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April Smith runs for School Board seat F

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 4:17 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - April Smith is running for seat F on the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board. This seat is currently held by Sean Rice.

Smith said she is running because she believes in public education.

“I recently left my real estate career to focus on improving our community in a more tangible way. I believe public education is a partner for parents in our community to build a vibrant and strong community where people want to live and grow their own families in the future,” she said.

Smith is a mother to 10 children, six of whom are in public school. “There is nothing more important to me than an excellent, equitable education.”

She said she feels the most important issue is COVID-19 and the return to in-person schooling. “I feel that everyone that’s running for school board agrees that the return to in-person learning is the most important task that we have at hand, and I believe that the current board believes that also.”

Smith explained that long before COVID, she had it in her heart to run for school board. “I believe that the board and the administration have become quite distracted from their actual role of education by getting heavily involved in special interests and ignoring or deprioritizing the fact that we have a 24 percent proficiency rate in all levels of education in the borough at this time.”

“We’re spending our resources our time and our money training our students and parents regarding diversity politics, identity and race and not developing the tools that the children need to actually learn how to learn,” she said, adding, “We need to take our priorities back on giving children tools to be educated learners instead of constantly trying to teach them how and what to learn.”

“There is nothing more important than local elections, and when you’re voting for a local election, such as the school board, it is going to affect your everyday life, every aspect of your everybody life,” Smith said.

According to Smith, when looking into what the district is spending its time on, “I did not see the time being spent on improving teachers' tools for educating students. I saw the time being spent on educating the teachers on how to think and feel and how to interact with one another. And I feel that we need to just get back to what is actually important, which is building our students' confidence and not necessarily teaching for testing, but giving the students the tools that they need to learn and be able to succeed in a way that can be measured through testing.”

Smith said, “It’s the parent’s job in the borough to teach the children how to think and feel and the ways that they should interact morally and ethically with their neighbors. That is not the job of the school district. The job of the school district is to improve the children’s skills and make that visible through their standardized testing scores, which are quite dismal at this time.”

Smith is running against Greg Kahoe, Sean Rice and Brianna Gray in the municipal elections on October 6th.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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