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: Brett Binversie
What motivates you to want to become a school board member?
La Porte is the only community I have lived in. I love this town. Over the past 30 years, I have been active in many organizations and volunteered throughout the community. JFK once stated, "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future". I cannot think of a better way to continue to serve my community than being a school board member. After years of activity with the Play for Jake Foundation, the Clarke Park Renovation Project, and serving consecutive terms as Rotary Club President here in La Porte I feel strongly that fostering the education and growth of our youth in our community is our most important task.
Describe your view of the roles of the school board and the superintendent. What is the ideal relationship between these two offices?
As a member of the school board much our task will be setting policy and priorities for our schools as well as making sure our finances are spent wisely and the budget is sound for both the present and future. The Superintendent should have the pulse of the community and the education system and help identify potential areas of improvement as well as continuing our strengths. It is important to have clear lines of communication to work together to achieve these goals.
What is your vision for education in this community?
We are strong in many areas currently. I would like to advance our vocational programs for those not attending college through collaboration with local and state government officials, funding, and local manufacturers and businesses. Apprentice programs are also very important. I have served recently on the Workforce Taskforce Committee through our former Chamber of Commerce(now LEAP) to help identify areas of need to help educate our students in the needs of future employers.
What are the current challenges facing the LaPorte Community School Corporation?
Our current time is as unpredictable as we have seen in our lifetime. The information concerning COVID and how to safely educate our students is changing daily. Our community is becoming more diverse and we must recognize that our schools exist in neighborhoods of varying composure and needs and we must adapt to each while maintaining certain standards. It is imperative that we have a board and administration that can view this constantly changing environment with open minds and work together toward established goals for the sake of our students.
In your view, what has the district done well over the last five years? What has the district done poorly that you would change?
Finances and building infrastructure have been strengths. Our facilities in general are in great shape. We have attracted some great additions to the administration as well as principals to the schools. We have opportunities to improve our technology available to students and teachers, improve the relationship with our educators within the system by creating the most conducive environment for learning within our schools, improve our communication to parents and the community as well as creating opportunities for all students, college-bound or not.
I find it of the utmost importance that we establish more vocational training and apprentice programs for our non-college-bound students. I would also like to see more importance on educating our students on educational programs available prior to the 9th grade.
What are the outputs that matter most to you? How will you be accountable for them as a school board member?
Providing a safe environment for our students, establishing the best educational opportunities available for students, creating opportunities for our educators to be successful, teacher retention, and preparing our students for life after school....college-bound or not.
I will be available to everyone. I will visit our schools and take steps to improve as a board member. The Indiana State School Board Association hosts many learning opportunities for Board Members and I will gladly share my participation in these with the community.
Finally, why should people in the LPCSC vote for you?
My top priorities are Students, Safety, Education, and Community. I will work tirelessly to make sure we are successful and that La Porte Community Schools will be the envy of the Hoosier State. I will be well informed and prepared for each School Board meeting. It is our duty to make sure all students are safe, educated, and prepared for life after school. I will vote on each and every item on our agenda with this in mind. I would appreciate your vote for the La Porte Community School Board this year.