Editor’s note: The Observer invited Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education candidates to respond to questionnaires regarding their candidacy and thoughts on issues. Responses were not edited. Newcomer Jessica Tyler is running unopposed in District 5.
Why have you decided to run for the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education? My husband and I moved to Rio Rancho in 2003 because of the strong school district. I have had children in RRPS for the last 18 years and feel I can give back to the district and community by serving in this capacity.
What is the most-pressing issue within Rio Rancho Public Schools? I think staffing of all positions is one of the most critical issues to address at this time.
What are your priorities for the district in the coming year? My main priority is to ensure the district has the support and resources needed to continue to be the best district in the state.
The current makeup of the school board voiced its concerns at an August meeting for more local control. What are your thoughts on that? I know it can be frustrating to not have complete control over the decisions for RRPS. I believe this is something that can be looked at and worked on during the coming years. However, I recognize the oversight of the state and its limits on the power and authority of local boards. I believe it is important that the board has the authority to make the best decisions we can for the students in our community.
What skills do you have to offer and are willing to use on behalf of the organization? I have years of experience in public administration to include policy development, budgets, management, and bringing stakeholders together. Through this experience I have developed strong skills in communication, leadership, networking, time management, and conflict resolution. These skills will be instrumental in serving on the school board.
How can you improve this board of education? I will bring creative and big picture thinking to the board and will work to be a strong member of the team.
Prior to declaring your intentions to run, how often did you attend school board meetings? I have only attended a few meetings in person and watched numerous meetings last year during the pandemic.
What would you like to tell voters —maybe even a promise — that you’ll make happen if elected? I will work hard to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of our community.
What can you do as a board member to help improve student achievement? I can work to ensure that the district has the resources needed to support students in all aspects of their education and provide a variety of programs that engage students. RRPS has the highest graduation rate in the state for districts with the highest populations. I will encourage our district to continue to develop robust vocational programs as well as continue other established programs to try to reach as many students as possible to provide them meaningful learning opportunities. I believe engaging students in their interests and providing them support is key in student achievement.