SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Regular Election - October 05, 2021

Tom Heutte

Candidate for Ketchikan School Board 2021
3 Year Term (3 Seats Open)


Received: September 17, 2021
Published: September 18, 2021

jpg Tom Heutte
Candidate for Ketchikan School Board 2021

Tom Heutte
Candidate for Ketchikan School Board 2021

Hi my name is Tom Heutte. I am asking that you support my school board candidacy.
I started getting involved in local education when my daughter was in kindergarten at Ketchikan Charter School. I served on PTAs as secretary and president through her elementary and middle school years. I twice volunteered to fill vacancies on the Ketchikan School Board and I was proud to help serve an excellent school system that is one of the bedrock institutions of our community. I am running because of my firm belief in the necessity of a public education system that provides opportunities for our children to grow as people, be productive citizens, and live good lives.
My platform is based on a belief in the following core issues:

-Building a culture of trust between our professionals and the KGBSB, where all voices are heard and there is no fear of retaliation. We need leaders at all levels of the district, from the superintendent on down, to model standards of professionalism and emotional intelligence, building a just culture where problems are addressed before blame is assessed, and individuals are held accountable for their mistakes while recognizing that all people make mistakes. We have many excellent professionals already doing this and we need to support them in expanding these standards throughout the system

-Improving the diversity of our faculty and administrators, with a focus on our local indigenous community. We need to think outside the box and look at multiple recruitment strategies; retirees helping in schools, training and advancement for existing faculty, paths to certification for entry level employees, recruiting student teachers, and inspiring our youth that they too can be teachers in our system and make a difference.

-My willingness to do the hard work at hand, beyond the conflict or controversy of the day. Big decisions are coming up in the next three years. We will be selecting a new superintendent, and it may be stating the obvious to say this is a critical decision. We need a superintendent who will not only lead, but will model professionalism and build a just culture in the district. We will soon negotiate a new contract with KEA (teachers) KLO (administrators) and other bargaining groups. Major capital improvement projects are on the horizon including reroofing Point Higgins, which is anticipated to cause relocation of one of our elementary schools for a year. With the pandemic, the district has had little time to address stated goals of improving graduation rates and closing achievement gaps, and these efforts must be ramped up. Otherwise, what is the point of having goals?

Good leadership is driven by data, character, humility, ethics and the ability to quickly and decisively make hard choices for the long term benefit of society (regardless of their instant popularity). Ketchikan is a strong, diverse, resilient, self-sufficient community. All it takes is having your car break down by the side of the road to see this, as people stop to help. I think there is always recognition in the back of our minds that we all live on an island, and that the neighbor I disagree with today may be helping me tomorrow. Even in this time of social division I am heartened by the warmth, friendliness and community spirit I encounter every day.

I appreciate your consideration, and the opportunity to continue making Ketchikan a fantastic place to live and grow up.

Tom Heutte
Candidate for School Board


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Ketchikan Regular Election October 05, 2021 - Tuesday
Early & In-Person Absentee Voting Begins September 20, 2021

Ketchikan Regular Election October 05, 2021 - Tuesday
Early & In-Person Absentee Voting Begins September 20, 2021

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