Over the next several weeks, leading up to the April 7 elections for Marshfield Common Council and School Board, Hub City Times will interview the candidates running for those offices so that readers may learn more about who is running and what they stand for. This week we interviewed Marshfield School Board candidate Mark Critelli.
Hub City Times: What in your view is the duty of a school board member?
Mark Critelli: It is the duty of a school board member to act on behalf of the community to oversee and direct in policy and decision making the operations of the district as well as serve as a communication liaison for community members. Board members must also hold accountable and support the work of administration and staff in following through on the direction of the board.
It is important to note that this role is more than a board member’s individual opinions regarding one or two specific issues. Specific issues are important. However, there will be many issues that arise, currently unforeseen, that will need to be acted upon. Therefore, the basis regarding how an individual board member will make decisions in the future needs to be considered by the voters.
Since my initial candidacy six years ago, I have remained committed to making decisions based upon the values of thorough communication, family values and parental inclusion, fiscal responsibility and efficiency, high academic standards, and fair access to programs. Being a quality school board member is more than the thoughts and ideas of the moment but being able to meaningfully engage in the process of bringing our district to a better place for our students than it is today.
I am proud of my accomplishments by following my values in helping the district to continually improve.
HCT: What is the biggest challenge that the school board will face in the near future?
MC: I find this question always difficult to answer because there are many important issues. Certainly the financing of education is always key. I believe the board’s role is to educate the community regarding the stewardship of our resources and direct and support continued excellence in education despite the financial constraints placed upon us.
Nearly all endeavors and entities have financial limitations. Our school district will remain great by being innovative within the resources we are privileged to utilize.
In addition, our staff, not our buildings, educate our youth. I am excited about the further implementation of our staff Professional Development Program.
HCT: As a current school board member, what do you think the board needs to improve on to better serve the community of Marshfield?
MC: The board has recognized the need over the last several years to increase and improve our communication to the public. We have taken significant steps in that direction with the development of a Board Communication Committee. I look forward to further improvements in this area.
Thank you for your past confidence, and I look forward to the possibility of continuing to serve the community in this way.