School Board Candidate Questions: Tim Edgerton, Oakfield-Alabama
The Batavian emailed candidate questions to all 17 candidates in Genesee County's eight school districts that are holding elections on Tuesday. Only four returned completed questionnaires.
This is the response from Tim Edgerton, a candidate for the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District board. There are two other candidates in the race: Lorna Klotzbach, who also answered our questions, and Douglas Esten, who did not.
1. What is your position on your school district’s proposed budget for 2018-19? What parts do you support? What parts would you change if you could?
Upon my review of the Oakfield-Alabama 2018-19 proposed budget I believe that it represents a collaborative effort by school officials to present a fiscally responsible budget to the community. The budget allows the district to maintain academic programming as well as continue to offer a variety of extracurricular activities to engage our students. Resources appear to have been appropriately allocated where the needs of the district are indicated. As costs continue to rise, the district must adjust resources to cover operating costs. Preparing and enacting a budget is a constant juggling act that requires oversight by school officials and community members. From last year’s budget to this year’s budget there has only been a slight increase in overall spending and the tax levy. I concur with the budget that is proposed, and at this time I would not make any changes to it.
2. Are teachers in your district compensated adequately?
This is a complicated issue because it involves a budget process and reliance in large part on the school aid that we receive from Albany. It is without hesitation that I agree that entry-level salaries for teachers could be improved upon, (as well as pay increments throughout their tenure), not only here at OA but across the nation. Unfortunately, the demands of a responsible school budget along with a decreasing tax base hinders administrators and school boards and diminishes the flexibility in this area.
3. Parents are more nervous than ever about school safety. Is your district’s communication to parents about school safety policies and procedures adequate? Should parents and the community be informed when a student makes a threat of violence against the school?
Overall the school district does a good job keeping the community/parents informed about situations involving student safety. Practice drills involving school lockdown are conducted throughout the school year. Security enhancements continue to be implemented/upgraded accordingly; parents are notified and brought into the loop regarding student safety issues promptly and as necessary. As is always the case, there is always room to enhance current procedures and communication. This is an area that requires school officials and Board of Education members to be extremely proactive. They must continue to seek out best practices across the world, and where possible, implement them accordingly.
4. Are you satisfied that your district responds to parents’ complaints and concerns in a way that ensures the parents know they have been heard?
I feel that the school administration and teaching staff do a sufficient job in addressing parents concerns regarding their children and situations that develop within the school. However, there are always opportunities to improve the methods and processes that are utilized. School officials should be encouraged to continuously seek out best practices that are utilized by other school districts throughout the nation and explore implementing them.
5. What two books published since The Enlightenment have influenced you the most?
The two books that have influenced me the most are The Carrot Principle by Adrian Robert Gostick, and Chester Elton, and Pyramid for Success by John Wooden. From The Carrot Principle, I absorbed the importance of positive reinforcement and recognition. Everyone, be they teachers or students, need and should be given recognition for achievements and going above and beyond the call of duty. Pyramid of Success I believe is an excellent guide through, and preparation for life. It emphasizes the importance of an individual’s character, which I believe is all-important, especially an individual’s character when no one is looking. If the principles in this book were appropriately applied in a school setting, I believe that administration, faculty, and students, could all achieve maximum potential.