Alison Kutchma, candidate for School Board 2017

Editorial Board

Alison Kutchma headshot
Alison Kutchma

Alison Kutchma

We asked Alison Kutchma to prioritize two top issues she would address as a school board member, as well as provide information regarding her background in education.  

Resource management

The most pressing issue facing our schools is resource management.  The most important thing we do in our schools happens in the classroom and for that we need resources.  While the facilities issues are obviously the most pressing now, overall it all goes back to financial management.

The budget process and the budget need to be much more transparent so we can see where our resources go and how they are allocated according to need. I think the board needs to review all large expenditures perhaps monthly by having a permanent Financial Update item placed on the meeting agenda. Former Mason students may recall a board discussion about raising the parking pass fee at Mason,  an action that I think generated less than $5000, while many larger amounts are not discussed.  I think the board needs subcommittees such as Budget and Finance and Facilities and Construction so the board can have the opportunity to review items and information.  I feel that is the board ‘s most important responsibility.

 

Providing appropriate and proactive professional development for our teachers

Retaining exceptional teachers for our students.  Aside from our pressing facilities needs retaining great teachers is critical to the success of our school system.  Like students, teachers also need appropriate opportunities to grow, learn and share their knowledge not just with students but with other teachers as well. Providing teachers with proactive and adequate opportunities for professional development I believe is an important component of a satisfying work environment. I believe we as a board should make sure that we provide that so we can better support retaining our great educators over time.

 

Experience in Education:

I have lived in this community for 15 years and since my arrival I have spent time in our schools as a parent advocate for students with disabilities. I have had hundreds of meetings over these 15 years and have had many long conversations with educators, staff and administrators about our schools and the challenges they face from their perspective. I have attended school board meetings, parent advisory meetings and for the last four years I have attended budget work sessions so I have seen the process of building our school budget.  I have independently studied the budget and many areas of our spending. I think all of this knowledge provides a great foundation to be of service to the community as a member of the school board.