Incumbent is sole candidate for School Board's Zone 7
Ken Riedel is running unopposed for Zone 7 position on the Estacada School Board. Riedel is the board's current vice chair and was elected to the group in 2015. He is a mortgage sales manager at U.S. Bank and coaches youth sports in Estacada.
The Estacada News spoke to Riedel about his interest in running for school board, goals for the district and several other topics. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Ken Riedel: I see the school district continuing to move in a better direction, and I want to be a big part of that. We've seen some wins, but we have a ways to go. I want to capitalize on that momentum and continue to help be part of what the Estacada School District becomes in the future.
EN: If re-elected, what do you hope the board accomplishes during your tenure?
Riedel: I hope we continue to drive student growth, communication between the school district and community and development and growth of school district staff. We need to continue to increase the graduation rate. We saw a nice increase next year, and I definitely want to continue to see that grow. We need to continue the utilization of professional learning communities within the buildings and really define what education looks like for every student and focus on individual students through collaborative teacher work. Director of Student Services and Special Education Jason Hobson is looking at building our inclusive practices within the school district and give teachers the opportunity to meet the needs of every student regardless of their level.
EN: Describe an area in which the school district does well, and describe an area where you would like to see improvement.
Riedel: We're moving in a positive direction for achievement and engagement. We need to continue to leverage that and build upon the deep caring that is in our district. With the new leadership in our district, there's a desire to break out of the status quo and provide the best education for every single student.
We see that re-energized vision, and the challenge is how to impart that within the district, and really make it alive. We need to continue to build community connections within the school district (and) keep doing a better job, and always look to engage more effectively.
EN: Estacada High School had a graduation rate of 80.9% last year. How can the district continue to improve graduation rates?
Riedel: We need to continue to focus on professional learning communities with teachers and ensure that the experience is consistent from class to class and student to student. That's a regular deposit into the graduation bank.
EN: How should the school board encourage students to remain engaged with their education?
Riedel: Our job revolves around ensuring that the superintendent is effectively leading his team, to lead the teachers to really drive that education. We need to ensure that the focus is put toward delivering that higher level of education every day. It's very clear that focus is part of our superintendent's daily routine.
EN: What's something else you want voters to know about you?
Riedel: I'm passionate about this community, and I'm entrenched in this community. I chose to be a part of this community, and this is where I want my kids raised. I want to be on the school board to deliver the best we can for the well-being of our students.
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