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NAME: Darrell Bias
CANDIDATE FOR: Logan County Board of Education
PARTY: Nonpartisan race
HOME CITY: Chapmanville
HOME COUNTY: Logan
EDUCATION: Chapmanville High School; BA (Elementary Education) Marshall University; MA (Elementary Administration) Marshall University.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Retired Educator.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Teacher and Principal at Lake Grade School and Principal at East Chapmanville Grade School.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Logan Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
FAMILY: Wife, Debra; sons, Justin and Gavin; grandchildren, Henry and Daisy.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: As a lifelong educator in the Logan County school system with 38 years as a teacher and principal, I want to use my experience to help our students receive the best education possible. I have attended county board meetings for the last 7 years and feel confident that I have the knowledge to step in and be actively involved in decisions affecting students, educators, parents, and the community. I will work to make the system better for students, teachers, and parents by providing safe facilities, materials, supplies and certified teachers.
1. What should your role be as a member of the Board of Education?
My role as a board member is to work collaboratively with other board members and the superintendent to ensure we develop and approve the vision, mission, policies and goals that will advance the county’s responsibility of educating the students of Logan County.
2. How would you address the dropout issue?
I would work with the superintendent to ensure the schools are identifying at risk students as early as possible. One way to minimize the related absenteeism is by developing a middle school vocational technical program that would increase the students’ desire to learn. This participation will facilitate continuity into the high school vocational technical program.
3. How would you encourage more parental involvement?
I would ask that parents be provided a helpline in which they could call with curriculum concerns. Each school having a parent resource person could act as a liaison with teachers to determine the best way to provide assistance. I would like the district to plan events that would take place across the entire area for parents at each school.
4. How would you increase the rigor of the curriculum to benefit students?
I would first make sure there is a solid foundation of basics in a vertical curriculum which becomes more rigorous at each grade level. The curriculum is like building a house, you must have a solid foundation to build the walls to support the rigor. I would support teachers continuing to build lessons based on real world experiences.
5. What would you do to improve student achievement?
I would like to see quarterly updates on student progress toward increasing academic achievement across all grade levels. This could be done by grade levels or by school but I think we need to stay on top of the progress students are making and not wait for end of the year assessments to get that information.
6. What do you think schools should be doing about drug prevention?
Schools need to be educating our students on the results of drug use. We live in an area where almost everyone is impacted by drugs in some way. We need a meaningful DARE program across all grade levels and work with area drug prevention groups. Students need to see what their lives can be without drug involvement.
7. Do you think schools should do more to prepare students to succeed in community college and apprenticeships, etc.?
We as a school system need to prepare students for life after graduation. This can be done by continuing with the college to provide students opportunities to attend college classes, form a partnership with local businesses to form an apprenticeship program with the vocational technical school and by offering life skills classes to seniors.