School board candidate Kyla Sink in her own words
Candidate wants to prioritize Pre-K and early intervention
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: Kyla Sink
Place of residence: West Vail
Length of residence in Eagle County: 26 years
Director District: District B (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, but I do consider myself a community activist and have been involved as a volunteer in numerous activities and events in the Eagle/Vail area for over 20 years.
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 have 10 years of experience as a weekly classroom volunteer. I have chaperoned numerous field trips, helped the teachers with clerical work and I have helped with school fundraising events. I am also proud of my community volunteer work, which over the years has resulted in a variety of causes. Being so closely involved in the daily classroom experience as a volunteer and working closely with our teachers are all valuable perspectives I intend to bring to my service as a school board member.
What has been your interaction thus far with Eagle County School district? In addition to years of classroom volunteer work, I’ve been attending school board meetings, reading school budgets and reading everything I can lay my hands on.
What is the value that you will bring to the school board? First, as a parent of children that have, and are, attending school in Eagle County. Second, as someone who understands and appreciates all sides of an issue and is willing to take whatever time and effort necessary towards making sure the best possible solution is reached.
Why do you want to serve on the school board? I was raised to always strive for excellence and never settle for anything less. I want to make sure the teaching of our children, and the professional teachers charged with that responsibility, are always striving for excellence. I want the Eagle County School District to be the best district in the state of Colorado.
What has the current school board done well? And what could it have done better? I applaud our school board and the hard work they’ve done facing all the challenges over the last 18 months. However, I do think the perspective from the parent constituency has not received the attention it should have. I hope to bring a better balance among all perspectives and constituencies.
If elected, what’s the main thing you’d like to see the school board accomplish throughout your term? Pre-Kindergarten along with early intervention have to be much higher priorities. I want Pre-K to be a foundation, not a program. And I want early recognition of learning disabilities to result in our students being integrated into the daily classroom, not separated from it.
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? Children entering school for the first time do not enter with the same level of knowledge. The best thing we can do for equity in educational opportunities is to make sure every child entering kindergarten has the same learning and knowledge level possible. That is why re-prioritizing early learning and identifying learning disabilities as early as possible are the best equity in education initiatives we can accomplish.
What advancements can be made to address staffing challenges within the school district? Incentives. College graduates once interested in a teaching career see better salaries and opportunities in other fields and career paths. When we as a state value our teachers as a vital part of society, we will see the caliber of teachers rise exponentially. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is in the hands of our state legislature and Governor.
What specific improvements would you like to see made in the area of student learning/curriculum?
Equipping our kids with the tools to succeed. As mentioned previously, we need to shift our priority to early learning and intervention in the K-12 system.