The Edmond Sun

Education

January 28, 2013

Educator runs for Deer Creek school board

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series of profiles of candidates running for Deer Creek Board of Education. Read profiles of Jerrod Roberts and Keri Shipley at www.edmondsun.com.

One school board candidate for the Deer Creek School District Ward No. 3 seat believes there is an important element missing on the Board of Education.

“Our community needs a school board member who is an educator, who understands education at all levels and who can cooperatively work with other board members during critical education-related decisions,” said Tim Laubach, a former science teacher. The other two candidates are Keri Shipley and Jerrod Roberts.

“My extensive background, current involvement and career in education would significantly contribute to the existing school board.”

Laubach holds a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Oklahoma and has worked with large and small school districts across the state of Oklahoma, he said.

“As a parent of a future Deer Creek student, I want to ensure that my child will receive the finest public education possible,” Laubach said. “I believe that the Deer Creek School District is one of the best school districts in the state. The current Deer Creek School Board (along with the students, teachers, administration, parents and other community members) has done an outstanding job over the past several years in maintaining this excellence.”

Laubach said the Deer Creek community needs a school board member who is an educator, who understands education at all levels, and who can cooperatively work with other board members during critical education-related decisions.

“As a former science teacher and current science education professor, I understand the importance of using existing data (facts or evidence) to guide discussion and the decision-making process,” Laubach said. “These data include, but are not limited to, student outcomes, district reports, faculty and staff reviews and community feedback. These data must be used to support any recommendations and/or decisions that impact student achievement.”

Laubach said he believes the passage of the historic 2009 bond issue with 80 percent approval is a testament to the community trust that has been established by the board.

“As a result, school facilities are being renovated and constructed to prepare for the growing district population and for advancement into the largest school classification in the state,” Laubach said. “With the current development of the Deer Creek Performing Arts Center and the recent sanctioning of the Deer Creek Arts Council, the district is well-positioned for the integration of the fine arts in the school curriculum. These additions will assist in the education of the whole child.

“Furthermore, while planning for the long-term, the Deer Creek School District has maintained its exceptional academic performance as determined by the newly implemented A-F School Grading System. Lastly, the district’s coordinated School Health and Wellness Program is a relatively new program that is making a positive impact in the lives of the faculty, staff, students and parents across the district.

Laubach said the board will soon be faced with several difficult decisions that will have an immediate impact on current Deer Creek students as well as on future students.

“The Deer Creek School District is entering into a critical time in their history, which includes the search for a new superintendent, the reevaluation of district-wide safety policies, the short- and long-range planning to prepare for continued growth, and the transition to new state standards and district accountability measures, as well as other significant issues,” Laubach said.

He said he believes the board is ultimately responsible for the judicious management of district resources.

“The Deer Creek community trusted the board by significantly approving a monumental bond issue that will prepare the district for anticipated growth,” Laubach said. “ ... The board has assured that taxes will not be raised above the current 35 mills. However, with the anticipated decrease in state-level funding for this year, the board will be faced with difficult decisions on how to best maximize these decreasing funds without raising taxes and placing additional financial burden on its citizens.”

Laubach said his role as a board member first, and foremost,  is to work cooperatively with the other board members as they form new policies and reexamine existing policies that contribute to the educational welfare of all students in the district.

“As a representative of the district, my role is to be an advocate for students while working with teachers, staff and administration, and the community at-large,” he said, “and I believe my extensive background in education at the PK-12 level and at the higher education level will appreciably complement the current board expertise as the board will be faced with many difficult education-related decisions.”

Laubach has 35 years experience as a student, teacher, workshop facilitator and college professor.

“I understand education,” he said. “It is my career … it is my passion. I have worked and currently work with superintendents, principals, teachers, students and parents from across the state on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) federal- and state-level grant projects.”

Laubach has four years teaching experience in public education and 13 years of teaching experience at the University of Oklahoma and he grew up in an educator’s family.

He and his wife, Kay (Luetkemeyer) Laubach, have a 20-month-old son who is a future Deer Creek Antler.

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