Veteran Douglas teacher Randy Green wants to focus on issues in coming school board race |

Veteran Douglas teacher Randy Green wants to focus on issues in coming school board race

Merrie Leininger, staff Writer

Randy Green is one step closer to proving his point.

Green, a 23-year veteran teacher of the Douglas County School District, applied for a vacancy on the school board in December 1998, but was turned down in favor of John Raker. Raker must now defend his seat. At the time, the district said its attorney’s opinion of the state statutes was that a teacher could not sit on the school board.

Green’s position then, as it is now, is that existing school board members have just as many conflicts of interest as he would. Green said he could easily abstain during votes on teacher contracts.

There’s no law against a teacher running for the school board. In 1998, Green hired an attorney and began preparing for the court battle that will ensue if he is elected.

Green did very little campaigning before the primary, he said, because he didn’t want to waste other people’s time or money if he was not going to be in the general election.

“Now I’m in the process of shifting gears. I will get some signs up eventually and look for where I could explain my positions to the people who don’t know me. It’s time to do some of the more political things to put myself in a position to win,” Green said.

He said he wants to explain to people he feels he can be a teacher and a school board member at the same time.

“Now that I’m past this hurdle, maybe it’s time for the district and my attorney to talk about what may happen in the next two months. I’d like to be in a position to take the doubt of me serving away before the election takes place. I haven’t talked to the district about it. But, I’d like voters to focus on what I would do in that position and not on the legal ramifications,” Green said.

His students, for one, think that he would make a good school board member.

“People on the school board are not exactly in the schools and Mr. Green would do a really good job for the school,” said Michelle Burchett, a senior in his U.S. government class. “He would be more favorable for teachers, but I think teachers don’t get enough recognition. Teachers have more impact on people’s lives than the school board. I don’t even know who the school board is.”

Natalie Baker is also a senior in his government class.

“He knows what we need in the classrooms and where students are weakest and need help,” Natalie said.

She said Green was setting a good example for his students.

“That’s really cool because he’s doing what he teaches us and he’d be a good person to do that,” Natalie said.

Green said his experiences as a teacher would be an asset to him on the board.

He said he favors a change in the staff evaluation policy to bring more accountability. He said he would like to see a greater emphasis on the discipline program and the alternative education program.

Green said he wants the board to listen to teachers’ concerns about the competency process in order to ensure a “quality product and not just one more failed reform.”

However, Green said he is intent on representing the constituents of Area 4, not just teachers.

“As a teacher, I’d have a lot of input from people of all levels of the district, but that’s important. I think that is what has been some of the problems with the board. Sometimes the board members have expressed astonishment at comments teachers have made. Every board member should hear from the teachers, the parents and the students.”