Name: Ray Hauser
Occupation: Entrepreneur/Real Estate Investor
1. Please introduce yourself and explain why you are running for school board.
Helping children develop and grow in this challenging world has always been a passion of mine, and I believe this starts with our schools. My wife and I both grew up in small towns in the Midwest and as we were starting our own family, Baxter seemed like home to us. The values, safety and strength of this town are what continue to keep us here and what I would work to protect.
As a parent of a 5th and 7th grader and a member of this community, I’m committed to working hard to ensure our students receive the best possible education. I want to contribute by challenging the status quo, supporting our amazing teachers, and advocating for the resources our school needs.
2. What’s the best quality of Baxter schools?
From the moment we moved to this community we heard outstanding reviews about the teachers and staff at the Baxter Community School and we have experienced that first hand as our own kids have moved up the ranks. The close-knit and caring environment is truly unmatched and it is so important to the development of the students.
What can the district improve on?
Teacher recruitment and retention - Retaining our high-quality teachers has been a big challenge at Baxter. To address this, we should provide competitive salaries, professional development opportunities, and supportive working environments.
3. What challenges do you see in public schools and how do you propose to address them?
Funding — Inadequate funding is a continual struggle for any public school and Baxter is no exception. This can lead to a lack of essential resources, outdated learning material, and insufficient teacher salaries. To address this we need to make sure we are knowledgeable about our current funding and stay on top of possible alternative sources of funding that we could be taking advantage of. As an entrepreneur myself, I’m no stranger to endless hours of research and using my negotiation skills in order to grow my businesses.
4. Where would you like to see Baxter grow?
The School - The Baxter Community School is the center of our community and often a driving factor to new families who are thinking about moving to town. It’s important to not just keep the school afloat, but to stay on the cutting edge and be able to compete at a high level. With a variety of schools in the area, we have to provide a top notch education, a variety of extracurriculars and all while being fiscally responsible to ensure our school will be around for our grandkids and beyond.
The Community — I think offering affordable housing and supporting our local businesses is a must. This will help us continue to attract young families to plant roots in our community. More community growth means we can have more of the amenities and conveniences we all want right here at home.
5. What is a parent’s role in the educational system?
We need parents to get involved in order for their children to have the best possible experience at school. I myself have been guilty of not always being as involved as I should be. Over the past couple of years my wife and I have made a concerted effort to invest more time in our kids’ education. That means helping them at home, more frequent communication with the teachers and open discussions with our kids about the importance of their academic success. It’s also important for parents to provide feedback as to what is working and what isn’t. That’s the only way each child’s individual needs will be met and the school can continue to improve.
6. What other school issues are you most passionate about?
Classroom Size - As stated earlier, I fully encourage new families to join our community. But we need to be mindful of keeping class sizes reasonable and maintaining an appropriate student to teacher ratio.