Name: Scott Boyes
Family: My wife, Michele and I have a blended family of eight children all who have graduated from Manatee County public schools. In addition, we are enjoying being grandparents to our seven grandchildren.
Bio: I have been a resident of Manatee County for more than 34 years. We attend Westside Christian Church, where I am chair of the Finance Committee.
My first degree is from University of South Florida in business administration. I followed in my dad’s footsteps and became an estate financial planner. When I moved to Bradenton, I placed my then three children into Miller Elementary School. I got involved volunteering and was the SAC chairperson. I was so impressed with teachers and the administration that I decided to become a teacher.
I went back to the University of South Florida and took 24 education classes to become certified in elementary K-6 and special education K-12. For the next seven-and-a-half years, I was a teacher in a special education classroom, fifth grade, fourth grade and second grade classrooms in that order to gain experience.
During that time I received my master’s degree in educational leadership and became an assistant principal for three-and-a-half years at Palma Sola Elementary and Oneco Elementary schools. I then applied for and became the principal of Samoset Elementary School, a Title 1 school for eight years, bringing its grade up from a D to an A.
I was transferred to Palma Sola Elementary School for the next four years, bringing its grade up from a C to an A as well. I was then transferred to Jessie P. Miller Elementary School for the past four-and-a-half years , bringing its grade to a B. Miller was projected to be an A school by the end of this year before the coronavirus hit and testing at the state level was canceled.
I have been a principal in Manatee County for the past 17-and-a-half years. In 2009, I was selected as the Principal of the Year in Manatee County. I retired this year, so that I could run for the school board.
Why are you running for office?
In the past three years, the school board has not been functioning as a cohesive group. Parents and community members do not feel like they have been heard. Having been a parent and then worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal for the past 26-and-a-half years, I believe I can help bring this school board get back to a cohesive working group. In addition it will be very important to elect someone that has this extensive experience in our schools and understands how to help resolve issues to ensure that each and every student and teacher is provided everything they need to be successful in the future.
I am strong in:
- Understanding the functioning of a school and what affects the culture, climate and how different things effect good teaching and learning;
- More than nine years of Title 1 experience;
- Hiring experience with hiring over 50 teaching positions, support positions and county-level administrators;
- I am ESE certified with three years teaching experience;
- Construction knowledge; and
- I have the following characteristics: collaborative, integrity, listener, open-minded, problem solver, emotionally fit, good decision making and am strategic.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities during your term?
- Due to the coronavirus, what will student instruction look like and how will the current scenarios being considered by the district effect teachers and our students learning while at the same time keeping our teachers and students safe from the virus?
- How will the loss of sales tax revenue effect the budget and making sure that every dollar is spent in the classrooms? Budgets are going to need to be tightened, and every dollar spent will need to be scrutinized to make sure it is for the benefit of our students and teachers.
- Another important area to consider working on is our students reading proficiency. Reading is the key to all subject areas. It must be made a greater priority. Just more than 50% of our students are reading proficiently. This is not acceptable.
Training and ensuring that the teachers are teaching the love of reading.
More time spent on reading during the school day.
Allowing teachers to teach with their specific style of teaching with the resources and materials that they feel most comfortable using.
Allowing administrators to create half grades to give students the ability to go back and catch up with reading strategies.
Allowing school administrators to hold back certain students in kindergarten, first and second grades that are lacking the proper reading ability before they get to third grade and must be held back due to state requirements. Third grade is too late to hold a child back.
What is your position on the following:
They serve a purpose for our families to give them more choices.
- The state’s recently expanded voucher-scholarship program
I have mixed feelings on this new law passed. I like the idea that it gives middle-income families the ability to choose a private school while at the same time all schools private, charter or otherwise need to meet the same criteria and testing standards as all public schools do.
Do you feel district leadership is taking the district in the right direction? Why or why not?
Yes and no.
Although reading scores have been going up slowly, I would like to see them rise at a much faster rate. I have a few ideas that I have used that can make this happen.
Also, waiting for the start of school by just one week doesn’t seem to do all that much for helping schools with the start of the next year. I would prefer to wait until after Labor Day for the start of our school year. This would give us time to see what is happening with the virus and determine the best solution for the rest of the year.
Do you feel single-member representation is working well for the school board races?
I have mixed feelings.
School board members should always look at all children in the district when considering what is best for them rather than just in their district.
However, if we had two or more members from each district who help with getting more information from our constituents and more ideas. We also would need to come up with an odd number of board members or a rule that would break a 5-5 tie.
It would also become more costly to the district.
What would you recommend to help Manatee public schools attract the most qualified teachers?
Pay them at or above the pay scale of our surrounding counties.
Give our teachers the ability to communicate thoughts and frustration without the fear of retribution.
Opening up lines of communication by establishing a council made up of teachers, parents and administrators to discuss issues and solutions as they arise.
Developing a culture at all schools that appreciates our teachers and staff.
What’s your position on school impact fees?
It is becoming more and more important with the coronavirus issue. Our tax revenue is going to be decreasing over the next few years. To keep our most qualified teachers in our schools, we need to pay them at least what the surrounding counties are paying them. Using the money from impact fees will help us use other money in the education of our students. Unless we can find the money in other areas of the budget to cut back on, we are going to need the impact fees.
Where do you stand on term limits for school board members?
No question here. There should be a limit placed on all school board members of two terms, which is eight years.