Name: Tyler Akins
Occupation: Operations Manager for a heavy haul trucking company in Des Moines
1. Please introduce yourself and explain why you are running for school board.
I have lived in Baxter much of my life. I attended Baxter Community Schools when I was younger and graduated in 1999. I attended college in Cedar Rapids, and worked in Cedar Rapids, Chicago, and Des Moines, before my wife and I moved our family back to Baxter in 2017.We have two boys currently in elementary school.Hayden (10) is a 5th grader, and Cash (7) is a 1st grader. My wife works for McFarland Clinics in Marshalltown. I am running for school board because of the personal interest I have for our community and school. Quality education for current and future students is important, and I believe that being open minded and focused on the students will help Baxter CSD thrive.
2. What’s the best quality of Baxter schools? What can the district improve on?
One of Baxter’s many positive qualities is the sense of family within the school walls.When our students walk through the doors at Baxter, they know that their teachers genuinely care about them as students, as well as their education and their personal lives.It’s always been this way at Baxter and can continue to be this way with the right people in the right positions. But in order to keep this positive asset in place going forward, we must continue to develop positive and distributed leadership.
3. What challenges do you see in public schools and how do you propose to address them?
With many challenges affecting districts across the country these days, one of the most difficult is that of staff and personnel shortages. In order to reverse this trend, I plan on engaging in conversations with both board members and teachers to make sure we are doing everything we can as a district to attract and, most importantly, retain the best possible teachers for our school.
4. Where would you like to see Baxter grow?
I would like to see the Baxter community and school grow in unison, meaning the town and school continuing to take steps together, making each as strong and successful as it can be. I believe we can achieve this by our city government and school board working closely together to make decisions that will benefit both. Doing this will make Baxter an attractive place for new families to move to, which, in turn, will make our school thrive.
5. What is a parent’s role in the educational system?
Being a parent of two elementary students, I feel that a parent’s role in our educational system is to encourage our students daily. This means working with them at home when they bring a project or homework home, asking them about their day, and keeping in touch with their teacher if there are questions. Keeping a positive environment for them to thrive in and providing positive role models lead to positive and successful students.
6. What other school issues are you most passionate about?
If elected to the Baxter school board, I would want to build a strong relationship with our teachers and fellow board members. This would include working together to understand our budget situation and ensuring our district is financially sound for the future — as well as many other areas.Giving current and future students the best of everything we can offer them is the ultimate goal. As President John F. Kennedy said,” Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” I believe this to be true and am dedicated to upholding the high standards of education that Baxter Community Schools have demonstrated over the years.