School Board candidate Rose Pugliese
Hometown: Long Island, N.Y.
Years in the Grand Valley: 2 1/2
Why she’s running: Pugliese said she’s always been interested in education and wanted to be a teacher before deciding to pursue a law degree. She’s running for school board because she plans to have children one day that will go through the District 51 system. She also wants to improve student retention, involve more students in school-to-work programs and encourage girls to get more involved in math and science. “I’d love for a woman auto mechanic to work on my car if that’s what she’s passionate about,” Pugliese said.
On the issues: Pugliese said she’s currently reviewing the district’s budget and “seeing if there are places we can do better.” One area she’d like to leave off the cutting room floor is educational programming.
Pugliese said if the district does have some room to spend money on a student population that is expected to expand within the next five years, she hopes the dollars go to new teachers instead of new schools, at least in the near-term.
Pugliese said she wants to enhance school-to-career programs and encourage classroom instruction that applies information and formulas to real-life situations to help keep kids in school. She also wants to bring in more speakers from the business arena to tell kids what their options are and what kind of education is needed to get a certain job.
Pugliese earned good grades when she was in school, but she wasn’t the best at taking standardized tests. She said Colorado Student Assessment Program tests are valuable in that they measure student growth, but with all the other things going on in kids’ lives, she said one test taken once a year probably isn’t the best indicator of achievements.
No Child Left Behind had a good premise, but it’s hard to implement, Pugliese said. She wonders if catching up some children to their classmates may take time away from other students, and advocated having different tracks for different levels of students.
Pugliese said she’s glad new model content standards proposed by the Colorado Department of Education emphasize theory and application as well as workforce readiness.
“I like that kids aren’t going to be getting credit for just seat time,” she said. “If you show up to work and just sit there you’re going to get fired.”
As for making schools more energy efficient, Pugliese would like to see changes that help save money on energy bills and said often what helps are “pretty simple” fixes.