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Fort Knox Community Schools Board of Education announces candidates

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Fort Knox Community Schools

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As per Department of Defense Instruction 1342.25, Fort Knox Community Schools is required to have an elected school board, which functions in an advisory capacity to the community superintendent. Members of the board serve a two-year term with unlimited consecutive terms. Members also serve at-large, representing all parents and legal guardians of students enrolled in the Fort Knox Community

Schools.

To run for a position on the school board, an individual must reside on the military installation, have a student attending an installation school and may not be a Department of Defense Education Activity employee.

This year’s school board election will run starting from today to Sept. 6. There will be ballot boxes in each of the four Fort Knox schools with voting open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each parent can only vote one time and is permitted to vote for up to four candidates. Voters will choose from a ballot of nine candidates or may write in a different candidate not listed on the ballot.

The candidates are Lisa Riley, John Williams, Nicholas Cook, Lisa Wells, Kristen Smith, Adam Olson, Christina Stahlin, Anne Sanchez and Christian Pinzon.

The outcome of the election will be posted at each of the schools and on various school and community websites. Each candidate will be personally notified of the election results.

School board meetings are held monthly on the last Thursday of the month at 11 a.m. Meetings are not typically held in June or July. Please support our schools and vote.

For more information, contact Rhonda Welliever at (270) 439-1210.

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The candidates were asked two questions — 1) What is your purpose in running for the FKCS Board of Education? 2) What do you hope to accomplish as a school board member? Each provided the following answers:

Lisa Riley

1) Over the years, volunteering in my daughter’s schools has allowed me to have a positive impact “in the moment.” But I’ve often felt helpless at the inability to affect the broader student body. As a member of the School Board, it would be my purpose to have a positive influence on behalf of our families for all students and staff.

2) Deployments, frequent moves and constant transition can be an overwhelming distraction and prevent our military-affiliated students from fully focusing on preparing to be college and career ready. It would be my goal to lessen this burden by ensuring that our schools maintain coordinated, seamless and timely communication with incoming families and students as they transition into our schools.

Nicholas Cook

1) I expect DOD schools to be the best in the country and want to ensure my son, as well as all of the students, receive the best education possible. I feel that up to this point, our schools on Fort Knox are falling behind that expectation.

2) I want to be the voice of the parents of the students, someone they can reach out to at any time to address their concerns. I hope to help implement valid suggestions to improve our schools to where Soldiers and their Families want to live on Fort Knox for the education system.

Lisa Wells

1) I am interested in serving as a member of the FKCS Board of Education in order to serve as an advocate for every parent and student residing within the Fort Knox community. As a parent and a FKCS Board of Education committee member, my goal is to serve the families of this school district in finding creative ways to promote and achieve academic excellence, and empower our children and students to succeed in a dynamic world.

2) I intend to be worthy of your vote by being an active and productive member of the school board. I plan to fully explore the issues that come before the board and engage in meaningful dialogue; I will actively listen and consider the views of our community. I will advocate for reasonable, fact-based decisions that the community will understand and support.

Kristen Smith

1) We can choose to be satisfied with status quo or we can take a seat at the table and invest our time, energy and effort into solutions. Military life can be hard. Our kids are amazing. They deserve a community that works collaboratively to create the most productive educational opportunities and environment possible.

2) Informed discussion, consistent follow up and open flow of communication between parents and the board. Information about challenges, potential solutions and proposed changes should be readily available through predictable channels by every parent.

John Williams

1) To serve and support the students, parents, teachers and administrators of our community schools. Our children deserve a safe and healthy environment that promotes the skills and attributes that will be necessary for a lifetime of success. Our parents deserve to know that their children’s educational needs are being addressed. Our teachers deserve to be resourced to the fullest extent possible to accomplish their tremendous responsibilities. Our administrators must be reassured that they have the support of the community that they serve, and that the community trusts them to identify and solve problems within our schools.

2) To serve as a voice for the community, directly to the superintendent and administrators; bringing my experiences as a father of three school age children, military member of Army communities for more than 21 years, and as leader to this school board.

Christina Stahlin

1) My goal for the FKSBOE is to work with the district and surrounding communities to be able to broaden our resources we use in special education and gifted education to get our kids the tools they desperately need to be able to succeed academically and socially, while still maintaining security and safety of our children and faculty during instructional times.

2) I plan to find solutions to the obstacles our schools are facing now. As a board member, I’d like to get real-time solutions and answers for our families. Our turnaround rate is high and fast as military families, but our kids’ needs are now and in the moment. Change can be hard for our children and families. I want to make these changes a positive experience and make school a place that these children will have fond memories that they will carry throughout life.

Adam Olson

1) I believe our school district must prepare our students to be productive citizens educationally, socially and morally. I believe all children, without exception, must be afforded the same opportunity to achieve an excellent education within the Fort Knox Community School system.

2) It will be my focus to make this a reality. My goal as a member of Fort Knox School Board will be to ensure every student has the same high quality of education, regardless of grade level or educational need, and provide students and families with choices and meaningful opportunities to improve their school experiences.

Anne Sanchez

1) My purpose in running for the FKCS Board of Education is to increase transparency between the schools and parents, by improving communication and putting the needs of the students in the forefront. I currently work for the Cabinet for Health and Human Services, as an ongoing-service Social Worker, by assessing the needs of families and children and providing them with community resources to help them succeed. As a member of the Board of Education, I will work hard to assess the needs of the school, parents, and children to ensure all students are receiving a quality education at FKCS.

2) I have listened to students, teachers, and parents talk about a range of different issues that upset them about FKCS. From IEPs and 504 plans not being adhered to as required by law to the school taking fun out of the classrooms by eliminating Class Dojo and banning birthday treats for students, these decisions take the fun out of learning for students and upset parents and teachers. As a FKCS Board of Education member, I will challenge the school to provide equal alternatives when taking away rewards that students look forward to and to follow policies and procedures that enhance learning for all students, including those with special needs.

Cristian Pinzon

1) My purpose for running for the FKCS Board of Education is basically to attempt to make a local difference not only for DoDEA students now, but possibly for the many others who will follow by ensuring all perspectives are heard and that we make every attempt to properly balance wants, needs, and requirements. I would like to attempt to have a positive effect on the academic performance of the students in Fort Knox. Finally, I’d like to make an effort to work with the School Board to ensure that our school children have a great education in order to grow up to be great citizens with a great moral compass.

2) I would like to closely work with educators and school administrators to provide a level of perspective that could continue to increase the level of education for all students of our military family members here in Fort Knox. Additionally, I would like to work with educators and school administrators to guide DoDEA’s Fort Knox schools vision and mission forward toward a positive and productive outlook.