Dear Editor:

Bruce Dryburgh is my choice for a seat on the school board from District Five. Here are my reasons, though not all-inclusive:

First, he and his wife, Lyn, have been longtime supporters and stalwarts in their involvement and interest in Pagosa schools. He opposes raising your taxes (again) under Amendment 66. He is a fiscal conservative who is prudent with the way your money is spent on schools. He does not support the idea that a new campus, costing you mega-bucks, relates to excellence in education. Recently, he served on our School Study Group, which investigated all of our school infrastructure. He believes that kids could be effectively taught in a tepee, if the teachers and curricula were excellent. He believes in “merit pay” instead of “tenure pay” for all teachers, good and bad. He also believes that just throwing money at education has not been effective in raising educational standards, improving students’ knowledge, ability, or test scores. Dryburgh is further concerned that 52 percent of our students who enter college need remedial education when they get there, in order to keep up with their education at the college level.

Next, he believes that, instead of rubber-stamping the present interim superintendent for that permanent position, the school board should conduct a national search for that position, to assure that we get the most qualified person to run our school system. He is also suspect of the administrator-teacher ratio. Dryburgh believes that we are top-heavy in administrators and light in actual classroom instructors.

Dryburgh is an independent thinker with problem-solving experience as a businessman. He has twenty five years experience in finance, strategic planning, and was vice president of one of the largest companies in North America. Additionally, he has actually taught in classrooms at the collegiate level. His credentials as a corporate attorney for 10 years will be helpful in navigating our school board through our litigious environment of ever increasing and confusing regulations. He does not believe that our curricula should be enslaved to the dictates of the State Department of Education or the National Governors’ Conference, but rather accentuates increased local district control of curriculum and standards.

Finally, Bruce is very concerned about the lack of parental involvement, and apparent apathy on the part of both the school board and parents alike, to fix that problem. Leadership in this area is the only way to get parents involved in their kids’ education. A lions share of his time and effort will be to solve this problem.

Duane Branson

This story was posted on October 24, 2013.