School Board Chairwoman Melanie Staples seeks re-election May 17th


School Board Chairwoman Melanie Staples Seeks Re-Election May 17th

Melanie Staples, chairman of the Boundary County School District Board of Trustees says she is optimistic about the outcome of the May 17th levy ballot. “We have a great levy committee working on it.”

I asked Melanie where she thought she stood with the voters. “ I have been here al long time, many years, and I hope the voters know I am a person with integrity and I am here for the kids.” Melanie also addressed another issue: “ the perception seems to be that we’re hiding something, not being up front, not being transparent.” Melanie is not bothered by these accusations, saying, “It’s OK, as long as they understand what we [the School District] need.”

What’s needed is “a well rounded education for our students, including all core subject plus other electives and extra curricular activities.”

Addressing specific issues the Board has dealt with during her Chairmanship, Melanie says “we didn’t have a positive turnout [for the March Levy ballot] in Naples or Moyie. That had to do with trying to close those schools. The Board has had to make hard decisions, not decisions we want to make. We spent months working out scenarios trying not to close schools.”

When asked directly about the Board’s policy with respect to rural schools, Melanie responds: “Closing rural schools is not on our agenda at this time. The Board does goals every year – my goals for the school district are still to raise the base pay on classified staff, bring the teachers salary schedule back to where it should be, and add electives to the middle school and high school. The biggest problem is that people think it’s the board’s fault, or the superintendent’s fault, or that we are overstaffed. Federal money and state money keeps getting cut. When it comes to Powerschool, for example, state requirements for reporting have inundated all the secretaries and the District Office.”

Melanie acknowledges the role of the voter: “people’s opinions and the people’s votes are very important, that tells us what to do, the people need to get out and vote.”

Melanie’s final message to the voting public:

“I want people to trust me that I am making good decisions for the youth in our community”