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    2020 School Board Candidates

    Walled Lake Schools

October 6, 2020

Joel Murav

Pronouns:he/him
School District:Walled Lake Schools
City:West Bloomfield

How long have you lived in your district?

10

Have you received any endorsements?

Yes – WLEA (Teacher Union)

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

As a father of 3 young kids, who are all in the Walled Lake District, I want to help the community come together in our time of need. We need to continue to support our teachers, students, parents, and community members through these unprecedented times. As a former legislative rep for the Keith PTA, and as a continued volunteer within the school, I want to help be a positive voice for the community. I plan to help disseminate factual communications to the public and bring their concerns when appropriate to my fellow board members. Working as an IT Project Manager for a consulting firm; I am faced with making tough decisions daily. While it is a team effort, as the Project Manager, I am the one who is ultimately held responsible for the success or failure of the project. I feel that my experience working with a global team, managing project timelines & budgets, & navigating high-pressure situations, provides me with a perspective that will be helpful as a board member.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education justice ensures that all kids are afforded the same opportunities within the district. We need to account for all demographics and ensure that all programs (Ex – Gifted/Talented, Special Needs, Trades, etc) are all given proper funding.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

Health and Safety will become more apart of the every day routine then ever before. Following PPE protocals will be part of the new “normal” and it will be important that parents, students, and faculty all work together to make everyone feel safe.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

I think we need to continue the “committee” approach to problem solving. Bringing together teachers, families, subject matter experts from within our communities, and the adminstration to make decisions together.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

None (self financed)

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1) Everyone’s safety & a desire to get back to in-person learning. We need to work closely with medical professionals, the CDC, and our community members with expertise in the fields to create a plan that is safe for both teachers and students to return to in-person Learning
2) School Funding. Public school funding is repeatedly being cut by our government. We need to work closely with our legislative representatives and put a plan in place that will help fund our districts. Otherwise, we will lose out on some great educators and ultimately it will be our children that suffer
3) Balancing the overall needs of every student; knowing it is not one size fits all. As a community, we need to continue working on balancing funding for all programs. Special Needs Programs, Student Counseling, Clubs/Sports need to available for all families to leverage. We need to continue partnering with our State Reps and District Administration to be an advocate for our community members.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

I would say my goals at the school district level also apply to the state level. As we need continuned support from our state reps to achievce goes as both levels.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

We to ensure we have clear guidelines in place to avoid conforntational discssions around Covid when ever possible. We need to continue to offer options to the community to account for everyones personal views and needs. Whether it be My Path, Our Path, or Face to Face, Covid will continue to cause uncertainty for quite some time, so we need to offer families choices. In addition, we must realize this is a fluid situation, so we have to be willing to constantly adapt and change as we learn more.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

We need to find ways to increase per student funding and ensure fair pay for teachers at the same time.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

I personally feel like standardize tests should serve as basline, but should be balanced against other metrics at the local school levels. Standardize tests should not be looked as the most important metric in school. We have many intelligent people who may not be good test takers and we need to account for that.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum, what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I dont think its the school boards place to weigh in on curriculum. I think we must rely on the adminstration we have put in place to make those decisions.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

As mentioned above I think its very important to have funding for all school programs and that would defintly include student counsling and other mental health services.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Consistency and faireness is key. I think we need to work with out state partners to follow guidelines put in place. In addition we need to collaborate with neighboring districts and parents to ensure all guidelines are equal for all and followed

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

We need to ensure we have proper facitlities and provide staff with the necessary training to meet the needs of special needs student. Covid has showed us, that no matter how much we try, virtual learning is not meeting the needs of our special need students. We need to be create and come up with SAFE ways to get them in personal learning to meet their needs.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

If we truely believe in our slogan, Every Child, Every Day, then we need to continue to balance the needs of everyone and every program.

Any other information you want to include or share?

October 4, 2020

Craig Peterson

Pronouns:C-ray-g PEE” – “tuh” – “suhn
School DistrictWalled Lake Schools
City:Commerce

How long have you lived in your district?

41 years

Have you received any endorsements?

none

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I’m driven to advocate for improved preparedness of our district students that don’t choose college or unable to go directly 2-4 year college, increase disclosure/ transparency of our current school board, increased oversight of our current maintenance and operation bonds by voters, and work to create a collation of state schools to remove the political approach in the Michigan Legislature school funding from to Proposal A 1994 School Finance Reform Act, strengthen and update after 25 years.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education justice to me is ensuring that all students have the same growth opportunities and access to programs that allow for the best chance to be successful upon graduation. In our district make sure the non-college bound students have the trainning and job awarenss to pursue professional and skilled trade jobs or programs.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

I think kids, parents, teachers, administrators will see public health issues in a more personnel way.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

I think individual schools and well as the district create more “School Parent Forums” and referendums that cover school operations.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

Candidate only financed

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Increase training and skill building for all non-college bound graduates
2. All teachers more flexibility in day to day class studies
3. Improvements in instruction for our wide range of special needs students

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. We need to either repeal 1994 School Finance Reform Act or create funding that does not put it discretionary by the state legislature.
2. The Michigan Department of Education needs to develop more balance and inclusion for development of profession and skilled trade development.
3. Are we still getting the best measurement and understanding in our current student core competency testing.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Unfortunately, the winter will add the addition of influenzas into the Covid-19 containment efforts. We must be flexible, follow the science, be quick to react to outbreaks with our schools, provided all students and teachers with the PPE equipment necessary at all times, easy access testing for teachers with fast results, partner within the community health system to insure all parents and kids can be tested quickly. Proper cleaning and sanitizing of the facilities. And encourage all to speak with one voice, each day, each week.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Our educators are number one, follow by facilities fun to learn in. Excess exterior facilities management.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

They serve as a general view of student level skill in a snapshot in time. And should be valued more from year to year measurement within the district and back off from the comparison on a state level.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I’m and advocate for the improvements for the non-college bound student, I would like to see us add more elective classes for professional trades, and skill building so that this group of our students are more prepared to meet the 21st century need areas like robotics, renewable energy, composites, environmental management technicians and the list is large as these skill requirements are at a premium today. I believe our college preparedness programs are solid.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

That is a great question in that it goes to the core do we have the set aside able resources to be able to provide counseling and skill intervention. Even during Covid-19 the county has provide (3) nurses to assist for all our schools in practice and in school intervention, prior to that we had not regular health nurses in our district.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

We have Title IX requirements and consideration along with our own local district guidelines and awareness, followed by OKtoSay awareness for our students but this system gets pressured even more when we have a world health pandemic. I think we support staff in student disciplinary matters. But it’s vital that we reinforce to our parents how we need their help every day to monitor their kids when they may be involved in a disciplinary action and that they need to follow up with their kids for a period going forward not just per a single incident.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Covid-19 has exposed how tough it is to provide an equal education experience for special needs students. Virtual learning is nearly impossible in many cases, and the loss of the daily experience to participate in the school process in person. So have enough teachers and qualified Para pros is mandatory, put enough new resources to provide the latest learning technologies is a must.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

I believe if we produce a fair and unbiased assessment annually of our students needs so that in our district we truly meet our Every Child, Every Day commitment, that we create growth opportunities for all in our district We then find a equally fair outcome for all students.

Any other information you want to include or share?