Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Steve to seek seat on school board

on April 10, 2013 10:30 AM

Doug Steve has announced his candidacy for a seat on the Indiana Area School District Board of Directors.

Steve previously served on the Indiana Area school board from 2007 to 2011. He works as a financial adviser for Good & Associates Inc. and is a lifelong resident of Indiana, having graduated from both Indiana High School and IUP.

He resides in White Township with his wife, Julie, and their two children, ages 3 and 9 months.

“The high academic standards of this district that we are accustomed to in Indiana are deteriorating,” he said in a release. “Class size is up throughout grades K-12 and test scores are down. I believe 22 and 23 students in a kindergarten and first-grade classroom are too many.”

Steve said his top priority is to “develop a responsible and responsive budget that continues to offer the strong curriculum, including language arts and extracurricular programs, encompassing K-12,” he said in a release.

He said he feels the current structure of the committee system is deterring community involvement and full board discussion on topics.

“If you use committees, they should be structured from the top down, meaning the full board should determine what items are sent to committees,” Steve said.

“I would push for the board to adopt the Pennsylvania School Boards Association Code of Ethics, which we did in all four years of my previous tenure,” Steve said. “The main function of a school board is to set policy. It’s not to run the day-to-day operations of the school district. That is why you have a superintendent and administration.”

Steve said his other priorities are to put the resources needed at the elementary level to enhance remedial instruction and gifted programs that are currently critically understaffed. The current board places an importance on elementary programs to strengthen the early childhood grades, but they haven’t followed through with the resources needed to accomplish this, he said.

Secondly, he said, the board must prioritize initiatives, projects and use of resources, working together as a school community.

Thirdly, it must work with businesses and IUP to make sure that students are graduating with the skills necessary to succeed in the next phase of their lives.

“I want to see a well-rounded education for our graduates, not one that is based on teaching to the state-mandated tests,” he said.

“There’s no doubt this district has gotten away from its mission statement of being a premier school district in Pennsylvania,” Steve said. “How do we get back on track? We need to remember what got this district there; making decisions that have the student’s best interest in mind within the framework of a budget.

“Every student. Every day. The promise of public education.” Steve concluded, “is what I will bring back to the school board.”

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