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Meet your Williams Unified School District Governing Board candidates

John Romero, Julia Pearson and Larry Schug are running for two open WUSD Governing Board seats. (Submitted photos)

John Romero, Julia Pearson and Larry Schug are running for two open WUSD Governing Board seats. (Submitted photos)

The Williams-Grand Canyon News conducted a Q &A with the three candidates running for WUSD Governing Board.

Julia Pearson

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Julia Pearson (Submitted photo)

Hello, my name is Julia Pearson, I am a third-generation resident of Williams and have attended Williams schools from kindergarten until graduating from Williams High. I have four children that have or are attending schools in the district.

Why are you running?

Running for a seat on the school board has always been in my sights. I truly care about our community and its members. It is my intention to be the mouthpiece for those citizens that have questions and concerns about our school system.

What past experience makes you qualified for this position?

I have enjoyed many volunteer and work experiences that have provided me with leadership and service opportunities in our community, including within our schools. I have helped coach youth sports and am currently helping to coach middle school cheer. For the last year I have also served as the secretary treasurer for the Williams Volunteer Fire Department. In my work career, I have held management and leadership positions responsible for budgets, performance and customer satisfaction. These work and volunteer opportunities have afforded me necessary skills such as frugality, organization, analytical abilities, compassion and drive.

What is your connection to the district? Do you have children or grandchildren that attend any schools in the district?

I attended Williams Unified School District from kindergarten through high school graduation in 2001, and so did my husband. My eldest daughter is also a WHS graduate. I currently have a son in eighth grade and two additional children that have attended Williams schools and are active in Williams school sports and extra-curricular activities.

What is your No. 1 goal as a board member?

Teacher retention is my number one goal. Students, and adults, need consistency for progress.

Why do you think you are a good candidate for this position?

I am not afraid to speak up and advocate for change when needed, and I work well with others. It’s important to be able to unify within an organization to ensure success.

Do you have any concerns with the current curriculum or classes being taught? If so, what are they and what are your suggestions?

The school has recently adopted a new curriculum. While I haven’t personally noticed any concerns with the material, I have heard on multiple occasions that the time allotted for certain subjects and lessons is too short. I believe modifications to the schedule are needed.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the school district? If elected, how would go about addressing that issue?

Hiring and keeping teachers and staff is a critical concern throughout the district, and it has been for some time. Our teachers we have now are overworked and oftentimes fill in other roles that may take time away from their students. In addition, I would like to see the district hire a grant writer. As a smaller community, I believe we may be missing out on funding that may help bridge the gaps our district is experiencing.

John Romero

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John Romero (Submitted photo)

Hello, my name is John Romero and I have had the privilege to serve as a WUSD #2 Governing Board member for the past 17 months. I was appointed to a vacant seat by Coconino County Schools Superintendent Cheryl Mango-Paget.

I was raised in Seligman, Arizona, where I also graduated from. Having come from a small town and attending a small school, I have the understanding and appreciation for, the dynamics of a small community and small school district. Three of my children are graduates of Williams High School. I currently have another child attending WEMS.

I have always been a person of service and desire to bring leadership to the community. Serving as a school board member fulfills a different way of duties of service to the community, in which my desire is to continue to be on the school board.

My number one goal is to assure that our students and school gets to be an A+ rated school. The current board has changed our curriculum this year to help achieve this goal. So far in the first semester, seeing the students’ academic successes has been exciting. Though this is a small sample size, we as a board and administration is excited on the direction the schools are going.

I feel I am a good candidate to the school board due to my experience as a current board member and my professional work life. With my experiences as a school board member include: to work as a member of a team, how to be open minded, and how to welcome and facilitate critical community conversations. Although at times there may be disagreements, I find value in those disagreements. With disagreements come discussion, with new or old ideas to process. Understanding where the community, staff, and board members' concerns rest is crucial to having the decency and respect for one another to achieve the goal of what is best for our students and staff in our school district. Having the willingness to spend the time required to become informed, to do the homework needed to take part in effective school board governance is my priority.

As a school board member, I will continue to strive for greatness in our schools. Continue to provide the administration and faculty with the tools and resources needed to help move our schools in the right direction is a must. I want WUSD2 to be a career, premiere landing destination for top quality educators and professional staff.

To do this, we need to continue to ensure that our students and staff have a safe and secure environment. The current board has taken measures in which our schools are safer today, than even just a few short years ago. With smart technology, security cameras, remote capable security doors, our schools have and will continue to become more secure. With safety in our schools increasing, students and staff can focus their efforts and energies on their education.

Another key component is that WUSD2 needs to assure the community that we are able to pay our teachers and staff a competitive wage in order to retain their consistency, leadership and experience. Our current staff at WUSD2 is an awesome core group of professionals in which they deserve competitive wages and recognition of their hard work and dedication. Retaining their knowledge and keeping our core group of teachers is vital for our students to have consistency in their curriculum. Our students deserve people who have the desire to educate, who are excited to be a part of our Williams community.

Larry Schug

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Larry Schug (Submitted photo)

Why are you running?

I want to make a difference in the future of our children and their future.

What past experience makes you qualified for this position?

I’m a father, and husband that have three grown adults that are successful.

What is your connection to the district? Do you have children grandchildren that attend any schools in the district?

I’m a taxpayer, and want our taxes to give our community the best for the future generations.

What is your No. 1 goal as a board member?

Make sure we are excelling in reading, writing, math, history and science.

Why do you think you are a good candidate for this position?

I see outside the box, as the children are not all interested in or have the same talents. We need to bring out and accentuate on it.

Do you have any concerns with the current curriculum or classes being taught? If so, what are they and what are your suggestions?

We are failing so many in literature and math. We need to teach life skills as in taxes, insurance, family budgeting, and many more on the job training.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the school district? If elected, how would go about addressing that issue?

Federal, and state mandates that push agendas not in line with what will give our young adults the ability to excel and ready for the world when finishing high school.

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