Washington County School Board: District 2 candidates tout experience, accountability

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Three positions are up for election on the Washington County School Board this year. The open seats are for Districts 1, 2, and 3 of the seven school board districts in the county.

St. George News contacted the school board candidates and asked each questions concerning what they would like to see improved in the school district, as well as what is their primary focus for running for the school board. Their answers have been received through interviews and email.  In this article, the candidates for District 2 are featured.

In District 2, incumbent Craig Seegmiller touts his experience as a three-term county board member, as well as his understanding of education and proper budgeting, being both a teacher and small business owner. Challenger Jill Hunt seeks to bring a new perspective to the school board, and promotes accountability and transparency in education spending; making sure students are adequately prepared for tomorrow’s workforce, and enhancing community involvement.

Incumbent Craig Seegmiller is seeking re-election to the Washington County School Board, St. George, Utah, Oct. 27, 2012 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Craig Seegmiller

A mathematics professor at Dixie State College of Utah, Seegmiller has served on the Washington County School Board for 12 years and is the only incumbent currently seeking re-election. He received his degree in Mathematics Education from Brigham Young University, and also earned a Master of Business Administration degree in business management. He taught in the public school system and has experience running his own business.

“I understand education,” Seegmiller said, and added he also knows “how vital good teachers really are.”

He also identified himself as a fiscal conservative, and said he would continue to make sure the money spent in the school district is budgeted wisely. “I watch how we spend money – I’m a numbers hawk,” he said.

Question: What programs or items would you like to see improved or implemented in the school district?

AnswerSeegmiller said the school district’s No. 1 goal is to continually improve how students learn, as well as to “create the best environment” where learning could take place.

“That’s how we do better,” he said. “That’s the focus.”

Another area where Seegmiller said the school district has done well, and continues to do so, is how it has used its financial resources  The district has been able to build beautiful buildings for relatively less when compared to other districts in the state, he said; and, thanks to previous planning, has “weathered the storm better” than other districts that became financially strapped when the recession hit.

Question: What would you describe as the primary focus or issue of your campaign for the school board?

Answer: “My drive and specialty is to make sure we have quality instruction and teachers,” Seegmiller said. By continuing to foster an environment in which the teachers are valued and also receive “quality instruction,” the effect will filter into the classroom and benefit the students throughout the district.

With his background in education and business management, Seegmiller said he has the right experience to continue representing the people of District 2.

Additional information on Seegmiller can be found on Seegmiller’s Candidate Profile on the Vote Utah website.

Jill Hunt

Jill Hunt, challenger for the District 2 seat on the Washington County School Board, St. George, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of Jill Hunt

Hunt provided the following statement:

“I am originally from Georgia and moved to Logan, Utah, to attend Utah State University in 2001. After graduating with a degree in Journalism in 2005, I relocated to St. George and worked as a reporter for The Spectrum where I gained the trust of my readers as a watchdog journalist. I have also been involved with the Children’s Justice Center where I volunteered for several years as a member of the Friends Board. I am currently serving my second year on the community council at Dixie Sun Elementary and wanted to have more of an impact on education here in Washington County. I decided that to be more of a voice than the allotted two-minute public comment during the school board meetings, I will bring my passion for education, love for children, fresh innovative insight and vision and watchdog accountability to the school district.”

Question: What programs or items would you like to see improved or implemented in the school district?

Answer: One of the top priorities for the school district is creating high-quality programs at each school and educating parents about the programs in their surrounding schools. Each parent has different aspirations in regards to their child’s education. Making sure we have the programs they’re looking for and educating them about what the district offers will keep children with our traditional public school system.

In addition to applying high-quality programs to our schools, we need to make sure that we are watching every dollar responsibly to ensure we have the most funding possible for our teachers and administrators. We need to help our children be prepared for tomorrow’s workforce in an ever-changing world.

Question: What would you describe as the primary focus or issue of your campaign for the school board?

Answer: My primary focuses for the school board are summed up as the ABC’s: Accountability, Better Schools/Programs, and Community involvement.

Accountability: We need to make sure that we are wise in the spending in the school district and that there is complete accountability and transparency to spending.

Better Schools/Programs: As stated before, we need to make sure we have better programs offered for our children. We’ve had three charter schools be built here in the last several years – each drawing more children out of district schools. While I support competition and choice, we need to make sure that our district schools are offering top educational programs to help compete with tomorrow’s workforce.

Community involvement: There is a greater need for an increase of communication with parents, staff and administration. I would like to create informative outreach to families in understanding the education of each of their children.

For additional information, visit Jill Hunt’s campaign website.

District 2 covers the following voter precincts:

St. George #SG03, St. George #SG04, St. George #SG05, St. George #SG06, St. George #SG07, St. George #SG08, St. George #SG10, St. George #SG11, Diamond Valley #DIV92 and Winchester Hills #WH98.

Washington County School Board districts:

STGN-Washington County School Board District Map-20120130- pdf

Related articles:

Washington County School Board: District 1 candidate speak to advancement, preparing for future – District 1 Candidates: Barbara Beckstrom and Jerry Olson

Washington County School Board: District 3 candidates on better communication, teacher support – District 3 Candidates: Aaron Randall and Debbie Zockoll

 

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler
Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2012, all rights reserved

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