May 08, 2013 10:43 AM
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Why vote for Douglas Steve?

Douglas Steve, a former teacher in the business department at Indiana Area Senior High School, served from 2007 to 2011 on the school board.

He is seeking to return to the board for a four-year term.

“I think it’s my background. I do have an education background, having taught for 10 years, having a financial background the past eight years, in charge of millions of dollars of clients’ money. So I bring that unique perspective of being a previous board member, being an educator, and also being in the financial sector.”

On where to spend or save money:

“You have to look at the resources being used within the classroom. I believe the time has definitely come when students should be allowed to use technology they can bring from home –— iPads, iPhones, Droid phones, tablets, notebooks.”

Steve mentioned Upper St. Clair and Blairsville-Saltsburg as examples of school districts where students can use electronic gadgets during classes.

Other priorities in next two years:

If money was not an issue, Steve said, “I think you look at technology. The implementation of promethium boards throughout the district has been unbelievable the last five or six years. There should be one in every classroom.

“And look at special ed. The junior high has a tremendous facility for special ed, but when those kids advance to the senior high, it’s like they’re being taken down three levels because the rooms are not big enough and the facilities are not what they are at the junior high.

“And I think not all our buildings are ADA accessible. So those are things you look at with unlimited money — the technology, special ed and ADA.”

On academic priorities:

Steve said students in the elementary remediation program RtII receive a half-hour of help each week, but had more time in the program before budget cuts took effect.

He said the students should meet in RtII three or four times a week.

“The other thing is the gifted program.

“Basically, it is at barebones meeting the requirement for the state.

“They used to meet five hours a week in the elementaries, now they’re meeting only two hours a week. You’re spreading everyone so thin because of these cuts.

“It still amazes me how we have senior high students that aren’t reading anywhere near grade level. We need to do a better job of retaining the curriculum, the programs.

“That means language arts and extracurriculars. All that is entailed.

“Up until the last year, the community understood that cuts to the curriculum needed to be made.

“But there’s nowhere to cut anymore.”

On influencing the state of education:

“I think we need to continue to challenge kids with courses, and you need to have a strong gifted program for those that need the extra challenge.

“These are not just regular courses. I think we have too many students who are put in levels of various programs of study that are easy for them.

“I think we need to do a better job of challenging the kids once they get to the junior and senior high. And it all goes back to the curriculum and the courses of study with that.”

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