Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for many candidates to get their messages out are limited. HTNN asked questions of the candidates in LaPorte Community School Corporation's school board race to better understand where they stand on education and community issues.
CANDIDATE: Kyleen Fuller
What motivates you to want to become a school board member?
I am running for the LPCSC school board because I know what it feels like to be a struggling student in our system and a struggling parent trying to navigate through this corporation. I feel that I can bring a unique voice to this board.
Describe your view of the roles of the school board and the superintendent. What is the ideal relationship between these two offices?
As a school board member, our number one role is to be an advocate for the entire student. We need to strive to improve the overall educational experience through fiscal responsibility, accountability of our community resources, and recognizing our responsibility as school board members to seek improvement of education throughout the state. The superintendent is in charge of articulating the vision for our student's education and organizing support to keep the vision moving. Ideally, the superintendent would enthusiastically work with the board, employees at all levels and community partners to achieve benchmark goals that keep the corporation moving toward that vision.
What is your vision for education in this community?
With the creation of the Governor's Workforce Cabinet, Next Level Jobs, and Indiana Pathways diplomas we are in the position to lead the way with innovative curriculum and educating the entire child. We have the infrastructure, community partners, and creativity to retain the students we have, get back the students we have lost, and fill the future needs as our city grows in population. I want to strengthen and expand Social Emotional Learning (SEL), evaluate our current pathways programs to see where we can expand and strengthen the experience and end the atmosphere of toxic positivity that does not allow for important community conversations to happen.
What are the current challenges facing the LaPorte Community School Corporation?
In 2018 31% of the children aged 6-11 living within the city of LaPorte lived BELOW the poverty line. Our students face food insecurity, housing insecurity and are often asked to balance school with adult responsibilities like taking care of younger siblings. When you add these numbers to the number of students facing mental health issues, family issues, educational hardship issues you begin to understand why uncomfortable conversations are needed. These children have zero power over their lives and it is the community and school corporation's job to, at the very least, acknowledge the problems we face and allow for real conversations to be had.
In your view, what has the district done well over the last five years? What has the district done poorly that you would change?
The addition of Project Lead the Way, Slicer Support Services, the new Slicer Health Clinic, and the Family and Community Engagement Services (FACES) have gone a long way in expanding our entire child approach by offering community support and innovation in our schools. As an ISTA/I-PACE endorsed school board candidate I have spent years cultivating a relationship as a parent and business owner with many of our bus drivers, food services employees, aids, and teachers and they all have so many great suggestions to offer on employee retention and it is time we listen!
What are the outputs that matter most to you? How will you be accountable for them as a school board member?
Our true graduation rates, our exit codes, overall enrollment numbers, and the results from frequent Climate Audits will help keep us on a path forward and will provide meaningful output.
Finally, why should people in the LPCSC vote for you?
As an advocate for children of all ages I feel I can bring a unique perspective to the board. I have a track record of community service and getting things done and I would be honored to serve on the LPCSC school board.