David Philps said the first thing he would work on if elected to the Challis School Board is open more lines of communication with parents and concerned citizens.
"I am willing to have people come up and talk to me about the schools and the issues," Philps said.
Philps said he would try to move board meetings to later in the evening. The board now meets at 4:30 p.m. each month. Philps thinks the board would see more participation from parents if the meetings were pushed to the evening.
Philps wants the school district to keep extracurricular activities for students. He said the high school has a great sports program, but it need the support of the parents to prosper. Born and raised in Challis, Philps played football for the Vikings and was the president of the Future Farmers of America organization.
"That's what got me through school; the sports and other extracurriculars," said Philps.
Philps said organizations like FFA give kids an opportunity to meet and talk with people and learn about the bigger world. He understands clubs and sports require money and the budget for the school district is tight. However, he said he is willing to make things work for the sake of the students.
Philps said a big problem facing the school district is a lack of bus drivers. He understands it is a tough job and requires special training, which is why the school district needs to take care of the drivers it does have.
Philps said one area the school district needs to improve on is teaching students basic skills in reading, writing and math. He wants to look outside the box and come up with better programs to helps students struggling with their studies.
He would like to see some kind of tutoring program initiated so kids can get the help they need to learn essential skills. This would increase the likelihood of Challis kids going beyond high school to college, according to Philps.
Philps said he harbors no animosity toward current school board members. He said he thinks they are doing a fine job of turning students into decent people, but it's time to try something different to better their education.
He pointed out how the entire state is lacking in education efforts, with Idaho commonly ranked low compared to other states. He wants to change that, but at the local level, closer to home.
"I like the local control so we can tailor it for our kids," said Philps.
Philps is seeking a four-year term on the board, representing zone 2. That post is now held by Trish Farr, who is seeking re-election.