Archive for Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Darlyn Hansen

March 28, 2001

Name: Darlyn Hansen
Age: 50
Address: 520 Laughlin
Occupation: Business owner

What are the top three issues facing the Tonganoxie school district, and how would you address them, if elected?

What I see and hear everywhere is a common theme that is too bright to diminish. That theme is about going back to the basics such as values, virtues and vigilance.

If anyone has ever been in a crowded elevator it is interesting to see the people are very nervous, they are intimidated by the close quarters, sweat breaks out and start feeling desperate to do anything to get off the elevator as fast as they can. Are our students any different than this description when they feel uncomfortable and find no way out, or will they cope through the use of drugs, alcohol and sex.

Fear is intimidating. When you fear you can't do well you don't. We need to allow the teachers to do what they do best and that is teach, not just monitor a classroom due to overcrowding. A great teaching environment will give the student better chances of feeling they are valuable. By requiring the basics we give the student a better chance in the classroom today and prepare them for the classroom of life tomorrow.

How do you believe the school district should address increased pressures on its budget?

We need to look at alternative revenue streams that will work with our existing facilities.

Offer seminars with nationally known speakers, continuing education classes sponsored by KU or KC Art Institute. Research more funding through grants. Offer "stocks" purchased by individuals to fund specific projects. By working this way on a voluntary scale and being tax deductible, the elderly are not penalized for the increased taxes and we are not obligated forever by increasing tax burdens. Provide awards of excellence to teachers and offer an endowed "chair" in their honor.

We need vision and leadership to take old-fashioned values and blend them with today's technology. We have a need for alternative types of education. We will need involvement by everyone in one form or another to teach the basics, set the values and the persistence due vigilance will create. How do we do that? One child, one family and eventually one community will be complimented by the growth and learning of each other. It has been said that one person can make a difference and I believe I am one person who plans to help make a difference.

To succeed we need all the tools we can to be competitive. This would include adjustments in curriculum to reflect the needs to excel in areas of math, science, reading and computer skills. We must also maintain our solid standards of basic education to complement these other areas. We should have "specialists," teachers who teach specific areas, not teach all subjects and rotate them to the classes. One of our most treasured resources, a mind, so precious we cannot afford to waste. If, we will, we can: achieve for all our children as seen by the many projects you have helped put together.

Some short-term Band-Aids to overcrowding is use of temporary trailers for classes. Long-term we should look at using a portion of land we have to place some "pods" for the elementary. We reduce traffic problems, costs are less for this type of project, and provide flexibility to adjust to class sizes. We need a building for the high school campus for music, automotive and trade skills for our students. As consumers we will need people to service what we use. This may be the time to also look at consolidated food service operations and district offices as well.

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