Aaron Spratt

Aaron Spratt

Get to know a candidate: Aaron Spratt

He’s seeking a seat on the school board.

Ahead of the Oct. 5 municipal election, the Empire is also partnering with the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse parties nor candidates. Candidate bios and answers to six questions that the league developed will appear online as well as in editions of the Empire. School board candidates Thomas Buzard and Wiljordon V. Sangster did not respond to multiple messages seeking responses to the league’s questionnaire. In cooperation with the Empire and KTOO, the League will hold a virtual candidate forum at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8. This biography and questionnaire is for Juneau School District Board of Education candidate Aaron Spratt.

• Name: Aaron Spratt

• Place of birth: Anderson, Indiana.

• Length of residency in Alaska and Juneau: Since December 2017

• Education: Purdue University (BS), Concordia Theological Seminary (MDiv)

• Occupation: Pastor

Family: Married to Amanda for almost 24 years and we have five sons

• Community service: Member of Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Auxiliary

[Spratt seeks school board seat]

School Board Candidates’ Questions

What interventions do you support to help students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic?

Smaller class sizes provide for better relationships and communications between teachers and students. Smaller class sizes will facilitate faster identification of students who may be falling behind. Of key importance is the reading interventions before third grade. Ensuring early competency of reading, writing, and math ensures future success for students. The current practice of the school district to promote all students in grades K-8, regardless of performance should be changed. Underperforming students should be held back if they fail to meet key educational milestones.

What evidence-based instructional practices used by the district do you believe are most effective? If you would suggest changes, what would they be?

The current system of a teacher/parent partnership in identifying student progression is good. I believe that a timely, flexible and targeted system of intervention is key to ensuring student excellence. A system that quickly identifies and places students in a concentrated 2-3 week learning environment is necessary. We do a disservice to the student if we fail to ensure mastery of skill and concepts.

What role, if any, do you see for pre-K education to help improve student achievement?

I believe that we must first focus on K-12 student mastery and excellence before devoting resources to pre-K students.

What curriculum modifications do you support to integrate an accurate history of Alaskan Native and other minorities’ roles/contributions in/to Alaska in furthering the district’s strategic objectives for achieving equity?

Currently the Juneau School district has a goal and philosophy to ensure an understanding of our country’s history and ideals and its diverse heritage. I am a proponent of unity in a racially diverse community. I am opposed to racially divisive curriculum. There is ambiguity of the term “equity” in this question. If by “equity” you mean equality of opportunity, then I am a strong proponent of equality of opportunity and treatment of all students. I believe the current definition of “equity” by JSD embodies the equality of outcome and not the equality of opportunity, which is a common definition of the term “equity”. While the desire for the same outcome is admirable, we should focus on providing equal resources and opportunities to all students.

What are three strengths of which our District should be proud?

Juneau has great students, great community support and great teachers.

How do you feel your experiences in life have prepared you for this position? Give examples of qualities you possess and ways in which you would use them to serve as a School Board member.

As a product of public education, I am grateful for the many dedicated teachers that poured into my life and demanded my best. The foundation that was formed in K-12 was instrumental in my future educational successes. My understanding of how important a great education is will enable me to lead with competence and conviction. I will be an advocated for parent empowerment in health and educational decisions of their student. My 20-year career in the military enables me to contribute to diverse teamwork environments and to clearly communicate and advocate for educational excellence in our schools.

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