The three remaining applicants for the Jefferson Joint School District No. 251 superintendent position addressed a multitude of questions Jan. 28 during an open house held in the district boardroom. Listed below are the same three questions asked of each applicant by The Jefferson Star.

Karla LaOrange

What are your top three priorities?

“I think managing the growth and making sure that student achievement continues to be on the right incline, and making sure the growth doesn’t interfere. “

“I think learning always has to be your top priority, but managing your growth. If you do that, then I think you’ll continue to just shine and grow.”

How do you plan to manage the district’s growth if appointed?

“I think one, you’ve got to have a really great district office team and I think you do. You have a really strong team here and I think you have to use them along with your transportation director to manage that growth and also work with the community leaders.”

“You also have to get community input. Getting parent input into that is important and then using that information to look where the growth is and look ahead.”

How do you plan to maintain a positive/working relationship with the district and its patrons?

“I think there are a couple ways to do that. One, is going to different activities. I think it’s important to try and go to some of the athletic and music events because you get to see the students and talk to the parents and hear the teachers. I think that’s really important.”

“I think hearing everyone and understanding those perspectives is critical.”

Chad Martin

What are your top three priorities?

“Student achievement; it’s more than just an ISAT score. Are kids prepared to go to college? To go to the military? To take a job as an auto mechanic? Whatever it is, are we preparing our students to be college and career ready?”

“Relationships; maintaining those relationships. That’s between the community, that’s between the teachers and administration and that’s between the parents.”

“And then growth, just keeping a finger on that and planning as best as you can and having backup plans. It’s a weekly thing almost.”

How do you plan to manage the district’s growth if appointed?

“I think one, it’s keeping a thumb on it and then looking at the long term and seeing where are the trends. And then keeping the board informed as well.”

“We know at some point we’re going to need more schools if things continue, so where’s the building going on? If we’re going to have to build a school where is land? What’s available? Just having conversations and maintaining relationships with those in the community.”

How do you plan to maintain a positive/working relationship with the district and its patrons?

“Lisa’s done a great job of building those relationships and I’ve really appreciated that she’s included me in on that. I regularly meet with the rural planning organization, road and bridge, the city, the state department of transportation. I always believe any issue is solved easily with communication.”

“Just maintaining those relationships, but really it’s just communication and being open. We have nothing to hide, we want to be open and transparent with everything. And it goes from meeting with the chamber but it goes with every parent that gives us a phone call.”

Joel Wilson

What are your top three priorities?

“I would work with a facilities planning committee made up of key stakeholders to identify critical areas impacted by growth. We would discuss options such as building additions to existing schools or pursuing new buildings. Transparency in enrollment numbers and budgets will be shared with the community.”

“As a member the IDLA board of directors, I have experience in bringing advanced opportunities into schools to meet student and parent learning goals.”

“Attracting and retaining staff is extremely important. I create a culture of support in my districts where teachers have are given high expectations and then the resources they need to succeed. This creates a culture where there is a high level of job satisfaction and reputation of teachers being treated well.”

How do you plan to manage the district’s growth if appointed?

“Again working with the school board, working with the stakeholders, seeing what’s already in place and then working with the stakeholders across the state. I have a really extensive professional network of people from Boise to Coeur d’Alene, people know me and I know them.”

“I work with professional organizations like the School Board’s Association and the Teacher’s Association and the Superintendent’s Association. So working with those folks to get their experts in building and growth and bringing that to Jefferson County.”

How do you plan to maintain a positive/working relationship with the district and its patrons?

“Talking to people, going out and making myself known. People don’t know me here, so it’s up to me to get out and meet the stakeholders, and work with every group that I can. I’ll be out meeting people and hearing from them and seeing what their concerns are and what they’re proud of, so we can build upon that success.”

The Jefferson Joint School District Board of Trustees conducted interviews on Monday and will have a decision ready for the Feb. 13 school board meeting. The individual who is appointed will replace Lisa Sherick who retired in January. 

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