I was recently asked several candidate questions by The Columbian. Below are those questions and my responses.
- Name: Ted Champine
- Age: 39
- Occupation: Construction Estimator & Project Manager, Residential Home Inspector
- City of residence: Battleground
- How long have you lived in the district?: 5 Years
- Children in school: Yes, 3
- Education: BS in Construction Management
- Current employment: Ahtna Construction & Champine Enterprises, LLC
- Previous public service, if any: Current PCO 580 for Clark County Republican Party
- How people can reach your campaign. Please list all that apply:
- — Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- — Website: www.ted4bgsd3.com
Why are you running for school board?
My goal is to ensure our community has a steward for their voice. The school board should operate to encourage input, commitment, involvement, and pride in our educational program. Emphasis should be refocused towards educational programs that will benefit the student and our community.
What are your goals or priorities for the board, if elected?
Promote effective methods the community is informed of educational issues and budgetary decisions. Transparent communications, honesty and fiscally responsible decisions must be a priority. Many families I have spoken with are concerned about the direction of the district regarding both social and financial challenges. Those same families believe they are not fully informed or that the information is communicated well.
How has your experience and background prepared you to serve on the school board?
As a project manager in the construction industry, I am used to managing multi-million-dollar programs with a diverse staff and complex set of requirements. I have spent years working with private, state, and federal organizations to ensure the successful completion of these programs. Additionally, I have served in the US Air Force for 17 years. My time in the service prepared me to address a dynamic group of goals and react to unforeseen challenges as they arise within a diverse group of people(s). Lastly, as a youth football coach, I have experience working with today’s youth and become familiar with the hurdles they have to overcome in the world.
What are the most pressing issues facing the district and how would you address them?
I have taken the time to reach out to many families in the community and ask what their concerns are within the district. The top issue raised is funding. The district levee has recently failed. There are multiple theories as to why, however I do not believe it is a result of any one single reason. The lack of transparency has frustrated many families. They do not feel informed nor understand why the funding has continued to rise each year. What justification does the district have for the rise in costs? There was a lot of frustration in recent years between the community, school board and teachers regarding allocation of funds. Trust was broken. There is a healing time that we as a community must pass. Additionally, we must work to earn the trust and support of the community. It is my philosophy that honesty, ethical and fiscally responsible budgetary decision making, and most importantly, transparency, will rebuild the commitment of the community and resolve the funding issues.
How would you rate the performance of the district and board’s response to handling COVID-19 developments this school year? And what lessons should the district learn from the pandemic that can help it be better in the future?
It is no mystery the school districts have been faced with some difficult decisions. It is apparent to me the district has set policy they believed was in the best interest of the students, staff, and families of our district. However, many families have expressed to me the district failures were in the execution. Between inconsistencies in enforcement and the irregularities of rules, frustration has been building throughout this school year. I believe there are many lessons that have been learned and going forward the district should heed these experiences when making policy decisions.
What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to you and what would it look like in action in schools?
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” is a polarizing topic. It has been politized to the point logical and reasonable discussion is almost impossible. The bulk of the problem is that each term on its own or together have different meanings depending on whom you are talking to. Diversity is often referred to as a group that has distinctive or different elements. However, it has evolved into more about perspectives, ideas and representations. In our schools, diversity means allowing ALL students the opportunity to express their ideas regardless of their socio-economic status or cultural background to name just a few. The use of the term “equity” is often misused and misunderstood. In most recent use it has come to mean the quality of being treated fair and impartial. The trouble comes with the perception of what is fair and who decides what is fair. It may be the case that in the effort to strive for “equity” for one group results in negative equity for another. The better philosophy is “equality”, where everyone is treated the same and equal to their peers, not differently due to their class, culture, religion, sex, orientation, and other identifiers. “Inclusion” is the sidekick to “equality”. If we are all treated equally, then we are all by default included. The opposite is true when “equity” alone is promoted. In most cases, to provide equity to one group, you must exclude or take away from another.
What are things you think the school board is doing well? What do you think they need to most improve on?
I believe the school board is functioning under what they believe to be the best direction possible for our community. They have been taking the integration of comprehensive sex education slowly and allowing for community support, input, and healthy opposition.
Communication and transparency can always be improved. The community they serve should always be afforded the opportunity to voice concerns and the time to adjust to challenges.
How will you hold the superintendent accountable?
The Superintendent is hired by and reports to the Board of Directors. With our new Superintendent starting July 1st we have an opportunity to begin a fresh slate. The Superintendent should be the implementation arm of the Board. Annual performance reviews which include feedback from staff and the public is an important first step. Having the Superintendent create a set of goals that reflect the community needs and views is a beginning. The progress should be monitored quarterly with the goals and the progress being made available to the public.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add not included above, please include it here:
Trust has been an issue for decades. The voters want the Board to be open, honest and to listen. Unless and until we can achieve that trust, funding and other issues will continue to be roadblocks to progress and success.