Retro Rural Parenting in a Modern World

Dacy Fallyn Freeman (DFF) Interviews Walton-Verona School Board Candidates 2018

4th Grader Interviews Walton-Verona School Board Candidates
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HEATHER STEWART

Heather Stewart Walton-Verona School Board Member 2018
Photo: Heather Stewart

Personal Goals

  • What prompted you to seek office? What is your personal initiative?

“Walton Verona personally means a lot to me and my family. I attended Walton Verona from K-12th grade, my mom worked for the district for 21 years. I want to make sure kids graduate with the tools they need to be successful and are proud to say they went to WV just like I am.”

  • What has been your personal involvement with education in our community? Are you a member of the PTA? If so, which one (elementary, middle, high school, or all 3)?

“I’ve was on the PTA board at WVES serving as VP for 3 years.”

  • What makes you stand out among the other candidates? What special attributes, talents, and abilities will you bring to our district?

“First, I’m currently on the board so I immediately stand out. Along with that I believe I’m the only candidate that has lived in this community their whole life. I’m a hard worker, I’m dedicated, I’ll ask the tuff questions and I’ll stand up for what I feel is right for our district even if I’m the only one.”

  • What are the most important issues in your race and how do you plan to address them?

“Every year our community wants to know if taxes will be raised. We have the highest tax rate in our area. My goal is to make sure we are being fiscally responsible. We can’t ask the community for more money if we can’t show them what we have done to save the district money.”

Government, Finance & Operations

  • What experience do you have with complicated budgets? When you are given a budget for the district, what will be your process to determine if it is a good budget for the Walton-Verona Independent School District?

“I’m currently on the board now so I’m always looking at the budget. Do we need to take a deeper dive into our budget yes. I’m hoping if re-elected their will be a board that supports that as well.”

  • WVISD appears to be a fast-growing community in Northern Kentucky. That means larger enrollment and an increased need for special services. With that growing population (i.e. speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, crisis counseling, behavior coaching, etc.) How can the district afford these specialized services and will other programs need to be cut? How will these needs affect your philosophy on tax increases to generate revenue?

“When you are talking about special services you begin to talk about a whole other budget as the state requires Title 1 Funds to only be spent on this area. I don’t want to see other programs cut that is why the board needs to take that dive into the budget an really look at where we are spending money and where can we save by maybe mixing things up.”

Performance, Outcomes & Equity

  • What is your philosophy of special education?

“Every child deserves a great education regardless of their learning style.”

  • Do you believe that art and music are part of a quality education, and if so, what do you plan to do to make sure these programs remain in our schools?

“Absolutely they are a vital piece. I was in music starting in 3rd grade it is my goal to keep these programs going for our district.”

Independence of Thoughts & Actions

  • What specific steps would you take as a school board member to improve transparency and make school district information more widely available?

“I would love to see a board agree with videotaping/live streaming meetings. If we can’t get that maybe we can get our meeting notes/agenda more detailed, so you can tell what is going on and what was said/what questions were raised.”

  • What specific actions will you take to increase the role of parents in decision making and promote parental involvement in schools? Please include how you will represent out of district students’ interests.

“I’d love to see more involvement from parents not just volunteering but getting their views/opinions on issues. I think we are on the right path as we are going to be sending out a survey to get feedback on issues. I would like to see more open forums and open discussion on issues. We could schedule every quarter and open the floor. When thinking about issues I think about all our kids in our district. Where you physically live doesn’t matter to me. If you attend Walton Verona, you are a part of the Bearcat family.”

  • In what ways are you reaching out to the business community to build their support for quality public school?

“Honestly, I think our community business do a great job supporting our school. I personally have contacted many of them for sponsorship for teams and I’ve never been turned away. We have a great community and I couldn’t be prouder of the involvement. I would personally like to publicly thank all of them for their support.”