SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Matt Olsen

Candidate for Ketchikan School Board 2006
Three-Year Term

September 26, 2006

Matt Olsen

I believe the greatest responsibility a community has is to educate our children. In doing so we must provide them with an education that gives them the skills to become good citizens who contribute to their community.

We currently have over 100 students leaving our classrooms per year; most of them are from 7th grade through 12th. I feel this exodus is exacerbated by the lack of educational choices. Students, once they reach high school, are currently led into a college preparation track. While this is an admirable goal, it is not realistic:

  • Not everyone can afford college
  • Not everyone will succeed in college
  • Not everyone wants to go to college
  • Ketchikan is still thriving with blue collar employers who are having difficulties finding qualified employees from the local job pool

The advantages to exposing a student to a vocational education is they will see there is another option if they are not sure college is the right outlet for them. Most of all, the students will have another reason to stay in the classroom.

75% of the jobs over the next ten years that will be created in Alaska will require less than a bachelor's degree education. These high paying vocational/technical jobs are now, and will be, available in Ketchikan. Our schools should expose students to all career opportunities. Our greatest economic resource is our children.

The choice, either way, for many is simple. The problem is that we are not currently giving them the tools to make one.

I am Dedicated to expanding:

  • Educational Choices
  • Vocational Offerings

I am Committed to:

  • Serving the Community
  • Making sound decisions for our children and their future

I have Experience with:

  • Serving on Advisory Boards
  • Education and Youth

If elected, I will work to maintain our current level of education while expanding our offerings to include more choices for our children.

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska