Candidate: Rob Carpentier
Address: 1004 Oak St., Farmington
Family: Married, three children
Qualifications: I have been in education for almost 20 years. I have been a teacher that entire time but have also operated in administrative capacities. I have a legal background with specific expertise in collective bargaining. My position as a coach at the high school the past three-plus years has helped me understand the community as well as the needs and desires of the city. My teaching experience, administrative experience and collective bargaining experience have given me a unique perspective on the relationships that help school districts run smoothly and promote positive relationships among teachers, parents administrators and board.
1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you?
We are at a significant crossroads. The school districts to our north and west are experiencing serious financial difficulties that have led those to teacher and staff layoffs. I feel I am best positioned among the candidates to recognize the issues that hit those districts as well as the specific issues unique to ISD 192 and how those issues intertwine and affect each other. The communities of the district are also well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the population growth in the district. That includes a formal working partnership between the district and its various community governments.
2) What educational programs should the district do more of? What programs should the do less of?
Our district’s teachers are among the best in the state. Teachers are the curricular experts we trust to educate our children. As such, it would be difficult for me to definitively answer this without speaking to the teachers, administrators, such as the district’s curriculum director, parents and students. If the community entrusts me with the responsibility of being a board member then they have my assurance that I will never fail to realize that I am their public servant. Any educational program should have the students at the heart of its creation and implementation.
3) Considering the district is looking to “individualize” education with the use of technology, is class size going to become a less important issue than it is now? Explain your answer.
Individualized education and the accompanying use of technology to accomplish that goal are vitally important. I have seen the benefits of these initiatives in classrooms. However, studies show the student/teacher relationship is the most important factor in the relative success of students. Increasing class sizes means a teacher has less time to develop relationships at a significant level. If the state’s economic woes, and by extension, our district’s, continue, then we will be left with some hard staffing choices in the near future. Class-size caps must be protected as much as possible at all levels, not just elementary.
4) Do you have any specific changes you want to make in school district policies, programs, or the various school curricula being offered? Explain your answer.
Our teachers are wonderful educators and innovators. What they do in their various buildings deserves our respect and our trust. While I am prepared to face any curricular issue that may come across the board’s docket, I prefer to focus my candidacy on the outward growth of the district. I am prepared to effectively answer questions around the district’s financial health, the growth of the district, how to retain our best teachers, ensure reasonable class sizes and how to promote necessary partnerships between the district and our feeder communities.