School board candidate Bridget Russell in her own words
Write-in candidate wants to refocus on improving achievement in academics
The Vail Daily is running Q&As with the 11 candidates running for five seats on the Eagle County Schools’ Board of Education. The questionnaires will run in the order that the candidates appear on the ballot. All school directors are voted on at-large in the county election, meaning eligible electors of the school district vote for one candidate from each director district. Ballots will be mailed out Oct. 8.
Name: Bridget Russell
Place of residence: Vail
Length of residence in Eagle County: Part time 20 years, full time 18 months
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Director District: District B write-in candidate (Avon Elementary, Homestake Peak School, Red Sandstone Elementary, Berry Creek Middle School and Battle Mountain High School)
Have you served on any other boards/commissions/councils in Eagle County or otherwise? No.
Tell us about your volunteer experiences, involvement in education and service to the community that you live. How will these experiences enable you to bring value to the board? I will be a volunteer at Red Sandstone Elementary School and parent-teacher organization.
What has been your interaction thus far with Eagle County Schools district? My daughter is a student at Red Sandstone. I have also attended several school board meetings.
What is the value that you will bring to the school board? My career has provided me the opportunity to travel the world and work with people at all levels, creating opportunities and solving problems. I hope to bring this experience to the board to work in a collaborative, productive manner to find solutions to the challenges and offer perspective and ideas on the future of education in Eagle County.
Why do you want to serve on the school board? I want to ensure that Eagle County public schools are serving the public by providing the highest quality education and developing our children and youth into responsible, respectful, caring and well-educated young adults who are well prepared for the next steps in their lives.
What has the current school board done well? And what could it have done better? There seems to have been a shift in focus from education and academic excellence to some predefined social agenda as is being pushed across the country. I would like to see improved transparency and access to information. Parent involvement and input should be welcomed.
If elected, what’s the main thing you’d like to see the school board accomplish throughout your term? Improved achievement in academics across the board. That should always be the focus.
Over the past few years, Eagle County Schools has prioritized equity practices in its classrooms. Do you feel that the district is equally serving the needs of all students? What could it do better to address any achievement gaps between students? This needs to be examined closely. All students should be supported in their educational needs and the focus should be on developing students toward achievement. We need not lower the bar but raise the bar.
What advancements can be made to address staffing challenges within the school district? There is a shortage of teachers across the country. I would want to evaluate and understand the issue — what has been done to date, what worked, what didn’t — in order to formulate a plan to attract and retain teachers in Eagle County.
What specific improvements would you like to see made in the area of student learning/curriculum? Improved achievement in academics, particularly in math and science.