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News :: School Board Candidate Profile Sue Gates
· 8:41am September 3rd, 2013
Editor's Note: Sue Gates is seeking re-election to her second term as an at-large member of Vinton-Shellsburg School Board.
We asked Sue to share some information about herself and her experience, as well as her views on school issues.
Below, is her response:
When asked to share about myself one thing that stands out is my involvement in education. My early education was in a small country school (yes, that is what small rural schools were called back then) with one other girl in my grade. Following 8th grade I made a huge jump in class size attending and graduating from East Waterloo. My BA in Elementary Education, my MA in Curriculum and Instruction, and my endorsement in Elementary Administration are all from State College of Iowa/UNI.
My thirty-five years of professional involvement in education include teaching in Parkersburg, teaching and Central Office responsibilities in Waterloo, fourteen years as principal at Shellsburg Elementary, and three years as an adjunct professor at Mt. Mercy in Cedar Rapids. In addition, I am completing my 4th year serving on the Vinton-Shellsburg School Board and am beginning my 11th year serving on the Grant Wood Area Education Board.
One of the most important investments each of us in the Vinton-Shellsburg School District can make in this rapidly changing global environment is that of supporting the education of our young people. Skills needed for success in the 21st Century are much different from those required even just a few years ago. In the recent past an emphasis has been that of upgrading technology, including band width, across all Vinton-Shellsburg facilities. The roll out of the 1:1 initiative at the high school, after several years of study, will allow students more opportunities to produce individually or with a team, create, personalize their learning, and prepare for an ever-changing future beyond high school. Infusion of technology continues to increase at all grade levels.
The focus of the work and decisions of the Vinton-Shellsburg School Board during the 2013-14 school year will be around the following four goals.
1. All students will graduate.
2. All students will have opportunities to personalize their learning.
3. All students will have a safe, nurturing and drug-free environment.
4. The district will be financially stable.
1. Increased emphasis must be placed on literacy/reading at all levels. Over the past three years V-S teachers have been trained on and have implemented very specific literacy strategies. Additional emphasis in this area continues to be a Board priority. Shellsburg Elementary has been designated a SINA 4 (School in Need of Assistance) which will require decisions to meet federal law guidelines.
2. At the elementary level students are personalizing their learning through the implementation of their new reading program. Middle School students continue to have opportunities to complete projects of their choice either individually or with a team. High School students have a wide range of choices for electives. The 1:1 initiative is opening doors for students to exhibit their mastery of expectations through personalized choices.
3. Feeling safe is key to the ability to focus on learning. Many interventions have been put in place over the last few years toward this goal such as the Alternative High School, special reading/literacy teachers at ALL levels, and other programs through our At-Risk grant. Continuing to look for ways to lessen and eliminate bullying and help students appreciate and respect others will be on-going. Teachers in all buildings were trained in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) during preschool workshop time this fall as one more intervention to build skills to keep students safe.
4. Financial stability is key to all areas of the Vinton-Shellsburg School District. As many of you will recall, last winter the board made the decision to refinance the bonds leading to a savings to taxpayers of $1.3 million. Continuing to monitor the financial status of the district will be important to future decisions. As I listen to information presented to the Board, the criteria used when making my decision to support or reject is based on whether or not the suggested item will positively impact students and their learning.
The focus of every decision I make at the V-S Board table, if re-elected, will be toward moving forward with accomplishing these four goals as a way to best meet the needs of ALL V-S students.
I believe responsibility for the success of our V-S students belongs to ALL of us not just to those working with them at school. If we keep our focus on the students as we work together with teachers and administrators and show pride in being a part of the Vinton-Shellsburg School District positive results for students are endless.
I also believe serving on the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District’s Board of Education is one of the most important ways to impact the future success of our students and our communities. Therefore, I am seeking my second four-year term on the V-S Board to continue using my past experience, my current knowledge of what is happening in our district and beyond, and my passion for preparing students for their future in a rapidly changing global environment to make a positive difference for our students and our entire school district community. Since 1989, when I moved to Vinton to become the principal at Shellsburg Elementary, I have been building relationships with V-S students and staff which will continue as a priority.
Please support YOUR school district by exercising the right to VOTE ON SEPTEMBER 10.
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Lost Pony near Parkers Grove Church area