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 Interview with Michele Redmond, School Board Candidate

The Huletts Current

News & Opinion About Huletts Landing, N.Y.

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Interview with Michele Redmond, School Board Candidate

May 14th, 2017 · No Comments

Below, I post a candidate interview with Michele Redmond, candidate for the school board. She is one of seven candidates running for five seats on the Whitehall School Board. Voting is Tuesday, May 16th. I mailed candidate questionnaires to all those running in this year’s election and will post their responses in the order received. Below are my questions and Ms. Redmond’’s responses.

1.) Could you please tell us about yourself and why you are running for the school board?

I was raised in Whitehall and currently live here with my husband and two children. I am a Registered Nurse and a Nationally Certified Diabetes Educator. I am very interested in the education that our students are receiving. Although I have already had one child graduate from Whitehall Jr. Sr. High School and I currently have a child in the ninth grade, I want to be directly involved in decisions that are being made that will ultimately benefit ALL the students at Whitehall Central School.

2.) The Whitehall school district has consistently been ranked in the lower half of Washington County school districts based on standardized test scores. What will you do to increase the test scores?

I would suggest that the school board members work closely with the Superintendent to develop a committee that will collaborate with local school districts that excel on these standardized tests.

3.) Many of the students educated in the Whitehall school district talk about leaving Whitehall once they graduate and going elsewhere to look for work. Does the school board have a responsibility to cut spending to make the local taxing climate more receptive to jobs and growth?

I don’t know that cutting spending is the answer, but being fiscally responsible is important. What might be a better option would be to create job shadowing/internship opportunities for our students with local businesses. I’m sure that many students, and community members, have no idea the many different job opportunities that are available in our area. Through this program, we many encourage our graduates to stay in Whitehall, or return to Whitehall in the future. Who knows, our graduates might open their own businesses and create more job opportunities in the future.

4.) The job market today is a highly competitive one. Should the school district be doing something that it is not already doing or should it be offering additional classes to see that its graduates have the skills and education necessary for success?

Whitehall Central School District has been offering college level classes through SUNY Adirondack for several years. Starting in the fall of 2017, they will be offering additional advanced classes in Science, Math and Business.

5.) Health insurance costs are increasing by 10.5 percent this year. What can realistically be done to keep this cost from rising so fast?

Whitehall Central School joined the BOCES consortium so that they could benefit from the best negotiated health insurance rate. The 10.5% increase is the rate that all schools in the consortium face this fall. Healthcare is expensive and until it is fixed on the national level, it is the reality that every employer faces.

6.) What is the biggest issue that children face today and what can the school board do to address it?

I turned to my children for their input on this question. One of their biggest concerns is that there is so much material that needs to be covered to prepare them for Common Core and Regents testing that students sometimes haven’t fully grasped a concept before they have to move on to the next concept. If a student doesn’t have a good grasp on the material before having to move on, they are more apt to do poorly. Perhaps the school board needs to take this perspective into consideration.

Editors Note: I would like to thank Ms. Redmond for her answers to my questions. I will post the other candidate’s responses in the order I receive them.

Tags: The Landing · Whitehall