My turn: Teacher supports Flanagan and Saddler for School Board

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008

I urge voters to vote for Ed Flanagan and Sally Saddler for Juneau School Board in the upcoming October election. There are two open positions on the school board, and I feel that these two candidates are clearly the best choices.

This is my 18th year of teaching in the Juneau School District, and I realize how important the School Board positions are to the students of Juneau.

I have witnessed both Flanagan and Saddler advocating for a balanced approach to education for all of our students for many years now.

Saddler has served on both the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School and Juneau-Douglas High School site counsels for a total of seven years. An active member of Rotary, she has been involved in the Rotary Student Exchange program. She has a daughter, who graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and is in college, and a son, who is a senior at JDHS.

While she has of course advocated for her own children, Saddler has put in a lot of time and effort to help ensure quality education for all students. Saddler served as the school to work coordinator building community, business and school partnerships to help students connect with post secondary opportunities. Saddler also worked for 10 years as a legislative liaison working to enhance community and economic development. I worked with Saddler on the JDHS site council and feel that she is a good team player and would be a great addition to our School Board.

Flanagan has a son attending sixth grade at Dzantik'i Heeni. He spent quite a bit of time as a parent volunteer during his son's time at Auke Bay Elementary. Flanagan is very involved with JDHS as an acting member of the Juneau Workforce Consortium and on the Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE) Academy. He also is serving on the University of Alaska Southeast Construction Technology Advisory Board.

Flanagan has organized an apprenticeship fair by working jointly with the two middle schools, JDHS, UAS and a dozen or so labor unions. This provides eighth grade and high school students the opportunity to examine many different professional careers options. Flanagan has been a strong advocate of vocational and technical education, as well as an advocate for a solid college/work-ready curriculum. Incidentally, Flanagan served the state of Alaska as the commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.

Flanagan works in work force development and the "Helmets to Hardhats" program providing veterans with quality high-skill, high-paying jobs. I have worked with Flanagan over the past two years to improve vocational and technical education opportunities at JDHS and feel he would be a terrific addition to our School Board.

Please join me in voting for Flanagan and Saddler for School Board.

• Craig Mapes is the construction and computer assisted drafting and design teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School.

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