Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2017

Broz: Experience in solving problems

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 31, 2017
Broz

The following are the responses of candidate Frank Broz, who is competing for one of three four-year terms on the Fairfield Community School District’s board of directors. The election is Sept. 12.

 

1. Please briefly explain what prompted you to run for a seat on the Fairfield Community School District’s board of directors.

I am a strong believer in public education, and my family has always been very connected to this district.

My parents, Bill and Virginia Broz were teachers in this district for many years, and I went to school here myself and loved it. My mother-in-law, Sharon Leach, taught in this district for many years also.

My son will be turning 3 this November, and he will start school during the coming term, so that really motivates me to help make the school system the best it can be. The community is very involved and energized to participate in district decisions right now, which makes this a very exciting time to run.

 

2. What do you think the current board is doing right? Are there any areas that you think the board could improve upon?

I think the current board would tell you there are always improvements to be made in every area of the district. One of the biggest strengths of the district, among teachers, administrators, and the board, is a drive for continual improvement.

I think the current board has been very transparent and open to public comments, which is crucial. In this coming term, everyone will need to work together to navigate the changing state laws that are acutely affecting rural schools. Declining enrollment has been an issue for decades, but the current direction from the statehouse intensifies that impact on our district. Responding to the funding cuts will be a huge challenge in the next four years.

3. If elected to the school board, what assets would you bring to the table? Please talk about both your professional and personal experiences.

As a student at FCSD, I was lucky to participate in a very wide range of academics and extracurriculars, so I really believe in the massive impact that a broad K-12 education can have on a person. After graduating from FHS, I got a computer science degree from the University of Iowa.

I worked in the technology department of the university for 3.5 years, where I gained a good understanding of technology in education. I spent two summers during college as an intern at Apple in the hardware engineering department, and after graduation I moved to California to work at Apple for about 10 years.

My wife and I started an online business during that time, and by 2013, we were ready to move back to Fairfield and work on it full time. Last year, we opened a storefront in Fairfield to compliment our online store, which was an exciting challenge. Starting a business means solving whatever problems arise, so I’ve had lots of practice with that in the past 10 years, which I think will be an asset to the district.

 

4. What is your stance on the latest hot button issues, such as grade alike, Libertyville Elementary School closing etc.?

The most pressing issue for the district in my opinion is finding a collaborative path forward that channels all the passionate energy we’ve seen from the community and using it to find solutions together. Many districts don’t have the benefit of such engagement and participation from the people they serve.

To take the closure of Libertyville Elementary as one example: when budget cuts are required to keep the district from breaking the law, we should present the strongest possible case for every expense. I’m grateful for the strong advocates for Libertyville, I went there myself from first through fifth grade, and it was excellent.

When I think of my time there, I feel the strongest about my teachers at Libertyville, and I personally appreciate that the district arrived at a solution that retained all of Libertyville’s staff.

5. What unique thing or things about you helps to distinguish you from your peers?

I don’t think I’m terribly different from my peers. There is a pervasive culture of service-minded people here volunteering though clubs, groups, and municipal positions that help make improvements all over our community as well as keeping things running behind the scenes.

I serve as the vice chair of the Jefferson County Trails Council, and through that organization, I have met many people who work hard to give back to the community. As an owner of a store off the square in Fairfield, I also get to see the support that people give to local businesses, which is very inspiring as well.

Investing now in a strong school system will not just immediately benefit the students going to school, but will reap rewards for decades that benefit the entire community. I would be very grateful to be a part of that.

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