Board candidate wants to improve climate

Published 10:50 am Thursday, November 3, 2016

An Albert Lea woman running for Albert Lea School Board said the board can unite by sharing responsibilities.

Cynthia Gail, 59, of 1520 Ashley Court said the board can become united by sharing prestige, recognition and decision-making responsibilities.

Cynthia Gail

Cynthia Gail

“Be open to possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity,” she said.

Email newsletter signup

Gail said she thinks the board needs to create a climate of appreciating the uniqueness, direction and proactive nature of other people.

“Good, effective interaction that brings mutually beneficial results to everyone involved, “ she said.

Biggest issues

Gail — an art teacher at United South Central — said the board needs to create sustainability between itself, administration, staff and students to create sustainability.

She said she is concerned about low test scores.

“This is a bigger problem than what we are admitting,” she said.

Gail thinks students need to be provided more of a specific explanation on their scores, and she supports gathering teacher input on why scores are low.

“If you were given a test, 38 percent is failing,” she said, adding that the district needs to evaluate whether students have access to programs that could improve their testing scores.

“These are questions we really need to start looking at and seeing what students have,” she said, adding that the community plays a role in education.

“After elections, come to the meetings with some creative solutions and positive celebration ideas,” Gail said.

Reaching out to constituents

Gail said she would be genuinely courteous, respectful and appreciative to the concerns of constituents.

“Reaching out to constituents by asking the public to seek to thoroughly understand the issues and helping to resolve them in a mutually beneficent way,” she said.

Attracting and retaining teachers

Gail said it is important to realize that teachers are human.

“This quote by Samuel Johnson is a start: ‘There can be no friendship without confidence and no confidence without integrity.’ Hire teachers with integrity,” she said.

Gail thinks character is important when hiring teachers.

“We need to strive for and teach integrity,” she said. “The value we place on ourselves and meaningful commitments, maturity — a balance between courage and consideration.”

Best things in the district

Gail said staff are willing to try to help students achieve success.

“We have students that are enthusiastic about learning,” she said.

Other candidates for three open seats are Neal Skaar, Aaron Phillips, Angie Hanson, Sonjia Hill, Ellen Kehr, Ken Petersen, Kendall Langseth, Joseph Ferguson and incumbent Julie Johnson.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam