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Missoulian Profiles

Candidates involved in contested races in the Missoula County Public Schools District, Frenchtown, Clinton and DeSmet school districts were asked to fill out a Missoulian questionnaire asking them for personal information, what they see as the three greatest concerns facing their school district, why they wanted to serve on the school board and what experience would help them if elected. Candidates running uncontested for MCPS high school seats were also invited to submit information.

Joyce Easter

Occupation: Mathematics/English teacher, St. Ignatius High School

Time in district: 12 years

Concerns: "Exploration and implementation of alternative strategies of learning including the alternative high school, independent studies, vocational education and programs such as Jobs for Montana Graduates."

"Concern about state funding and how to preserve and enhance our curriculum."

"Concern about how our board can work together effectively and efficiently."

Reason for wanting to serve on the school board: "Now that I have been trained to be a school board member, I have a strong sense of commitment and want to give back to my community."

Experience: Easter has served on the MCPS Board for the past three years. She is a teacher and "has a strong belief and faith in public schools" and believes her education can aid her "impact" on the MCPS Board."

Jim Sadler

Occupation: Governmental affairs consultant

Age: 58

Time in district: 32 years

Concerns: "Number of high school students that for whatever reasons are not graduating from school."

"Class size."

"With the cuts that are going to be mandated, the curriculum is going to have to be examined with economies sought in changes in the delivery."

Reason for wanting to serve on the school board: "I believe the next few years are going to be critical for the high schools. With the financial stresses that the high schools are going to be under, the students are going to need an advocate. I decided to volunteer again for three years to lend whatever help I can. I feel my experience over the past five years will give me the insight needed to seek solutions to problems the schools are facing."

Experience: Sadler holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law and master's of social work degree from Portland State University in Public Administration. He has served five years on the MCPS Board and served as a negotiator on two interest based bargaining teams representing the board. "My consulting work with the United States government puts me directly in contact with agencies that are facing similar problems as the schools. I believe my public sector experience, my long ties to the community, my five years served on the board and my past work for the students qualify me to be on the board." He lists his accomplishments as "passing of the high school bond, inclusion of the stadium on the bond, the adoption of the drop out rate reduction policy, the inclusion of assessment of all students as a board goal, supporting the building of the elementary kitchen, and constant drawing attention to the needs of students at risk."

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