My experience can help keep RFSD moving forward | PostIndependent.com
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My experience can help keep RFSD moving forward

Guest CommentaryBruce WamplerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

For the past four years, I’ve had the privilege to serve the children of Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. I’m proud of the achievements of this school district during my tenure on the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education.The most visible are all the new and remodeled schools we’ve built in all three communities since the bond issue passed in 2004. Our communities also passed a mill levy override that has allowed us to pay our teachers some of the highest salaries in the state.But the most important achievement of all is the quality of education this district delivers. This school district is a state leader in educational reform. Our standards-based educational philosophy believes that all kids can learn, and this approach is paying off.The test scores of our native English-speaking kids are as good as or better than any district in the state. We are expanding advanced educational opportunities in our high schools, and more than 80 percent of our graduates are going on to college. Enrollments are up in our schools. The district’s finances are sound.But our district still faces challenges, including the changing demographics of our valley. Our administrators and teachers are getting a handle on how to teach our English language learners effectively, while maintaining high standards for all our students. The high cost of living in our valley remains a serious problem for recruiting and keeping the best teachers.I believe in public education. Both my own parents and my wife’s parents were public school teachers. I taught computer science at a public university. This district has provided great educations for my own two kids – my son, who is now a freshman at CU-Boulder, and my daughter, who’s a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School.As a school board member, I have a responsibility to each child in our 12 schools. Over the past four years, I’ve learned that educating our kids is an amazingly complex process. I’ve also learned that when faced with a tough problem, asking “What is best for the kids?” will lead to the right answer.It takes time and experience to learn and understand the complexities of governing a school district. There are a host of federal and state regulations and laws that we must comply with. Colorado school finance is a tangled mess of conflicting laws. At the same time, it is essential to listen to our teachers and community members, and balance the needs of our three unique communities. I believe my experience helps me make difficult decisions that always put what is best for our children first.I want to use my experience to help keep this school district moving forward. We need to continue to attract and retain the best teachers. I want this district to continue to be at the cutting edge of educational reform. I would like to see this district be on the cutting edge of serving nutritious and healthy food to our kids. I would like to see more collaboration between the school district and our local businesses and governments.The kids in school today will be doing jobs in 10 years that haven’t even been invented yet. I will continue to use my expertise in technology and computers to help this district incorporate the right technology into the classroom so that our kids are ready for that future. I’d appreciate your support in the coming election so I can continue the job I’ve begun. You can visit my Web site, brucewampler.com, to learn more about me. Thank you.Bruce Wampler represents District C on the Roaring Fork School District Board of Directors.Breakout: The Post Independent is inviting Glenwood Springs City Council and school board of education candidates to submit guest commentary campaign articles. Please keep articles to no more than 600 words and submit a head and shoulders photo if possible. Articles must be e-mailed to news@postindependent.com. Call 945-8515, ext. 16600, for more in information.


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