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Blankenbaker: District needs to be as transparent as possible

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Drew Blankenbaker

Drew Blankenbaker

Drew Blankenbaker.

I’m 34 years old. I hold a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Idaho. I’m a farmer with Lifeline Produce and I’m the parent of two young kids.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your school?

Ensuring that we prioritize the single most important predictor in our students’ success: attracting and retaining the best teachers and educators that we can responsibly afford.

Why is communication with the community important?

Transparency is a prerequisite for confidence, and if we want our community to be confident that their hard earned tax dollars are being spent wisely, then the district’s communication is of utmost concern. Expecting working families to show up for a regular board meeting on a weeknight is not how we’re going to build consensus on what’s best for our students, schools and community. As a trustee, I will work to transform the district’s communication strategy to a community-wide engagement approach.

Why are you the best candidate for school trustee?

Making lasting effective change is hard work and time consuming. My desire and commitment to shaping the future of our community is part of who I am. I have over a decade of experience working with local government. I’ve had the privilege to work in various communities and developed an accomplished ability to bring diverse constituencies together and navigate the often contentious process for agreeing on what’s better for our future. I have a passion for public service and currently serve on both the City of Hamilton’s Board of Adjustments and the Ravalli County Open Lands Board. Making a career out of organizational management and having served as a nonprofit Executive Director, I recognize the challenges our administrators face and understand the difficulty in making the best out of limited resources.

As a farmer, I can admire the dedication and selflessness of our teachers. And as a parent, I can understand how a school district’s priority should be to educate students to the best of its ability. My family chose to live in Hamilton because we see the potential for a vibrant economy and great schools. And I’m going to help realize that potential.


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