Last week, Bryce Hoben, Barbara Thompson, Carol Whittaker, and Stacie Ziegenhorn participated in a public forum for Louisa-Muscatine (L&M) school board candidates. They answered questions about what they will do if elected. Two items particularly resonated with listeners, identifying the district’s biggest challenges and “selling” the district to new families.
Regarding challenges, many agreed that improving vocational education represented a priority. As Hoben put it, “I’d like to see kids take more commonsense classes.”
Thompson expanded on his ideas adding, “one thing I would like to see, especially in the high school [is students learning] that there are career paths without a four-year degree.”
On a related note, Whittaker, believed that vocational learning needs to emphasize careers that do not require a college degree while still stressing that students, “need more than a high school education.”
Ziegenhorn shared some of her fellow candidates’ sentiments, but included others, stating, “I’d like more career days so that kids have more goals than just being a teacher,” adding that she wanted more done to address good conduct and vaping.
When “selling” the district, candidates highlighted different aspects of how L&M excels. Ziegenhorn thought, “the small community is definitely a lot better than the big classes . . . I would say that the teachers [here] do care more.”
Whittaker focused on the benefits of the agriculture and industrial technology programs. “I would sell the ag department, which provides kids who are maybe not academically strong an opportunity to really follow a path that isn’t college bound. In our industrial arts program with the 3D printer, I’ve seen kids experiment with things they didn’t know existed before.”
Echoing Ziegenhorn, Thompson praised L&M for its smaller size. “They’re a family. All the kids know each other . . .[and] the small class sizes are good.”
To close out the conversation, “Hoben shared that he would, “like to see L&M grow and continue to do well.”