Following is a Q-and-A conducted with Rick Wells, candidate for the Philomath School Board’s Position 1 seat. Wells is running unopposed.
Q: What is your primary motivation for running for a school board position?
WELLS: My primary motivation is to help the kids by making this the best school district possible for our students and their families.
Q: As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts and are there any areas you would not consider cutting?
WELLS: After being through this process many times as a board member, and member of the community before I was elected to the board, there are not many things that are off limits to find budget savings.
Many times they are not popular and sometimes are painful. There are a few that you cannot in good faith cut and contractual agreements is the first one that comes to mind — this could only be done if there was no other way to balance the budget and you have to talk with everyone that is affected before making the cuts.
Q: What do you see as our district’s current strengths and weaknesses?
WELLS: I think the biggest strength is all the staff of the Philomath School District. We have a very hard-working staff that care deeply for the success of every student. One weakness I believe would be the technology infrastructure.
Q: What do you believe are the main opportunities that the Philomath School District has in order to better serve its students and their families?
WELLS: The district needs to continue to improve and invest in the CTE (career and technical education) classes and continue to develop and enhance the alternative education school that the district has to better serve all students, as well as continuing to do an outstanding job to offer many opportunities for traditional students that are well received by our students.
Q: What do you see as the major issues facing the school district in the next four years?
WELLS: As always, the main issue is funding. The district needs to keep up with technology and maintain our facilities. We were lucky to have so much support for the past bond measures to upgrade our facilities and we owe it to our supporters to take care of their investment.
The district needs to continue to invest in the alternative education school and the CTE programs to keep our student base intact. And a possible issue, with all the new construction, is the need to have enough capacity for new students.
Q-AND-A WITH THE CANDIDATES The Philomath News sent each candidate five questions as part of a Q-and-A feature. Each candidate was limited to 100-word answers on each question.
Click on the links below to read the Q-and-A features for each School Board seat up for election:
POSITION 1: RICK WELLS POSITION 3: JOE DEALY, BRITTANY KENNEDY, ABIGAIL KURFMAN POSITION 4: ERIN GUDGE, JOEY McGLINCHY Note: McGlinchy’s name appears on the ballot but he has withdrawn from consideration.