SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Mike Harpold

Candidate for Ketchikan School Board 2006
Three-Year Term

September 23, 2006

My wife, Elaine, and I have lived in Ketchikan for the past 22 years and have raised two daughters, Elizabeth, a Kayhi graduate in 2005 and Sarah who expects to graduate in 2007. I have served two terms on the school board, 1994-1997 and 2002 to present, and one term on the City Council, 1999 to 2002.

I am especially proud of two achievements by the school board during my term: the completion of a strategic plan, we updated that plan on it's third anniversary earlier this year, and conversion of our budget process to a program based budget format. The strategic plan enables us to pursue vital goals such as improving student reading over multiyear periods despite changes in funding and the annual changes in personalities on the board. Program based budgeting has resulted in greater confidence in how the school district is spending its' money and has resulted in improved support from the borough assembly and the community. I have worked hard to unite our community behind education and will continue to do so.

Our goals for the future must be to continue to improve reading ability, particularly among native and low income students. Students who reach high school and are still struggling readers do not remain in school. It is also time to take a look at our high school career tracks. Tight budgets in the past which lead to shortened school days have made participation in voc-tech classes difficult. Twenty-two of the twenty-four credits possible for Kayhi students are in required subjects. Adding an additional hour to the Kayhi day will encourage greater participation not only in voc-tech track courses, but provide variety for college bound students as well. We've got to make sure that our children's education is not only real, but relevant. Times change and our graduating students must be prepared for the world they are entering, whether it be college or a job or a trade here in Ketchikan.

I have enjoyed my service on the school board, and I ask your support for the future.

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska