Candidates for Sweet Home School Board seat discuss the issues: Jason Van Eck

Jason Van Eck

Age:36

Family: Fiancee Trisha, son Colyn, daughter Alana, stepson Taylor, stepdaughter Jada

Occupation: Sergeant Sweet Home Police Department

Education: SHHS Graduate, LBCC, DPSST

Prior Government Service: none

Why did you decide to run for the School Board?

“I would like the district to provide all students with the highest quality of education given the limited resources.

“As a resident and former student in Sweet Home, I have followed the School Board’s decisions and witnessed the effects on students. Also, as a father of young children, I have a vested interest in quality education and would like to be a part of ensuring the best possible learning experience for all students.

“I have strong moral convictions and respect other people’s opinions and views. It would be an honor to serve the community in shaping our children, who are the future.”

What are your three top priorities, the top issues concerning School District 55?

“One, the best possible use of funding given the limited resources.

“Two, ramifications of a declining enrollment.

“Three, skyrocketing costs for necessary items (fuel, utilities, etc.) with a decrease in funds due to declining enrollment.”

What can you do to address them?

“Be a willing and active participant in all meetings and trainings to gain the knowledge to make the best possible, informed decisions.”

Lack of funding is consistently raised as a problem for public education. Is it a problem? If so what can be done about it?

“Lack of funding is a problem, and I look forward to gaining knowledge as to how the district functions in tight budgeting times. Part of the solution involves a quality education that comes from solid partnerships with good teachers, good support staff and good leadership.”

The School District has been asked to fund half of a police resource officer, but by election time, the question should be resolved for the 2007-08 school year. Do you support such a concept? Why? Are there other steps the district can take to minimize criminal and behavioral issues, keeping schools safe?

“Sweet Home is the only district in our area that does not have a resource officer. I would support the position and believe an officer’s presence and involvement in the schools would be a positive presence for all involved.”

Last year, the School Board considered a proposal to implement a “school-based health clinic” at the high school, ultimately turning it down. Do you support such clinics?

“I believe that a health clinic would not be as beneficial as other programs that are needed within the school district.”

From a high school student: How receptive would you be to suggestions from students? Would you “blow them off because they’re teenagers,” or would you see them as resources who have a perspective that adults in the school system may not have? Many seniors are 18 years old and will be eligible to vote in this election.

“I believe students’ perceptions on all issues in the schools could be very insightful and helpful in addressing issues.”

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