Alan Wood (Belfast)
How would the towns that voted to withdraw impact the district? Do you support the withdrawal effort?
The towns voting to withdraw impact the financial as well as the educational goals. When Frankfort goes to the Hampden district we will lose over a million dollars in subsidy. I will evaluate the plan by Belfast and other towns and give my input after the document is presented. I will support the vote of the people.
What part of the school budget do you think could be cut or reduced?
We have to have a more concrete plan to increase some class sizes and we should look at all non teaching employees for their costs and effectiveness.
What part of the school budget needs to be protected from cuts?
Technology, Greenhouse, Bcope and Vocational School.
How important is it to attend every meeting?
I missed one meeting last year and hope to improve on that number this year.
Do you feel the number of directors is beneficial or would you like to see the number of board members reduced?
Our board has really come together this year and the problem is not the number of directors but the ones who continually miss meetings.
Do you feel the weighted voting system is sufficient or would you prefer to see a different system implemented?
I prefer a for a one vote per member system. The weighted system is not effective.
Would you support keeping all of the local schools open even it means increasing the budget?
I prefer developing a plan to protect neighbor schools, but if we propose to close a school we go to that town first and make every attempt to financially support the will of the community. For instance with Stockton Springs we are going to the town and ask if we can set up a 3-years-old program, a 4-year-old program and day care and if we can make the numbers work financially the school will stay.
Do you feel the district has adequately consolidated or is there more work to be done?
We have NOT adequately consolidated because the towns were forced together by the state. The two former districts do NOT want to consolidate their schools so the biggest savings cannot be obtained. We do save money by sharing administration costs.
Do you see any opportunities in the community to enhance the educational opportunities for students?
Updating the technology and continuing in the vocational school support, but we need more electives in the high school and college credits offered there.
What do you see are the district’s current weaknesses and strengths? What would you do to address those strengths and weaknesses?
Last year I saw the weaknesses in the board of not listening to the public and I saw the positive change in that today the board has unique individuals and all are very independent in voting. I feel we all respect each other.
How could you improve community participation in the schools and engagement with the Board of Directors?
We have by being receptive to people speaking from the public at our meetings. However we need to formulate a plan for contacting members of the public such as an internet facebook forum to express views and get feed back. Then the board could ask a question of that forum and increase those contact numbers in time.
How do you think RSU 20 could better utilize available space?
We need to offer Day Care for people who work. We need to approach home schoolers and find a way to bring a compromise so that those people could work together in a school setting.
Do you think students care about which school they attend and why?
I think people are mostly loyal to their community and that Searsport want their children in Searsport and Belfast residents are partial to Belfast etc.
What most qualifies you to serve on the Board of Directors?
I care enough to go into schools and investigate topics and then get to listen to all sides of issues. I also respect all members who serve on the board, except for the several who miss so many meetings.