Pat Moser: Prioritizing academics, retention and transparency
Summit School District board candidate
I am a retired public school educator with 35 years of experience as a high school teacher, middle school principal, districtwide professional development director and instructor in the education department at the University of Texas at Dallas. After retiring, I became a manager in the training department at the FedEx Office corporate headquarters before launching my own corporate training consulting company.
With strong experience in both the public and private sectors, I know what it takes to run a successful educational program and what our students need in order to thrive after graduation. I’m running for the Summit School District Board of Education with three other accomplished women: the 4 For The Kids group. We all have the same goals but very different life experiences.
I’ve happily resided in Silverthorne since August of 2020, when I moved here to be closer to my daughter, son-in-law and infant grandson. Additionally, I have a son who lives and works in Washington, D.C.
As a dedicated school board member, every issue would start with the question, “How is this best for the kids?” And every decision I would support must demonstrate that it is a kids-first decision. I have neither political aspirations nor ulterior motives except to help our schools provide an instructional program that best prepares our children to achieve their future aspirations.
My top three priorities are:
Priority No. 1: Improved academics
It’s common knowledge that Summit School District’s standardized test scores on the Colorado Measures of Academic Success have steadily declined for several years. I am in no way automatically pointing a finger at teachers as the reason for the decline because I’m confident that the teachers are also disappointed in the scores; however, it’s past time to find out the real reasons for the declines and reverse them. Breakdowns are obviously occurring somewhere in the current Summit School District instructional program, and the CMAS scores starkly reveal that disappointing truth.
Occupation: Retired public school educator and corporate training consulting company founder
Years in Summit County: 1
Family: Daughter, son and infant grandson
Civic involvement: church volunteer
Priority No. 2: Teacher retention and support
I know from personal experience that faculty members on school campuses become like family for one another. A revolving door of colleagues who have become one’s second family increases the stress on faculties. Increased stress leads to declining morale and decreased joy in teaching. How can the loss of morale and joy not affect our children? Of course, a living wage is a factor in lowering turnover, but what else can we do to stop the revolving door? For example, can we look at helping with housing and/or day care? We need to find solutions fast so we can restore year-to-year stability to our schools’ personnel.
Priority No. 3: Transparency
Sadly, mistrust now exists between many members of the community and Summit School District. Many parents wonder, “What’s in the curriculum, and how is it being presented to my child?” Parents shouldn’t have to wonder and worry about their children’s school day. Let’s get the curriculum online as well as all teaching materials used in the classrooms.
Taxpayers who see the continual downward trend in student performance wonder what they’re getting for their hard-earned tax dollars. Principals and teachers wonder how they’re supposed to implement the equity policy when no guidelines have been established and communicated.
These and many other concerns naturally give rise to suspicion and frustration. These misgivings are apparent in the public comments made at the May 13 school board meeting, in the opinions about the district’s strategic plan and in letters to the editor in the Summit Daily News. Transparent and honest discussions and decisions create a path to diminishing the undercurrent of doubt that surely is impacting our children.
Pat Moser is a candidate for a four-year seat on the Summit School District Board of Education. Learn more at 4ForTheKids.com/pat-s-bio.
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