Seth Dawson


Family:

Wife Tina Dawson

Daughter Bailey Dawson, 2013 AHS graduate, junior at MU

Son Spencer Dawson, freshman at AHS

 

Occupation: Senior Account Representative, J.D. Crow & Associates

Organizations/Awards:

Currently:  Committee Chairman Boy Scouts of America Troop 48, Lions Club, member of Aurora United Methodist Church

Formerly:  Rotary Club, Board of Directors Aurora Chamber of Commerce

 

1.      What motivated you to run for the Aurora R-8 Board of Education?

As a proud resident of the Aurora R-8 School District I would be honored to serve on the school board.  I have been very happy with the direction our district has been going under the leadership of our current school board and I am running to do my part to see that we continue in that direction.

 

2.      What are the main roles and responsibilities of a school board?

The main responsibility of a school board member is to be the voice of the districts parents and patrons.  The school board makes policies that sets the standards for schools and also evaluates policies and procedures to ensure schools are giving students the best opportunity possible for educational excellence.   Students should be top priority; there is no room for personal agendas on the school board.

 

3.      What qualities and experiences do you have to bring to the table to serve the patrons of the Aurora R-8 District?

My business background in management along with the experience of serving on different boards in several capacities and involvement in civic organizations gives me a wide base of experiences that can be applied to the school board.  I currently work with clients on a daily basis addressing needs and developing solutions to meet their needs while working within budget constraints.  I am also open minded and can appreciate different viewpoints.  As an active and involved parent of two children, I have met and spoken with many teachers and students giving me a good working knowledge of our school system.

 

4.      What is your vision for education/academics in Aurora, Missouri?

My vision is simple, it is the mission statement of the Aurora R-8 School District – “Our mission is to ensure that all students are successful learners”.

 

5.      What are the top three challenges facing school districts today?

Over time school districts have had to face the challenges of limited financial resources, recruiting and retaining quality educators, behavioral issues and unfunded mandates just to name a few.  Along with these, school districts today face a new set of challenges, in my opinion three of the most important are:

·      Keeping up with technology and implementing changes in technology into curriculum.

·      Providing safe and secure schools for our students and educators.

·      Addressing the needs of transient students.

 

6.      How will you handle controversial decisions as a board member?

As we have seen in recent school board decisions in our area how decisions are handled can severely affect the public’s perception of the school board.  I would first ask myself - is this best for our students?  Next, I would do my due diligence on the issue.  Finally I would make myself available to answer concerns and questions taking care to follow any applicable laws.

  

7.      How would you describe your decision-making thought process?

Critical thinking plays a large role in my decision-making thought process.  It is important to me to have a questioning attitude about information and not just believe because somebody says so. I keep myself open to new ideas and always want to learn as much as possible from all sides involved.  Finally, I have the ability to admit when I’m wrong.

 


8.      Should the board of education be involved with the day to day operations of a school district?

Absolutely not, one of the many responsibilities of the superintendent is to manage the day to day operations of the school district.  The board of education should focus on setting the direction for our school district by the policies and procedures they put in place and provide oversight.  As a policymaking body the school board should not micro-manage however it is important to have a working knowledge of the operational procedures of the district.

 

9.      What are your perceived weaknesses of the Aurora R-8 School District?

Large class sizes are a major issue within our schools.  Even with our outstanding educators students don’t get the attention they need. 

 

The district should have a better idea of how parents want to be involved in their children’s education.  I have heard many people say lack of parental involvement is a problem in our school district, I don’t agree.  I feel all parents are involved in their children’s education and want their children to do well.  The problem is we may not recognize how they are or want to be involved.

 

Just citing my perceived weaknesses in the Aurora R-8 School District is not enough, if elected I will work with the board to provide solutions for these and any other weaknesses in our district.

 

10.      What are your perceived strengths of the Aurora R-8 School District?

The biggest strength of our district is without a doubt our educators.  We are very fortunate to have so many dedicated teachers.  From K-12 for my daughter and K-9 for my son I felt all of their teachers were 100% dedicated to educational excellence for not just my children but all students.

 

Are there any additional comments/concerns you want to address at this time?

One of the many advantages of living in Aurora is the town’s passion and pride towards our schools and the willingness to support our schools and extracurricular activities.  If elected I will bring that same pride and passion to our school board.