Kristine Pavlik and Erik Sather are running as a team of public-school supporters for the Flagstaff Unified School District School Board.
They are running against dangerous fringe extremists that want to make the Flagstaff School District in their own alt-right reactionary image.
Both Pavlik and Sather want to stop them and serve as board members that are inclusive and promote solutions that will take the district forward and lift the children, educators, and staff up.
A storyteller and filmmaker who works in the Northern Arizona University television division, Mr, Sather wants to utilize these skills “to build connections between students, teachers, and parents” and “to help tell the Flagstaff Public School’s great stories and great victories.”
Mr. Sather graciously took the time to discuss his candidacy for the Flagstaff Unified School District Governing Board.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the voters at least three reasons they should vote for you for the Flagstaff Unified School District Governing board.
“There are two opening positions right now on the Flagstaff Unified School District Governing Board. I’m running with Kristine Pavlik.
The first reason I am running is I’m pro-public education. I think not all of my opponents can say this but I believe in FUSD’s mission. In its mission statement, it commits to providing all students with a high-quality education through diverse pathways, to foster success in college, career, citizenship, and life. I believe in that.
The second reason I am running is I believe that strong public schools really do build strong communities. when you have strong communities that support healthy economies and healthy families, and that provide opportunities for everyone. That’s an important aspect, of why I’m running for the FUSD school district.
The third reason I am running is that I want to represent the F U S D community as a whole, not just a single constituency. I’m truly in this to keep Flagstaff and the surrounding areas around it an amazing place. That is the reason why we all live here. The values of the community are represented in schools and vice versa.
- Please advise what at least three main issues are in the Flagstaff school board race. Please explain.
“Two of the things that the Flagstaff School Board District does is it sets policy and it serves as kind of an appellate board for decisions made by the superintendent and the administration. In this regard, I think we need to discuss the Aggregate Expenditure Limit(AEL).
As a state If we don’t get rid of the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL) soon, FUSD and school districts around the entire state are going to be in a world of trouble, you know, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion if we don’t stop this archaic policy that was put in place many years ago
I don’t think you should be running for public school boards if you’re for universal voucher expansion, It has to stop.
The most important thing we can have in schools right now is well paid highly qualified teachers. We’re seeing a shortage of school of teachers and staff. The really most important thing for school student success is a qualified teacher being in front of that classroom. It’s been proven again and again that the policies that we make like making housing and equity more affordable because the cost of living up here is just through the roof. We can try to work on some of those kinds of things, but I think you have to have your head in the right space to be in this position of just being pro-public education support.”
- Please describe your campaign strategy to reach voters in the Flagstaff School District, including Independents and disaffected Republicans.
“One of the most amazing things that happened along the way was going out and getting signatures and just meeting and talking with people and going to different events and literally walking around neighborhoods and knocking on doors and meeting people and finding out what they believe in about education. And when you talk about education in this way, whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, It’s amazing how strong people are for education and public education in particular. The first thing I ask people is, is like, what’s your number one priority with education? I don’t ask them, are you a Democrat? Are you a Republican? Are you independent? And the answers come back strikingly similar.” We want good schools.
- Is there anything not covered in the first three questions you would like the readers to know about you or your candidacy for the Flagstaff School Board?
“I’ve lived in Flagstaff since 2008. I’m a community member. This is my home. I love this community. When I first thought about getting into this race, it didn’t take me long to make the decision of yes, I’m a strong believer in if you want to keep the community the way that you want it to be, you need to step in and help. That includes things like, you know, when people are suffering from major flooding up here right now in parts of town up here, you go out and you help your community members when you can. And if this is something I can do to help the community members, that’s what I want to do. I want to help find the answers that are going to arise for the FUSD in the next four years. I really do think that is something I can help with. I want to prioritize the most effective and efficient solutions to the challenges that we’re going to come up with and that’s everything from another pandemic to floods, to fires, to climate change to just, pick something out of a hat. There are going to be challenges that I’m not even thinking of coming up in the next four years and the thing I’ll do is follow the data-driven science on this. I’m going to listen to the experts. I’m going to listen to the concerns and I’m going to work tirelessly to promote the strengths of the FUSD.”
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