Board of Education for District #296 - Stephanie (Morken) Jaster
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 5:14 AM
1.) Please tell us about yourself and why you are running for office.
Stephanie Jaster, 39
Occupation: day care provider
Family: Married with two children
I am a Spring Grove graduate, daughter of Steve and Barb Morken. I am married to John Jaster and have two beautiful children, Jaquelyn and Jordan. I do day care in my home during the week and tend bar on weekends. I am a 4-H leader, Sunday School teacher and assist the school in counting milk caps and collecting labels.
I am running because I feel all children are important and deserve every opportunity that we can give and provide for them. I want the school to maintain its great reputation and be a leader and I feel I can assist with this. Since I have attended board meetings on a regular basis, I see how much it helps to have the community wanting to help its school and I would encourage more to attend. I understand better the programs being introduced to our children and feel better informed.
2.) What are top three priorities that you feel need to be addressed?
1. Working with the rest of the school board members to make appropriate decisions for all our children at all levels. We need to support our children however necessary and find ways to make those ways accessible.
2. Accountability. We need to be examples for children. We need to treat all children with the same respect and dignity that we expect them to treat others with. People need to hear all sides of the issues. The community and parents need to hear and be able to ask questions as needed.
3. As a school board member it is our responsibility to make fiscally sound decisions and still offer the best education to our children.
3.) How do you think the school can bring more technology to classroom learning?
I feel the school board can bring more technology to classroom learning by having computers available in the classrooms to assist teachers. Example: If having a lesson on ocean animals, a teacher can show more real-life examples along with their textbook examples. Teachers can use technology to post assignments, examples for children to look at later. This would assist parents in being involved at home, if they have this access.
4.) How do you think the school can better communicate with the community and parents in a timely fashion?
I have heard it mentioned by a current school board member, and I feel it would be great, if school board meetings were taped and put on our local TV station. This would give more of the community a chance to actually see and hear what is discussed during the board meeting and also the opportunity to see how their elected representatives are doing.
Teachers do, for the most part, communicate very well when parents call with questions. I do feel there should be time allowed for answering e-mails, etc. However, I also feel if children are having difficulties, that it is the teacher's responsibility to notify or update parents also before waiting for conference times.
5.) What short-term (5 years or less) and long-term (more than 5 years) goals would you like to set for the school?
Short-term goals: More computers available in more classrooms. More monitoring of what the children are accessing on the computers and accountability of misuse. Making sure no child is left behind.
Long-term goals: Having the ability to offer more classes and continuing the high ratings we have currently. Get more community involvement in our school.
6.) How do you feel the current school board has been doing?
I feel the current school board has made great strides. We are offering healthier choices in our concession stands. This is a great example of Spring Grove leading the way for other schools. We are great educators and look out for our children's health as well. We are taking a stand by letting kids know that inappropriate behavior and breaking the law is not allowed by raising consequences for these actions. I feel the board has made positive decisions, but like everything else, there is more to be done.