Candidate for Ketchikan School
September 09, 2007
I'm Michael Fitzgerald and
I'd like to serve you and the community by becoming a member
of the School Board. I appreciate you taking the time to become
acquainted with the candidates and the issues. My Wife and I
have been raising our 3 children in Ketchikan for the past 13
years and have witnessed both successes and missteps by the School
Board. Lately, it seems like the School Board has been floundering-attentive
to adult personalities and pet projects rather than focused on
serving the students and their families. I'm grateful to Sitnews
for providing this opportunity to introduce myself to you.
Experience and Qualifications
- Foremost, I am a Father of
three wonderful children that have been served by the Ketchikan
School District for most of their lives.
- Two of my children have special
needs, so I have developed a keen understanding of how the special
education program works as my Wife and I have advocated for our
- I have 12 years experience
as a Nurse Manager at Ketchikan General Hospital. Prior to that,
I managed restaurants. This work experience has helped me develop
the following skills that a School Board member should have:
- I can read, develop and manage
- I can evaluate employees'
- I have experience negotiating
- I have been successful at
setting goals, developing and implementing a plan to achieve
those goals and then measuring the outcomes to assess whether
or not the goals have been reached.
- I was instrumental in planning,
designing and implementing a major remodel of the Long Term Care
Unit at Ketchikan General Hospital, gaining valuable experience
in all aspects of major construction projects.
- 10 years of experience with
Special Olympics as a volunteer coach and area management team
- Life-long member and then
volunteer leader of church youth groups.
Important Issues/What I
Hope to Achieve if Elected
- Funding that reflects a laser
focus on academics
- If elected, I will help the
School Board work with state and local entities to assure funding
is always at the maximum allowable level. This will require a
solid plan with measurable goals and academic-related outcomes
to convince those holding the purse strings that the money will
be well spent.
- Emergency Response and Notification
- The recently announced email/web/text
messaging system sounds like a move in the right direction, but
the School Board needs to provide direction to assure that the
plan is clear and complete and well-communicated to families
so they will feel confident that their children are safe.
- If elected, I will work to
have the School Board direct the Superintendant to involve families
in the planning process to assure that every parent will be notified
when there is a threat at school.
- Reading Scores
- I don't remember the last
time we saw a report on reading scores for our schools. The latest
Gates test scores are available, but we haven't seen them reported
or discussed yet. This valuable indictor needs to be carefully
evaluated and used to assess the effectiveness of the instruction
that is taking place in the district.
- If I'm elected, test scores
will be discussed openly and frequently with specific goals for
- Clear and Measurable Goals
for the Superintendant
- The Superintendant recently
suggested some goals for himself. Few of them were actually measurable
and many focused on process rather than outcomes.
- If elected, I will see that
the School Board sets measurable, outcome-based goals for the
- Restoring Credibility and
- The School Board has stumbled
lately, distracted by personal agendas.
- If elected, I will focus my
efforts on assuring that the Superintendant and our teachers
have the direction and resources necessary to assure our children
are achieving what they need to be successful.
I decided to become a candidate
for the School Board because I believe I can make a difference.
I thank you for taking the time to become acquainted with the
candidates and the issues. Please be sure to vote on October
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