Keokuk residents have plenty of options from which to choose when it comes to the Sept. 8 school board election -- 9 candidates are running for the four open seats. Tim Glasscock said he brings a skilled trades background to the race, which he feels is needed given the growing trend of high school graduates going right into the workforce.
Glassock said if elected, he would work to provide more resources to the district's vocational technology program. He would also encourage the administration to talk to the local businesses and industries about what they are looking for from new employees.
"We need to ask them, 'What do you want these students to know when they show up at their door,'" said Glasscock. "And we need to go to SCC and other vocational schools and if we have a student who comes to you to be a welder, an electrician or a carpenter, what basic skills do they need to know? And we need to proceed from there."
Glasscock believes the Keokuk School District provides an excellent, clean, and safe environment for the students to learn. He said extracurricular activities give all students an opportunity to get involved and feel more a part of the district.
He said it's important for the district to have a school board that reflects the community and reflects the various options available to students upon graduation.
"Some are going to college, some are going to trade school, some are going to the service, and some are going straight to work," said Glasscock. "I think the school board should have a background on there that knows what those kids will be faced with when they get into the real world."
Glasscock said two of the biggest challenges tie in together: early literacy and the budget. He said more resources are needed for early literacy programs as standardized testing expands into the elementary schools. But Glasscock insists the money should come from the available funds; he opposes any type of property tax hike.
He said the board should draft a set of goals and make them available to the public.
"The public needs to see that these are the goals the school board set," said Glasscock. "Next year, 'Did we make them or didn't we make them?' That's just a good way for the public to judge... and the public needs to know what the goals are."
More public input sessions are also a priority for Glasscock.