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Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 9:15 PM

Candidate Profile -- Joe McFadden for Churchill County School Board

Candidate Profile -- Joe McFadden for Churchill County School Board
Joe McFadden

I was born in Glendale, Arizona in 1986. I moved to Fallon in 1998 where I joined Churchill County Middle School. During my high school career, I was involved with JROTC, FFA, Agricultural mechanics, Skills USA, and the swim team. After graduating in 2004, I started a four-year electrical apprentice training with the ABC program while working at McFadden Electric. In the past few years, I have passed the state contractors’ board testing and became a managing member of McFadden Electric. I have three children that attend schools within CCSD. I am very involved in all of their sporting endeavors, as well as coaching and/or assisting whenever possible.

I have multiple friends and family members that teach or work in other positions at CCSD. I feel there is a need for grounded, logical leadership that aligns with Fallon’s values. My goals for the district would be, to make sure every student is given the highest level of education possible, make sure graduating students are given the tools to lead a successful life after school, pursue a strong stance on anti-bullying, discipline policy, and working with parents, community members, teachers and staff to address concerns with the district policies.


Churchill County has been designated a Purple Star school district that shows a commitment to students and families connected to the military. How can the school district build upon that designation?  

With an active-duty population of around 1,100 of which almost 200 are military-connected students, Churchill County has a unique opportunity and honor to serve our military learners and families. Being a child in a military family comes with a large amount of adversity. With the Navy base a huge part of this community and a large portion of the student population, a dedicated focus on these special challenges should continue to be prioritized. The district has made great progress in building a relationship with the military liaisons and base staff. This consorted effort should be continued by building upon our transitioning support, enrollment process, addressing curriculum gaps, and support structure for these students.         


The school district has outsourced food services. Would you be in favor or not in favor if the school board wanted to extend outsourcing for janitorial services and transportation?        

I have a few family members serving in support roles for the district. I believe that outsourcing positions to a company that does not have our community and/or students as their priority is a huge mistake. These crucial district employees that work behind the scenes to assist our students are invaluable assets. Yes, a service company may look good on paper and may save a few dollars the first year or so but will end up raising its rates and not providing the dedicated service our children deserve. Saving a few dollars should not supersede hiring employees with a vested interest in our students and community.

In selecting superintendents during the past 32 years, trustees have selected only one candidate from the local school district. Should the district continue with this trend, or should the district develop administrative talent from within the district who would be qualified to lead the school district and build upon the status quo?            

As with most business models, hiring and promotions should be from within the district and to individuals with a stake in the community and who have a proven record of leadership and actions. Administrative positions should be trained and capable of advancing their roles in the district. This will allow for better consistency with administrative changes and alleviate the roller coaster of administrative styles we have seen in the past.


Would you favor the continuation of the partnership between the school district and Western Nevada College by expanding more programs for high-school-level classes? Please explain.        

Collaborating with the college to provide our students with as many educational and vocational options as possible is a great thing. This brings in another level of resources for our students and further helps the district cater to the student’s individual learning levels and needs. The district's current programs that give the students a jump start into their college career, while still in high school, are a beneficial tool for helping students enter the workforce as successful adults.   


School districts across the state have experienced problems in hiring staff and then keeping them in the rural setting. As a trustee, what would you do to help Human Resources attract more educators and keep them in Churchill County?

Filling a licensed teacher position with an unqualified person is not a sustainable solution to our teacher shortage. This cheats our students from the focused, safe, high-quality education they deserve. As a district, we should be working with interested employees in furthering their training to obtain full licensure. Making sure our administration listens and values the input from staff is imperative as well as supporting the staff in day-to-day operations. Offering competitive wages and benefits also needs to be a high priority.


What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of our current school system?

Our strength is our loving and dedicated staff that serves our children daily. One of our great weaknesses is the overbearing role the state and federal government has in the local school district. Our small rural community is governed by large metropolitan districts, and we are losing our voice in how to operate our local schools in accordance with our communities' values.

What is the one biggest change, issue, or improvement you would like to see occur or would you advocate for during your term on the school board?

One of my main focuses will be to raise parental involvement in their child's education. The importance of asking how your child's day was, helping with homework, or reading with them for 10 minutes at night cannot be overstated. Working to spread awareness in school events, district communications, volunteering opportunities, and classroom involvement are areas I would like to see improvement. As parents, we are our child's greatest advocates/assets and should work tirelessly to get them the greatest education available.

What is your opinion about communication between the board and the staff, visiting schools, and how many opportunities would you have to spend observing and talking to staff at school sites?

I greatly look forward to visiting the schools often and communicating with the staff regarding district concerns, issues as well as achievements. In order to make meaningful and effective policy and district decisions, a trustee needs to be up to date in all matters regarding the district.


How would you proceed if your opinion is different from the rest of the board — would you be willing to stand your ground, build a coalition, or go with the flow?        

A certain level of cooperation with the administration and other trustees is essential for progress in the district. However, I will firmly stand my ground and support the position and opinion of the community that elects me for this position.   


What would your support level be for maintaining or improving the Career and Technical Education programs at the high school and middle school?

The C.T.E. program is near and dear to my heart. As a student of the vocational classroom, member of numerous clubs and groups as well as operating a business of the trades, I live the importance of this educational offering. I am first to realize that a college degree is not for everyone, and a passion for hard work should not be condemned. This program needs the full attention of the district to make sure it is offering the best career and technical training to these young adults that will be the future of our workforce.