Q&A with the candidates | Bainbridge Island School Board: Sheila Jakubik

Bainbridge Island School Board Member Sheila Jakubik is seeking another term in the Director District 5 position on the school board. She is being challenged by Christina Wakefield.

Name: Sheila Jakubik

Campaign website: none

Education: Master in Teaching; Bachelor in English

Professional experience: Director Bethany Lutheran Preschool; Teacher Woodward Middle School

Public service: Bainbridge Island School Board, President; Parent Teacher Organization Coordinating Council, President; Bainbridge Schools Foundation; Special Education Leadership Committee.

Q&A with Sheila Jakubik

BISD Director District 5

1. How should the recent approval of the new state educational spending plan impact the district’s budgetary planning and expenses?

I am very concerned the new funding model will negatively impact our schools. Our district will receive more funding at the state-level but will lose funding at the local-level, with decreased flexibility on how locally approved dollars are spent. One thing that is clear is there is insufficient money for special education and transportation. It is difficult to plan when we still don’t know what our actual funding will be.

2. Last year’s announcement of the budget crisis caught many people within the community off-guard. How do you intend to ensure that deficit spending will not occur in the future and if it does how will you ensure the district discloses this with transparency to the community?

High-quality teachers have the greatest impact on students’ success. Because of that, in the 2016-17 school year, I supported deficit spending to invest in recruiting and retaining exceptional staff. (BISD was paying less than our neighboring districts.) Additionally, funding is tied to enrollment and last year’s unexpected lower enrollment meant reduced general fund income. I’m dedicated to sustaining the fiscal integrity of taxpayers’ dollars. Improving communication with the community is a priority of mine.

3. Bainbridge has had a concerning series of high-profile incidents of inappropriate relationships between students and teachers or coaches. What is the district’s role and responsibility in ensuring that these boundaries are not breached?

The district’s responsibility is to implement procedures that communicate clear boundaries for staff and provide a way for students, parents, staff and the community to notify administration of concerns. Over the last two years, the district added additional staff training – including coaches – on staff/student boundaries; directed all staff to communicate using school emails and the Remind texting app; and provided a Safe Schools Alert Button so the district can be easily notified of concerns.

4. What are your priorities if elected?

My priorities include:

Retaining and recruiting excellent teachers to positively impact all students’ achievement;

Implementing the Social Emotional Learning initiative started August 2017 which involves training for all staff and learning opportunities for parents and the community;

Exploring operational efficiencies that maintain our excellent programs at all grade levels but result in general fund savings that can be put into the classroom.

5. Complete this sentence: “Voters should vote for me because …”

I understand the history and complexity of the issues facing the district and am committed to provide a high quality education for all 3,800 students in our schools.