Young: More work to do

Published 5:40 pm Friday, September 9, 2022

Two-term APS School Board member running for another term

Peggy Young has more work to do and it’s why she has filed for a third term serving on the Austin Public Schools Board.

Young, who has spent eight years serving the district, said that part of that work is continuing to provide strong leadership, but also to continue pushing forward the momentum the board has going to date.

“I really felt like the community needed us,” Young said. “In years past we’ve done the good work, made good policies, talked with the community, met with the community, worked with teachers and administration. The last couple years they needed strong leadership.”

It’s been far from her initial impressions when she first started serving just under 10 years ago, admitting that it’s been so much more than what she expected.

But Young said that she is comfortable in the work the board is doing and that the district is at an important part in its history. It’s been exciting.

“We’ve go new leadership and Dr. (Joey) Page has been a phenomenal leader,” Young said. “We have a new strategic plan, we have the Packer Profile to help students to achieve goals in that plan. We have movement among our building administrators and I really want to see how that works out.”

But it’s the future that’s also playing a big role in Young’s decision. With projections of growth, facility and fiscal demands, Young said she really wants to be a part of that support system.

That support system is going to really come into play based on whether or not this third attempt at a referendum comes to fruition.

“This one feels incredibly necessary,” Young said. “Not that the others weren’t, but this one can’t fail.”

The impacts a failed passing could have on the district are big and could included everything from budget cuts, programming cuts and more.

“We need to try and mitigate those actions as much as we can and the referendum is the only way to do that,” Young said.

Young argued that she didn’t believe the district was asking for too much, and stressed that a referendum passage would allow the district to maintain programming and offer the best possible education to the students as well as support services for families.

Going forward, Young wants to continue to be part of the leadership that ensures students have the best possible foothold for the future. For some that may be a four-year college, but Young also wants to ensure that alternatives are considered as well.

“It’s all about making partnerships with industries and communities.

“Equitable education is what we want to offer,” Young said. “Exposure to different types of areas. Pathways that don’t necessarily lead to a four-year college. It may result in that in the end, but also getting them exposure to the trades and filling jobs so desperately needed locally and helping them reach that next step whatever that may be for them.”

Underlying it all will be a continued effort to ensure that there is education for all students.

“Equitable education is what we want to offer,” she said. “Students learn in different ways. I understand that cookie-cutter education doesn’t work for everyone and I really appreciate a district that values the differences among our students. I want to be a part of those successes in a way that’s meaningful to them.”