By DAVE DONLEY
Four of the seven seats on the Anchorage School Board are up for election April 6. Ballots go in the mail on March 15.
Typically, only two and sometimes three seats are elected at a time. All School Board seats are elected city-wide, so whether you live in Girdwood or Birchwood you get to vote for all four seats.
I believe the public schools are the foundation of America’s greatness. We need an excellent public school system to have the educated public that is essential for our democratic-republic’s success. This is a chance to change the left-wing direction of the past 15 years of progressive failing curriculum and unacceptable educational outcomes for our kids.
Many people have been asking who I am voting for? So as a private citizen and not on behalf of the School District or Board these are some of my choices and questions for all candidates.
Judy Norton Eledge – Seat B
I have known Judy for over 20 years, and I am proud to support her. Judy is a veteran teacher and grandmother who now teaches teachers how to better teach reading. She has 40 years of teaching experience in ASD and rural Alaska. Judy is an energetic dynamo who gets things done. We absolutely need to prioritize getting all our students reading by third grade and Judy has the expertise combined with common sense to lead us there. She will support bringing the National Anthem and patriotism back into our schools.
Sami Graham – Seat E
Sami has her Alaska State Certification in teaching, counseling, and school administration. Sami has served as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, and principal. She worked in Title 1 (low-income area) schools, neighborhood schools, optional schools and in the private setting. She has a Master of Science from Long Island University and her Master of Educational Leadership from UAA. Sami also supports bringing patriotism back into our schools. Her experience and knowledge will be a great asset on the School Board.
Elisa Vakalis – Seat G
I have served with current Board President Vakalis for four years and know what a hard worker for our students she is. She has been a bridge between conservatives and liberals on the Board. I supported her for Board President multiple times. She is the only current Board Member running in this election, who voted with me to have the National Anthem played in our schools at least once a month. She has voted with me for budget amendments to reduce non-classroom related administrative overhead.
Some questions all candidates should be able to answer include:
1. Do you support all schools playing the National Anthem at least once a week?
2. Do you support the use of Critical Race Theory to develop Anchorage School District policy?
3. Do you support the construction of two new schools (Inlet View and Abbott Loop) at a cost of over $70 million planned in the current Six Year Capital Plan?
4. Do you support the new Math curriculum (Ready Mathematics), or would you support a return to the more traditional Saxon Math used by some of the highest performing schools in the District?
5. Do you support requiring teachers to use the current elementary reading curriculum?
Please vote like our country and our children’s future depends on it, because it does.
Dave Donley writes as an individual Alaskan and not on behalf of the School Board, ASD, or anyone else.