of the high school experience however, if cuts need to be made to sports, as well as any existing programs, they should be after a careful review of the costs of a particular sport and the benefits that particular sport provides to the participating students and to the district.

3. What are your three major concerns? Please elaborate as to why these are your concerns.

My major concerns are implementation of the new legislation at the district level, continued improvement in academic areas, and parental involvement. The recently enacted legislation has serious impact on the district and must be carefully looked at to determine how to best carry out in our area. The district must continue to look for ways to improve the overall academic strength of our students to better prepare them to move on to college. Without increased parental involvement I don't feel that there will ever be major improvement in the overall education of our students.

4. What are the three best things that have happened in the school district in the past two years?

I think the best things to happen in Vallivue are steady improvement in academic scores, no major cuts to programs offered our students, and the hiring of Pat Charlton as Superintendent. His hiring maintains a continuity at the district that I feel is very important in these difficult times.

5. If you could wave a magic wand, what three things would you change immediately? Please provide detail.

I think everyone would agree that we need money so I would definitely wish for the proverbial pot of gold to help fund teacher hiring, new facilities, continuation of existing programs, and addition of new programs. I have talked to several teachers in the district and all agree that the students that do the best in school are the ones with greatest parental involvement so I would wish for that. I would like to see it moved up in priority on the district's mission statement of goals and objectives. And finally, Bob Brady as member of the school board.

 

6. Tell us about yourself: your job; your family; if you have kids and they are in the school district; other ways you are involved in your community.

I am married for the past 25 years to the lovely Lydia Brady. We love music and sports. My wife is musical director of the Musettes and my daughters are involved in band, choir, soccer and softball. For the last 5+ years I have been the Vice President of Lending at Idadiv Credit Union. I have 8 children and 20 grandchildren. Two children are currently students in the district, one is at Vallivue Middle School and the other at Vallivue High School, and a third graduated from Vallivue High. I am fortunate to be involved in many different areas in the community -

1. Ambassador for the Nampa Chamber of Commerce

2. Credit Union sponsored annual golf tournament to benefit the Children's Miracle Network

3. Gimme 5

4 Speaker at Financial Literacy conference

5. President of Southwest Chapter of Idaho Credit Union League

6. Health Fest

7. Stampede Days

8 Annual Credit Union Picnic for the youth of the community

9. Editor of bilingual PTA newsletter

10. Cub Master

11. Former School Board member in California

12. Community Theater - Encore Theater.

13. Sunday School Teacher

7. What makes you the better candidate for the board?

I feel my previous experience on a School Board gives me an advantage. Also my job at the credit union involves me directly in budget creation which is a critical skill at this point of time where every penny counts.

8. How important do you believe technology is in the district and how would you like to see it used.

Technology is not going away. Our students must know how to use technology. Classes must be offered that provide the necessary education for our students to be successful. Technology should be used to supplement current programs and help alleviate classroom crowding.

9. Why do you want to serve on the school board?

I want to be a voice for the young people in the district and do whatever I can to improve the quality of education for everyone enrolled in classes in the Vallivue School District.

 

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