Years of residence in Bonner County and Idaho: 7 years
Marital status/family. Are, or were, you a parent of a child in the school district? Married to Peter Zeischegg, five children. I am a parent of two children and stepparent of three. My children were educated in the public school system in northern California.
How can the public contact you?
Education: BA degree from UC Berkeley
Recent or pertinent employment history:
Managed our Chiropractic Office for 12 years currently manage our health and wellness website, DrZ.org.
Any public offices held: Baldy Precinct Republican Committeewoman, State Committeewoman for the Bonner County Republican Central Committee
Nonprofit and service groups or relevant professional organizations to which you belong:
• Past board member of Angels Over Sandpoint
• 6 years on the board of Bonner County Republican Women, in my fifth year as president of that organization
• Member of the Bonner County Local Emergency Planning Committee
• Associate member of Priest Lake Search and Rescue
What particular experiences or skills qualify you to serve on the school board?
Serving on the boards and committees here in Bonner County has given me the experience that is so important in the role of school district trustee. The trustee position requires the ability to work with others, even when there are differences and come to consensus for the best interest of the district. When my children were in grades K through 12 I volunteered on a regular basis in their classrooms and booster clubs, served on the board of the Parent Teacher Organization, and when they were in high school served on the Principal's Advisory Board.
1. Why are you running for trustee? How much time can you devote to board service?
Unfortunately, there is a lot of discord in our community right now, and I am running for Trustee, to help heal that division and bring our district together to create a bright and sustainable future for LPOSD. I work from home running our health and wellness website. My work is part time and I have flexible hours. I plan to devote the time and energy to whatever the office of Trustee requires.
2. How many school board meetings have you attended this past year? How many schools in our district have you visited? Are you involved in other school activities?
I have attended four school board meetings in the past year, and have watched a few of the school board recordings online. I attended a levy presentation by Superintendent Woodward and CFO Lisa Halls this past March. I have visited Farmin Stidwell School as a volunteer for the Ready for Kindergarten program when the Angels Over Sandpoint were helping, and to help with the Back Pack Program.
3. Do you believe the district is doing a good job or poor job in educating students? Why?
Yes, however we can do better. We need additional focus in training and education for those kids that are not college bound. There is a need for training for what will be our local workforce. I've heard from a number of local employers, especially in the manufacturing sector, that are having a difficult time finding employees with even basic skills.
4. Describe the top three to five issues you believe are facing our school district, with your position on these issues.
Education and training that will translate directly to jobs in our local economy, facilities maintenance and management, and better communications between the School District and the voters.
5. Last August, the school district proposed a $55 million plant facility levy to rebuild Sandpoint Middle School, Northside School, most of Washington School, and address district-wide facility and maintenance needs identified as critical. The levy failed, with 65% voting against. Did you vote for or against it, and why? Do you believe the levy was addressing real needs? How should the district fund replacement and repair of schools?
I did vote against the facilities levy. I felt that while there was a need, the needs weren't properly identified nor where the budget estimates accurate. We need to properly diagnose and study the differing issues with each building to determine the proper course of action be it repairs, maintenance or replacement if necessary. Additionally, the measure was run as a levy and should have been run as a bond to reduce the impact on taxpayers in the district. Once proper analysis is complete with industry accurate budget estimates, I would gladly support a construction and maintenance bond to further support our district’s needs.
6. The recent $17 million supplemental instructional levy passed March 14, with 64% voting in favor. Did you vote for or against this levy, and why?
I understand the state does not fully fund education and a supplemental levy is necessary. I support a $15.7 million supplemental levy.
7. To bring down costs, would you support closing rural schools such as Clark Fork, Northside or Southside? Would you support larger class sizes? Would you support saving money on extracurricular activities, including athletics, by charging fees to participate?
While I am for doing the right thing to support the district while saving where we can, it's important to take some time to further study closures. That study needs to include local input as many of our rural schools also function as community hubs. Smaller class sizes in earlier education grades are important however I believe based on the college model that that is an argument for larger class sizes in upper grades. This is something that will require further research. I do not support charging participation fees for extracurricular activities, and if the district was forced into that position no student should be excluded because of financial need.
8. What changes, if any, would you seek in the district's curriculum?
I am not a fan of common core or the SBAC standardized testing. At the same time, I understand the need for standards and testing. There is a new administration at the head of the Federal Department of Education. Before any changes are made and dollars spent, I would like to see where this administration is heading.
9. What do you see as the role of technology in education?
Technology education is important for a large sector of our students. Whether or not a student will enter a technology profession, every student needs to have basic tech skills.
10. What, if anything, should our schools do about teaching values? Should our district teach about family life, sex education, AIDS? How should gay/LBGTQ issues be handled?
Values are something that should be taught in the home. At the same time good values are taught by example by our administrators, teachers, and student leaders. Our district should cover family life, sex education, and AIDS at the appropriate age level, and gay/LBGTQ issues should be covered as part of this coursework.