October 4, 2020

John Ferguson

Pronouns:He/Him
School DistrictGenesee
City:Mount Morris

How long have you lived in your district?

28

Have you received any endorsements?

None

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I want to be a voice for families in the district by listening to their concerns and ideas of how to make Genesee the best school possible for our students. I also want to advocate for our students and ensure that their needs are best addressed by the administration. I also want to advocate for residents to ensure that their tax dollars are used responsibly.

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

Education Justice means providing access to quality education for all children. In our district, we serve a diverse population and it is vital that all students receive the services they need.

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

The most important thing to consider when addressing this question is what is best for our families in the district. We need to hear from parents, students and teachers to see what has worked for them while we have shifted from our traditional in-person classes.

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

I think it is vital to hear from the people of the district on how they want things to be run at the school. Their voices and concerns can then be used to make the best decision as possible to keep Genesee moving forward.

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

Myself

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

1. Technology in our classrooms and for students at home.
2. Increasing the quality of education received by students including exploration of Early College Programs for students and increasing our overall graduation rate.
3. Upkeep and infrastructure of our facilities.

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

1. Funding equity for smaller districts.
2. Attendance requirements related to online learning due to the pandemic.
3. Support for special education programs.

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?

One of the major challenges will be keeping our attendance on track and keeping students engaged with online learning. It is also important to work with teachers and staff to develop plans to keep everyone safe when bringing more students back to the classroom.

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

Technology, facility infrastructure and in-classroom costs should be the top priorities.

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

While important, standardized testing should not be the main focus of the curriculum.

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?

At this time there are not any direct changes I would propose, however after speaking with parents and students I would consider recommending curriculum changes that best meet their needs.

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

It will be important to address the trauma and stress that everyone has faced during the COVID-19 health crisis. We can partner with local nonprofit agencies that provide services and trainings to help individuals best address these concerns.

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

I would advocate for hearing from students, teachers and administrators regarding current policies before considering any changes.

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

To ensure that individualized education programs (IEPs) are followed for students in the district.

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

The majority of our students are from homes that are economically disadvantaged, so it is imperative for the school to help these students explore opportunities beyond high school. By offering students more opportunities like Early College Programs, we can give them opportunities for growth they might not otherwise have available.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I am a small business owner and have lived in the township for over 28 years. My wife is a graduate of Genesee High School and my daughter is an educator in Genesee County.