Contributed by Emery Schramm
My name is Emery Schramm. I would like to introduce myself and request campaign support in the hopes to become the next Mat-Su School Board representative for District 6. At age 7, my family and I moved to Palmer, Alaska. I attended Pioneer Peak Elementary School, Colony Middle School and graduated from Colony High School in the top 10% of my class. After graduation, I entered the Civil Engineering Program at UAA. I attended classes at the Mat-Su College campus and the UAA campus. During high school, I was part of the swimming and diving team, Girl Scouts and 4H. I went to state for diving, achieved my Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards and won several grand, reserve and blue ribbons for my 4H entries and competitions ranging from handmade crafts to livestock and shows. I volunteered as a teacher/librarian aid at Pioneer Peak Elementary School and Palmer High School and a Vacation Bible School teacher and helper at my church congregation during my first years of college. I was also a diving coach at West High School.
I entered the workforce as a barista during the same time I was volunteering. In spring 2007, I interviewed and accepted a seasonal position at R&M Consultants, which is my current employer. Since 2007, I have earned a full-time position and am now an engineering technician. I have obtained several certifications and am continuously training to grow my skills and value the company. My office engineering duties include obtaining and organizing documentation for payment of projects, ensuring environmental documentation is complete, emailing for and organizing meetings. As a special inspector, I ensure buildings are built to specification and approved plans and testing soil, aggregate, concrete and asphalt to ensure project specifications are met. I also conduct grade inspections of projects and document the progress of the project. I have worked on roads, bridges and buildings and have helped build Alaska’s future through construction, and I want to help build Alaska’s future through our children as well.
My wonderful husband and I celebrated our 7th anniversary in January. We hold conservative values and are registered Republicans. Our children are becoming school-aged, and I want to ensure the taxes we pay will benefit them. It frustrates me when my hard earned money that I pay to the government is not used wisely.
A budget is an approved plan to ensure funds are used for known functions and to stay within that approved budget. I would ensure the budget has wise funding, as well as to benefit the students. Absolute necessities have to be met before wants are funded. Efficiencies need to be found and used, i.e. private contracts and sharing services with other borough departments. Money has to be used wisely and has to benefit the students, meaning the money needs to go towards the classroom. Saving money is important for unexpected repairs or when a school does come to the point that a replacement or remodel is needed.
Money in the budget needs to be used as it is intended. For example, the maintenance and operations budget needs to be used for maintenance and operations. If not all the money is used, it needs to be saved for emergency purposes. Bonds should never be for budgeted normal maintenance and operations. The district has to stay within its means. I would vote against new taxes. Throwing more money into the budget will not help the situation. Alaska pays close to the most money per child and yet ranks at the bottom for U.S. schools.
The ratio of teachers to students needs to increase. This will reduce the class sizes and allow more efficient teaching. The number of administrations needs to be reduced to an efficient level to allow more teachers to be hired. Counselors are important, but we need to use them efficiently. One school may need fewer counselors than another. A solution is to make counselors go to where the crisis is.
Students need to be taught facts and not opinions, which allows for students to develop their own opinions based on facts. Teachers need to be reprimanded for pushing their personal agendas. This includes the current bathroom situation. Children are at school to learn facts and not be part of a social experiment. Biology determines if you are a boy or a girl, and not politics or mental health. Standards need to be based on national tests so students can be ready for the next grade, graduation or life after high school. This will help determine if a teacher is performing. Teachers need to be evaluated based on the performance of the students.
Thank you for your time and I hope to have your support. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com or on Facebook at EmerySchramm4SchoolBoard.
Emery Schramm, MatSu School Board, District 6 Candidate