Yerly: Tweaks can make a good system better

  • By Damon Yerly
  • Tuesday, September 30, 2014 9:38pm
  • Opinion

Many people have asked me why I am running for the school board. Simply because I see a system that needs some minor tweaks to make it even better, and I want to make sure those things happen. I have two sons, one in 1st grade, and one in 2nd. They will be in this system for a long time and they deserve the best experience they can get. Not just my sons, but the sons and daughters of my friends, neighbors and everyone in this community. We must take care of our children, make the most of their years spent in our schools, and do our absolute best to guarantee that when they leave us, they are fully prepared to succeed in whatever they decide to do.

We need to make sure they have plenty of choices when it comes to what they will learn. We can’t rely on teaching them to pass tests, simply to get the best rating we can, and make sure they score high for college. We need to teach them real world skills that they can use, things that will better them for the long haul. Things that the ones who decide not to go to college can use to start out running and have the best chance at great careers. It is a parent’s responsibility to mold their children, and teach them to be better adults, but these children spend almost half their time in the hands of our educators and this means those people also carry some of the burden.

There are some minor changes I would like to see take place over the first year if I am elected. First of course would be the budget being reined in and spending cut back a little. I’m not talking about huge slashes to the budget, I’m talking about minor changes here and there that will add up to a more balanced budget. We can’t keep hoping for big money from the state or the Borough to save us when we come up short. We have an increase in student spending this year, and how we deal with that will have repercussions in the future of our schools. Do we jump in and buy as many shiny new things as possible, or do we try our best to stay within the numbers we have previously managed and bank some of the moneys for future needs?

I would like to see the School Board more involved in the community they represent. I have been asked by a few people, if it is true that the School Board members are not allowed to talk to the public outside of meetings. Whether this is true or not doesn’t matter, the fact that such an idea exists in the minds of the people the board is elected to represent is horrible. If elected, I hope to have a monthly meeting in one of the central communities to sit down with whomever wants, and talk about the issues at hand. This is the only way to truly learn what the people think about the issues and discuss intelligently with them, a plan on how to tackle those issues.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you will take the time to learn how each of us candidates stands on the issues that are important to you and vote for the one you think represents you the best. I would like nothing better than to represent you, and your children in the future of this great school system.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Here’s what I expect of lawmakers in a post-Roe America

I urge lawmakers to codify abortion rights at the state and federal levels.

Opinion: Confusion over ranked choice voting persists

Voter confusion over ballot procedures will continue

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Voices of the Peninsula: A vote for Walker/Drygas is a vote for Alaskans

It’s easy to forget some of the many lost lawsuits, devastating budget cuts and general incompetence that defines Mike Dunleavy’s term as governor

This photo shows a return envelop for 2022 special primary. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Learn how to access your ballot

The recent special primary election was the first time the state conducted an all mail-in ballot election

The Storyknife Writers Retreat in the summer of 2021 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Storyknife: Invest in women writers, read the rewards

Storyknife is committed to providing opportunities to a diversity of writers

Residents line the Sterling Highway in front of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office to oppose Pebble Mine on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: No more delays — finalize protections for Bristol Bay

How many times do we have to say NO to a bad project that would harm Alaskans?

Peter Asmus (Photo provided)
Why Alaska is leading the nation on energy innovation

Alaska is a unique vantage point upon which to review the world’s current energy conundrum

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: On Alaska’s gasline, you can’t schedule opportunity

Alaska has the largest source of stranded conventional gas (no drilling required) in North America

Charlie Pierce stands in his home on Thursday, March 11, 2022, in Sterling, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: When politics get dirty

So, let me step out front and dispel the already debunked false narratives …

Most Read