Louritt runs for school board in order to help students who aren’t college-bound | RecordCourier.com

Louritt runs for school board in order to help students who aren’t college-bound

by Merrie Leininger

John Louritt is running one of the tightest races in the county this year, but said if he is elected to the school board, he will champion the needs of those students that are not college-bound.

Louritt, 54, a retired South Lake Tahoe police officer, is running for the area 4 seat on the school board against incumbent John Raker and Douglas High School teacher Randy Green. He said his daughter, Karlye, 16, a junior at Douglas High School, has received a “first-class” education in the school district she has attended all her life. He said he worries about those students who may slip through the cracks because they are not college-bound.

“Karlye will be eligible for the millennium scholarship, but not every child goes to college, and what happens to them?” Louritt asked. “I support vocational education, internships and showing as methods to prepare students for career choices. I am in favor of and will help build business-to-school partnerships to foster hands-on work experience for teens.”

Louritt said he taught police science classes at South Tahoe High School for two years and police science at Lake Tahoe Community College for eight years.

He and his wife, Marty, and their daughter moved to Gardnerville 13 years ago. He retired in 1999 from SLTPD after 32 years. While living at the Lake, he coached Pop Warner football, advised the Explorers branch, was appointed to the recreation commission and was a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board.

For about six months, Louritt has been a domestic violence caseworker at Family Support Council.

Now that he is retired, Louritt said he wants to give back to the community and has chosen the school district to focus his efforts.

“I’ve got time to give back. Everybody has put a lot of time into my daughter’s education and done a good job. Now it is time for me to put in time and effort. Maybe I can help somebody else’s kid,” he said.

Louritt said the district’s vocational and occupational education program already in place should be expanded.

“It’s just about finding some source of money or finding a business partner willing to host a program like that. It’s a good program and they’ve got a lot of great ideas, but it needs to be more encompassing,” Louritt said.

He suggested the program needs to add classes on hotel and casino management and police and fire training.

Louritt said he is also concerned with the district’s drop out rate and said he will push for programs to lower that if elected.

“If you have any rate at all, it’s too high,” he said.

Louritt said he will focus on helping students pass the competencies.

“Remediation plays a big part in there. If they keep their eyes on the individual students and help them obtain smaller goals along the way, then they would complete the competencies and be OK,” he said.

Louritt said improving relationships within the district is also very important to him.

“I firmly believe in healthy working relationships and I will dedicate myself to increase respect and dignity for school professionals, parents and students,” he said.

Louritt, using his experience as a caseworker at Family Support Council, understands there is a need for equality to be established between the parties before effective communication can be established.

“We need them to not overstep boundaries and if we have those things, we will have respect and dignity for all the parties,” he said.