City Council PTA Holds Forum For JPS School Board Candidates

The Jamestown City Council PTA (CCPTA) recently held a Candidate’s Forum where PTA and community members had the opportunity to ask Jamestown Public Schools’ Board of Education candidates questions. There are three seats open for the 2014-15 school year, each for a three-year term. Three candidates returned petitions to run for the 2014-15 Board of Education: Paul Abbott, Shelly Leathers and Tom Pope. Two candidates were in attendance at the forum, one candidate had a prior commitment.

CCPTA President Stacey Micciche and Secretary Joann Dean asked numerous questions of the candidates including: “What do you consider the most significant challenge facing JPS at this time?” and “How important is it to engage parents in the work of the school district? Do you have any ideas about how we can accomplish it better?”

One question given to the candidates was, “Of all of our resources we have, which is most valuable?”

“Our teachers are our most valuable resource,” said Abbott. “They are highly educated and committed to their students. Based on my experience as a parent, JPS teachers try to engage with both parents and students. They work hard to do what is best for students everyday. I wish we could provide everything that they need in every budget, and we, as a Board, do our best to help teachers who are our most valuable resource.”

“Teachers have the greatest impact on our students,” said Leathers. “I know that many teachers spend money out of their own pockets to provide the classroom supplies needed for their students. All of our teachers step up to the plate everyday. So, when we have a difficult budget, I am always going to be looking to see how we can spend our resources to help our most valuable resource, the teachers.”

Love Elementary School teacher Roslyn Sisley-Kazelunas asked the candidates why the Advanced Learning Program was eliminated from this year’s budget. Both candidates explained that every program is valuable but that they have to look at the district as a whole, and not individual programs. They both agreed that every program in the district is valuable, even the ones that are eliminated, however, they hope that the community can step forward in the future and help with special programming, like the Advanced Learning Program.

The JPS 2014-15 budget vote and school board elections will be held Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at Jefferson Middle School, Lincoln Elementary School and Washington Middle School. For more information on where to vote, contact the district clerk at 483-4420.