Four vying for three seats on school board – Carolyn Dube

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Four candidates are seeking seats on the Austin School Board in the Nov. 8 election. The field includes newcomers Carolyn Dube and Nathan Wradislavsky, along with incumbents Richard Lees and Don Leathers. The top three finishers will be elected. All terms are four years. Board member Mary Jane Kestner chose not to run for another term on the board.

Carolyn Dube

Carolyn Dube

Carolyn Dube

Carolyn Dube, a curriculum specialist with Capella University, is seeking her first, four-year term on the Austin School Board.Dube, 37, and her husband, Todd, have three children.

Q: Why did you decide to run for school board?

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A: I have a desire to see kids succeed at school. Being a member of the school board will give me an opportunity to bring my personal and professional experiences and background to the table to support the Austin community.

Q: What are the things that you believe will make you a good board member?

A: I think my perspective as a parent in the district and an educational professional will be a valuable addition to the board. My oldest son has Autism Spectrum Disorder, which means I have worked closely with the special education staff. I began my professional career as a K-12 music teacher prior to moving into the higher education space, giving me insight into instructional and curricular needs. I also grew up in the Austin Public School District and have a love for this community and a desire to contribute to its success.

 Q: The district has long been discussing alternative calendars and start times. Would you support these? Why or why not?

A: I can see the benefits of a modified calendar and potential adjustments to the start time based on research for knowledge retention and helping students leverage their best learning potential. I would be in support of these if the community was ready for it. This would be a shift in mindset and requires much consideration and thought.

Q: Austin has a high percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch and a high percentage of students whose home language is not English. What should the district do to address the achievement gap?

A: Student achievement is impacted by a variety of factors. Considering the need for free and reduced lunch and support for families whose home language is not English, the district can take steps to ensure basic needs are met in order for students to be ready to learn. Strategies for partnering with non-English speaking parents will be valuable to create an environment that supports cultural needs along with academic achievement. This means determining a communication approach that connects parents and district staff that takes language barriers into consideration.

Q: What other issues would you like to see addressed by the board and why?

A: I have enjoyed seeing the school district engage social media for greater transparency in what is happening within the district. I would like to have a greater understanding of how the board can continue to support students through both technology and more traditional instructional methods.

Q: What would we find you doing on a Friday night?

A: Movie or game night with the family.