Oskaloosa School Board Candidate Tom Richardson
Oskaloosa News sent out an email to all candidates with the exact same questions. Our question is in bold text, with the candidates answer following just below in normal text.
First and Last name.
Your education level and where did you attend?
Sigourney High School 1983, University of Iowa 1987 Bachelor Degree in Finance.
What other training that you believe makes you qualified for the school board? I have worked at Cargill 16 years and work with large scale budgets and analyzing data for many locations. This experience helps me in reviewing financial data for the school district and also in evaluating the performance of students compared to goals that have been set for them to achieve.
How long have you called Oskaloosa home?
How do you believe your service on the school board will make a difference to the school system and the community?
I want all school district employees and those in the community to feel that I am very approachable with questions and concerns that they may have. If I can’t answer their question I will share the name of the person they need to be in contact with. I place great value on confidentiality where required and am committed to do the appropriate research necessary before reaching a decision. I feel that I have shown a positive attitude in all meetings and classroom volunteer experiences I have had and plan to continue that in the future.
Some of you are running for the first time, other have in the past or are currently serving, but what moment made you realize you wanted to serve? How do you believe you will be able to impact the school district and make a difference with that?
The first time I visited the Elementary School for my oldest child’s Kindergarten Roundup I realized that our school system has the opportunity to impact so many people’s lives in a positive way and that I wanted to be a part of that.
In the past I have been involved with volunteering in numerous classrooms, have attended PTO and PPAC meetings at the Elementary and Middle School Buildings and have been to all “Eggs & Issues” sessions the past two years. I believe that by being involved and visible in sessions both in and out of the school buildings where people meet and converse on all the issues that impact our students I can learn more about our student’s needs and be better at serving the community.
Recently at the school board meetings, the subject of the good conduct policy came up. What are your thoughts on the current policy, and why do you believe your opinion is the correct one for the district?
The current Good Conduct Policy is fine as it is written. Please remember that this policy is only in effect for those students who participate in extra-curricular activities in school and break a law involving issues such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco or theft. We need to hold students accountable at a high level if they are going to represent our school district. Parents are responsible for making sure their children are aware of the consequences of not making good decisions. At the July 2013 school board meeting it was made very clear that this was the first review in 13 years so the policy had no issues during that time. Also a diverse group from the school district and community reviewed the policy and comparisons were made to other school districts. Speeding tickets and parking tickets absolutely do not fall under the Good Conduct Policy.
During the entire time that the Good Conduct Policy has been in the news recently, only one parent in the entire school district has contacted the school central office with an issue. Superintendent Russ Reiter has met with all fall sports teams including many parents to explain the Good Conduct Policy and there have been no other people voice any concerns. The Oskaloosa Good Conduct Policy is already many pages longer than other school district’s policy and if it is made longer and more complex my concern is that it will lead to more problems than solutions in the future.