On Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m., the Dolores RE-4A Board of Education will host a board candidate forum at the Dolores Community Center.
At this forum, all six candidates campaigning for the four open Dolores board seats will have the opportunity to answer questions and allow the community to get to know them better before the November election.
Board President Maegan Crowley and board Secretary Clay Tallmadge are also up for reelection and will be part of the forum.
The forum, which consists of questions and answers, will be moderated by board vice president Casey McClellan, and each candidate will answer the same questions and be given the same amount of time to respond to those questions.
Community members in attendance will be allowed to fill out a note card with their questions, which will be posed to the candidates.
The candidates are Crowley, Tallmadge, Michael Rime, Doug Elder, Dustin Goodall and Julia Wilson Anderson.
Crowley, who is the owner of sculpture and custom interior/exterior ironworks Iron Maegan Metalworks, said she hopes to continue her tenure on the Dolores school board “to provide the community some leadership continuity and continue the work on long-term projects the current board has started.”
Some of the projects she pointed to were two areas she has been focusing on during her last four years as a school board member, and they are overhauling district policies and improving learning facilities for students and staff through the new building project.
“In addition to the annual policy changes due to changes in legislation, we are also eliminating redundancies, evaluating policies that are not legally required and seeking input from all stake holders on existing policies,” Crowley said about the work on overhauling district policies.
“Elevating our existing campus so students can learn in state-of-the-art facilities provides economic growth for the town of Dolores and strengthens the community as a whole,” Crowley said about the building project.
Tallmadge, who is also seeking reelection, echoed Crowley’s sentiments about providing consistent leadership to the board and district, saying he is committed to student success and supporting staff.
“I am seeking reelection to the Dolores School Board to help provide consistent leadership to the Dolores School District,” Tallmadge said. “The current board has been making headway in updating current policies and pursuing a bond and BEST grant to update our current buildings, which are in need of replacement and improvements. I hope those attending the forum will see that I am dedicated to innovative student success, enforcing district policies and supporting Dolores RE-4A staff.”
Rime, who has been serving as an interim board member since the resignation of Lenetta Shull earlier this year, said he hopes to “make a tangible difference” in students and the community of Dolores as a whole.
“After being appointed five months ago, I've witnessed the power of a cohesive board of directors and hard work, especially as we embark on big projects like the potential construction of a new school, revisiting our long-standing policies, and evaluating our superintendent's alignment with our strategic goals,” Rime said.
He also pointed to his background as an army veteran and experience running an HR consulting firm as experience that has equipped him to “navigate challenges and contribute to the betterment of our schools.”
“At the upcoming election forum, I hope the community sees in me a dedicated servant leader. My priorities remain clear: investing wholeheartedly in our community's future and our children, ensuring transparency and accountability at all administrative levels, and crafting policies that are not simply current but also just and fair. I humbly ask for the opportunity to continue serving our community and to carry forward the work we've started,” Rime finished.
New candidate Wilson Anderson is a former teacher, coach, principal, assistant principal, dean of students, dean of faculty and parent of two “fabulous” daughters.
She coached basketball, volleyball and softball and has experience teaching science, math, photography, physical education and elementary classes and also served as a school consultant in four different states.
Wilson Anderson said she wants to serve in the local school district, as schools are “critical to the health of a community.”
“Schools are dynamic places that have the potential to make the difference for a child. Schools are where children get the chance to grow, learn new skills, meet lots of different people, develop lifelong friendships, determine how to navigate their way through the world and have every opportunity to find what subject(s) are going to ignite their passion!” Wilson Anderson said.
“Parents and teachers want to do this for students every day. As a school, and as a school district, it is our job to provide every tool possible to every teacher and parent, to ensure all students get this chance. It's also our responsibility to ensure that teachers have every chance to excel and be the professionals they were trained to be,” she said.
“This is why I want to serve on the Dolores School Board,” Wilson Anderson continued. “I understand the needs of students, teachers, and parents and I also understand the limitations each of us face in trying to help every single student. In my many years in education, wearing many different hats, I have learned the value of empathy, humility and cooperative problem-solving whenever there is conflict, differences of opinion or opposing desired outcomes.”
Doug Elder, who, along with his wife, has been a consistent volunteer at the Dolores Middle School where his three children are currently attending, said he hopes to focus on student and staff retention through consistency and a strong sense of community, trust and collaboration.
“I am running for a Dolores School Board seat to hopefully improve the district as a whole, with an emphasis on the students, staff and community,” Elder said. “I would like to focus on both student and teacher retention as I believe Dolores is an amazing place to live and want to build some consistency and longevity within the school district. I also believe in transparency with the community to build a strong sense of trust and collaboration.”
“I hope that the community can see and hear the passion I have for the town of Dolores and the need for a great school at the center of it,” he finished.
The final candidate who will be present at the forum, Dustin Goodall, shared that his family homesteaded in Dolores in the early 1900s, and he was born and raised in the area.
He, along with many generations of family members, attended and graduated from Dolores. Now, his two sons attend the schools, and he said as a board member he hopes to see the schools continue to succeed.
“We have deep roots to the Dolores Valley and I would like to see the school district succeed for many generations beyond mine,” he said.
Goodall said he is running for the school board “for the betterment of our children and the prospect of their future beyond elementary, middle and high school,” sharing that learning key principals in school and limiting outside distractions are necessary for success in school and preparing students to succeed once they graduate high school.
“I believe it's vital for our youths and future generations to learn and understand the curriculum that is going to best prepare them for life moving past high school and transitioning into adulthood,” Goodall said. “Currently the amount of outside distractions in the world we live in is affecting the education in our schools.”
“While I believe its important to inform the students of current issues we all face, I believe we need to focus on the education we provide to these kids that will help them succeed in life outside of school,” Goodall continued. “In doing so, as a school board we need supply the necessary resources for all of it to be successful. I feel that there needs to be more common ground throughout the community to come to agreements that will benefit our students and staff within the district.”
The school board candidate forum is open to the community, and all who are interested are invited to attend.