Q&A: Camp Verde School Board candidate Helen Freeman
Age: Refused to provide
Years in Arizona: Refused to provide
Years in Camp Verde: 43
Government Elective and Advisory Experience: Have served for 11 1/2 years on the Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board. Before that I was actively involved in site advisory councils at the high school, middle school and elementary school.
Question 1: Why do you want to be on the Camp Verde School Board? Are there any specific issues that caused you to seek this office?
I would like to continue the work we have started within the district to provide a quality education to every student who attends our schools. I have a love for learning and would like our students to also share that love. I would like to help create an environment that develops lifelong learners.
Question 2: What do you like about Camp Verde Unified School District? If elected, what would you like to change?
Camp Verde Unified has some excellent teachers and staff that really care about the students. The Capturing Kids’ Hearts has really helped to create a more caring culture in the schools. I would like the schools to be innovative in how we deliver instruction to be able to meet the needs of all of our students and help them be prepared for whatever they choose to do once they leave our district.
Question 3: If elected, what do you believe would be your greatest responsibility to the district’s students, families, teachers and administration?
The greatest responsibility that a school board has is to make sure that it is fiscally responsible and to hire administrators who can carry out the vision and mission of the district. They also have a responsibility to seek input from students, families, teachers and administration, as well as members of the community when creating that vision and mission.
Question 4: What would be your greatest responsibility to your taxpayers?
See the previous answer. Also, I would want students who graduate from our schools to have learned to be a contributing part of the community in which they live.
Question 5: What do believe are the most important issues facing Camp Verde Unified and how would you deal with those concerns?
Obviously, the most important issue facing Camp Verde Unified is how to deal with the current situation with COVID-19 and its constantly changing parameters. We need to make sure that our teachers have whatever tools and training they need to be able to do what is being asked of them, whether instruction is online, face-to-face, or a mix of the two. We also need to be flexible and allow parents to decide what is best for their children and try to meet those needs. Not all children learn the same way.
Question 6: Over the past year, Camp Verde Unified and other Verde Valley school districts have considered offering an elective course in the Bible. Should Camp Verde Unified offer a class in the Bible?
An elective course means the student chooses whether or not they will enroll in the class. It is not required of all students. If the student interest is there and an appropriate curriculum is used with a competent teacher leading it, and it follows whatever guidelines that are outlined by the state, and the district has funds available, I think the schools should be able to offer classes to meet the students’ interest.
Question 7: Voters in the Clarkdale-Jerome, Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts have approved bonds overrides. Do you believe Camp Verde Unified should consider asking its voters to approve an override to help subsidize the district’s promise to educate the community’s children?
I have to commend our district for its fiscal management in the past few years. They have done a good job in help us provide the best education we can with the funding that we receive. We should only ask for an override if there is a legitimate need and after doing significant research and devising an appropriate plan for spending.
More money does not necessarily equate to better education. Kudos to our teachers and staff for the job that they do no matter what.
Question 8: Do you see a need for a future taxpayer-supported bond issue for Camp Verde Unified? If so, specifically how would those funds be used?
Not at this time. If it looks like our enrollment numbers might significantly increase, perhaps then would be the time to discuss the need for a bond.