Candidate Bio (In their own words)
Bonnie Jensen was born in Bethel in 1984 and attended the University of Alaska Anchorage. She lived in Juneau from 1985-2008 and again since 2012. She is currently an accountant with the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game. She has two children in grade school.
Question 1: The school board is working on a new five-year strategic plan for the district. Please identify and explain the importance of two items you will advocate for inclusion in the plan.
I am a firm believer that school should be fun and interesting for students to remain engaged. I will advocate for teachers to focus on individual needs that students require from grades K-12.
This may also require (the Juneau School District) to look at hiring procedures and staff training or workgroups and classroom sizes.
The other item I will advocate for is community involvement, how can we reach out to family or community members to help children succeed?
This may include a larger social media presence, or an app that students, faculty and parents can access. Always taking into consideration the safety of the students and information distributed on those types of open forums.
Question 2: Reading at grade level by the third grade is a key indicator of future success in school. What more should the district do to support early literacy?
Early childhood education is extremely important, including reading at a young age. I believe that this needs to fall on parents and pre-K daycare facilities.
A child entering kindergarten should know what a book is but sadly some do not. Helping a child improve their reading skills can require one-on-one time which the district can ensure is happening for every child regardless of their tested reading ability.
Question 3: With the sizable budget budget reductions the district has faced over the last several years and with more cuts anticipated, is it time to look at consolidation of some schools? Why or why not? What other actions should be considered to mitigate budget cuts?
All options should be weighed, analyzed and discussed amongst the board and cabinet members when being faced with budget cuts.
When I analyze budgets, I look at spending patterns that occurred in previous fiscal years to get a clear picture of future budgetary needs as well.
Question 4: What should be the role of the district in regard to pre-K education?
Since pre-K education is vital, I would like to see the district have more pre-K courses offered but I don’t believe that the current fiscal situation can support that addition since we are cutting budgets.
Question 5: What role can or should the district play in helping to revitalize the Tlingit language?
Currently, the district is helping to revitalize the Tlingit language and they should continue to do so.
Question 6: How can civics education be strengthened in Juneau schools?
Community service might be a good avenue to go down when looking at civics education and increasing the amount of time a student should study U.S. Government.