Monday, May 9, 2011

Six Questions With a Candidate - Dr. Paul Lobby

by Jennifer Willyard
I was lucky enough to email with Dr. Paul Lobby, who is one of the candidates running for ASD School Board Region 1.

Here are 6 questions that I asked of Dr. Lobby, with his unedited answers. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

1- Since there seems to be quite a bit of negativity within the district, what do you feel is going right with ASD at this time?

Answer: The teachers are doing great things with new academic programs. A reading remediation program was initiated by Larry Robb that help bring students up to proficiency more quickly. The fact that the voters seem to be so interested in the election is also very positive. It is overshadowing all the other races including the count commissioners’ race. There seems to be an outpouring of sentiment for change.

2- What are your ideas to improve student performance?

Answer: I was an educator for three years from 1972 to 1975. I will defer to expertise of the educators we employ and make decisions based on their recommendations. There are evidence based studies to show that outcomes can be improved using proven strategies.

3-What is your biggest concern with ASD?

Answer: We are on the verge of financial collapse.

4- What is your perspective of the referendum question that has been placed on the ballot?

Answer: It has received so much publicity that the voters can see that the board is trying to force them to choose between two very unpalatable options. I believe the voters realize that there are more than two choices. Life is not black and white.

5- What do you feel is the primary job of a school board?

Answer: Any elected board is responsible to carry out the wishes of the voters who elected them. The board should not micromanage the operations of the district but make long range, strategic decisions based on the best educational opportunities for the students within the ability of the taxpayers to afford those programs.

6- What attributes, talents and abilities will you bring to our district?

Answer: I am a former educator, a native of Ford City and nearly a life long resident. I place a high value on education and have served on many boards locally, regionally and statewide. Additionally, being self employed for the past 30 years has given me the experience required to deal with business decisions similar to those that the board encounters. My undergraduate training was in mathematics so I am very analytical in my decision making processes.

We look forward to responses to these same six questions that were sent to the other candidates.