Washington County School Board: District 3 candidates on better communication, teacher support

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 3 are featured.

In District 3, candidate Aaron Randall promotes better communication between the school board and the parents, as well as providing an environment in which students can prosper. Retired educator Debbie Zockoll also focuses on better communication, and touts providing quality education through helping teachers get the resources and support they need to help students excel.

Aaron Randall, St. George, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of Aaron Randall

Aaron Randall

Randall has been practicing law since 2000 and is a member of the lawfirm, Hughes, Thompson, Randall & Mellen, PC. He is married with five children, all of whom are enrolled in public school. He has also been involved with the Parent Teachers Association board at Bloomington Hills Elementary. He said the community service he experienced through the PTA helped lead to his decision to run for the county school board.

“Running for the school board is the way I could give back,” he said.

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

Answer: Randall said the school district needed to do a better job of communicating with and engaging parents. An example he pointed to was how the implementation of the new math core curriculum had been handled in the district.

“It’s a fundamental shift in how our kids learn,” he said, noting that the new math program is quite different from what parents are familiar with, and thus parents are ill-prepared to help their children with it. The district could have been more forthright with how different the program is, Randall said.

Though the district could be more open with parents, Randall said, “The ultimate goal should be the kids.”

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

Answer: Randall said his primary focus is “on the students of Washington County.” The mission should be to educate kids, he said, whether as a teacher, a parent, a member of the PTA, or a part of the school board. “That encompasses everything,” he said.

He would also focus on enhancing the learning-environment in the classroom, and emphasized teaching to the needs of the student. “As a district, that’s a challenge,” he said.

Debbie Zockoll, St. George, Utah, date unknown | Photo courtesy of Debbie Zockoll

Debbie Zockoll

Zockoll provided the following statement:

“I grew up in St. George and attended schools in the Washington County School District. I raised my children in St. George and they attended school in this district. I taught first grade in Washington County for 30 years and retired five years ago. I have a passion for education and feel like now I have the time to give back to a community that has given me so much.”

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

Answer: Zockoll said that communication is key to ensure students get a quality education:

“Our school board needs to embrace truth, accountability and openness. With better communication among teachers, administrators and the school board we will create awareness of needs in the school district, which will help students achieve their full potential.”

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

Answer: “My focus would be that students get a quality education,” Zockoll said. A way to insure that they do so, she said, is through making sure teachers’ needs are seen to and that they have adequate resources, training and support.

“Teachers are being asked to do more and more with less money and less support,” Zockoll said.  “It is imperative teachers, as well as parents, feel supported, as we all work together to make sure each student has his or her needs met. Washington County School District needs to invest in teachers so they can inspire students to achieve their full potential, and therefore benefit society and our community.”

District 3 covers the following voter precincts:

St. George #SG22, St. George #SG23, St. George #SG24, St. George #SG25, St. George #SG26, St. George #SG27, St. George #SG28, St. George #SG29, St. George #SG30, St. George #SG39, St. George #SG40 and St. George #SG41

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 2 candidates tout experience, accountability – District 2 Candidates: Craig Seegmiller and Jill Hunt

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

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