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Kristi Ohman

Kyrene Elementary School District

EZAZ.org provides voter education and does not endorse candidates.

1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long? 


No 


2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board? 


I am running for Kyrene School Board because I want to be an honest voice for Kyrene kids and truly listen to all parents, teachers, and community members. I am proud to bring a current teacher and parent’s perspective to the Kyrene Board. I want Kyrene to be every parent’s first choice for their child. Kyrene is an amazing district and can reach its highest potential by focusing on education fundamentals, transparency, and accountability for all. The pandemic has left us in a severe academic slump and regression of social skills, work ethic, and behavior. We need to prioritize our Kyrene students and classrooms. The strength of our community relies on our public schools. 


3. Do you support sexual education of children in the classroom? At what age do you believe this is appropriate, and do you believe that a parent should have the opportunity to opt out? 


I absolutely do not support sexual education in the classroom. The only time I think it is appropriate to have sexual education in the classroom is when a nurse or someone who is specialized in this area is the person presenting the content. This content and topic seems appropriate for students at the High School level, however, parents should have the opportunity to opt in or out. One of the main reasons I am running for school board is to bring parent's rights back into Public Education. 


4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives? 


Yes, parents have sole authority in all decisions being made about their children. 


5. What is your position on critical race theory, social-emotional learning, LGBTQ inclusion, and equity issues in the classroom? What do you know of Bloom365 and Corwin Press and what are your opinions? 


Where do I begin? I am 100 percent against CRT, LGBTQ issues, and equity issues being discussed or taught in the classroom. It is so unfortunate that school districts are calling curriculum that includes the above ideals in their "social-emotional" and "equity" curriculum and staff training. The classroom should be a place where the minds of our students can grow as a learner and problem-solver. Yes, the whole child should be taught, however, there should not be a hidden agenda within social-emotional learning materials. Teaching empathy, working cooperatively with others, and respecting all people have a place in the classroom that educators can address organically. We DO NOT need a special curriculum that has hidden agendas to address character education. I am familiar with Corwin Press. These publications and pieces of training that are produced through Corwin are in fact CRT. As a public educator, I was expected to participate in "Equity" training that was facilitated by Corwin Press. I have never felt more uncomfortable in my own skin. The money districts waste on this nonsense can be spent in a million ways that positively affect our students' learning in core subject areas. 


6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform? 


Transparency is a priority for parents, teachers, and the community. I want parents to know what is being taught, where additional resources are coming from, and approval policies are being followed openly and honestly. Everyone wants to hear the truth. Teachers and parents should be working together to provide every student with what they deserve. Parents’ involvement in the classroom should be encouraged and valued, and there needs to be a focus on the fundamentals. I also aim to bring accountability to all. Dialogue should be open, and every voice accounted for. Healthy discussion should be encouraged and not hushed. Everyone should be held to a high standard. The home and classroom need to be connected. Students will learn to value their development, grow confidence, and take responsibility for their actions and learning. A school is only as strong as its community. Strong schools keep property values high, and everyone’s involvement is essential. I will keep monies in the classroom to help keep class sizes low, purchase needed equipment, and make sure students are directly affected. I want Kyrene to be every parent’s first choice for their child because they trust that they are not going to be left out of decisions related to their child. 


7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona? 


While putting CRT, sexualization of children, and taking away parents' rights aside; the biggest issue impacting students in Arizona are the distractions and divisions caused by social media, social trends, and politics in the classroom. What students see and hear on social platforms is impacting their values, attitudes, and behaviors. There is a sense of entitlement that has caused a lack of respect for adults, peers, and our country. While in the classroom, students should be focused on one thing and that is their learning within core subjects. 


8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers? 


I think the state could support public education by getting rid of Common Core. Another step could be to look at what high-achieving states and schools are doing regarding retaining students, standards, curriculum, and other policies and actions that are working. I think it is ok to say, we made some mistakes; let’s research, grow, and make changes to break the cycle we are on. Public schools have been chosen and thrived in the past; we can solve this problem over time. Also, I think the state should fairly compensate teachers that are highly effective and show growth in their student's learning. I am running for Kyrene School Board because I want our parents and teachers to choose our community public school district. Healthy competition is needed to hold all parties accountable. A school or district should always be striving to be the best option for their scholars. With that being said, I do believe in expanding school vouchers. Parents should be able to choose any school that they think best fits their child. 


9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down? 


To fund renovations, I would need to communicate with financial leaders in the district to understand what facilities were initially funded through M&O and those that were funded through the School Facilities Board. By planning and utilizing funds through the School Facilities Board new structures could be built using the funds that they provide through an application and process. Repairs would be easier to fund if they were initially funded through this board. We need to get creative with the budget to renovate schools without overtaxing our communities. 


10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers? 


Most teachers are not there for an outrageous salary. Don’t get me wrong teachers are not compensated fairly and need to be able to earn a livable wage to support a family, however, teachers do not stay or leave due to salary alone. Teachers want to be respected and appreciated. Instead of focusing on salary, what can we do to bring joy back to our classrooms and ignite the passion that teachers have for their students? It really has never been 100 percent about salary. I am speaking for myself and the fellow colleagues I have spoken to. Teachers do not feel supported by the administration and respected by their students. The level of stress they must endure due to the circumstances that are happening inside our classrooms can be overwhelming. Every word and action is being scrutinized. On a final note, I have personal colleagues that have left the profession due to not being able to advance in their careers even though they have the credentials to meet the needs of the position. 


11. Do you support allowing retired military or police officers, who pass background checks, to work or volunteer in our schools to prevent mass shootings? 


I support allowing retired military or police officers, who pass an extensive background check to work or volunteer in our schools. 


12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy. 


I am a proud public educator; however, I am a parent first. I am ready to fight for our Kyrene kids in both capacities. I want Kyrene to be every parent’s and educator’s first choice because they know that there is transparency, high expectations, accountability, and decisions that affect their students are not being decided behind their back.