Considine has 33 years experience in education
Brenda Considine is one of three candidates for the Clark County Board of Education’s 2nd District seat being vacated by Scott Hisle. She works for the Department of Education and has been a teacher, principal and district administrator.
W.S.: Tell the readers a few basics about yourself.
B.C.: I am 56 and married to Dan Considine. We have two boys, McCaul and Court Considine, and two grandchildren, Oaklynn and Callahan. I retired from Clark County Public Schools in November of 2019 after working there for 32 years. I currently work for the Kentucky Department of Education as the Title I branch manager. I graduated from Whitesburg High School in Whitesburg, Kentucky in 1982. I attended the University of Kentucky, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education in 1986. In 1991, I received my Master of Library Science from the University of Kentucky. I received my Rank I in Administration, Principal Certification in 1999 from the University of Kentucky. I also received additional certifications from the University of Kentucky for Leadership –Superintendent and Supervisor of Curriculum.
W.S.: What makes you particularly well-qualified to serve on the Board of Education?
B.C. My background in education, from being an elementary teacher, elementary principal, elementary director and the chief academic officer for Clark County Public Schools provided many experiences in the district, as well as both my boys attended and graduated from Clark County Public Schools. I feel that my 32 years in the district serves my qualification.
W.S.: Why do you think you’re the best candidate for the seat?
B.C.: Being a parent while working in the school district allowed me to be involved on both sides — parent and employee. I hope that I could bring some knowledge of what the school system was like when I started teaching there in 1987 and where the school system is going in 2021. I would like to stay involved in a way that could always keep students and teachers as the focus.
W.S.: What are your thoughts on students returning to in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic? When should that happen, and what should be done to make them as safe as possible?
B.C.: Safety is the key to getting students back in school in a face-to-face setting. Looking at multiple data points to determine how and when students could return to school should be discussed at great length. As much as I feel students need to be back in school, we have to determine the safety factor, and I cannot make that decision without looking at Clark County’s data as well as surrounding districts that may have tackled the return to school prior.
W.S.: At a recent meeting, it was announced that the school budget for the current fiscal year is not balanced, in part because it was based on a tax rate that would have brought in 4 percent more revenue than the year before, but the board kept the tax rate the same as last year’s. As a result, severe budget cuts may be necessary. What should be cut to balance the budget, and should the board take the maximum tax rate next fiscal year?
B.C. In determining budget cuts at the district level, student services and personnel should not be considered unless it is the last resort. A district budget is complicated, and looking at the budget may help determine where cuts could be made. The board should always take the maximum tax in order to continue to provide the current level of student services.
W.S.: What are your first and second priorities the school board should address this year?
B.C.: First priority is to develop a plan that will use current data from the county to determine possible school schedules. There are resources that should be used to determine whether or not school can resume safely. The second priority is to balance the budget.
W.S.: Why is public education important to you?
B.C.: I am the product of a public school system in Letcher County. It prepared me for college and my life career in education. If we do not have the best public education system to offer the students of Clark County, we are not doing our job.
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