Former Portage Northern Teacher Running as a Write-in for the Board of Education Liam Fagan

Photo Courtesy of vadisabilitygroup.com

On November 3rd, People in Portage will vote to fill 4 open spots on the PPS Board of Education. There are 6 candidates on the official ballot, but former Portage Northern teacher Derek Dee wants the people of Portage to know those aren’t the only options they have.

Dee first decided to run after he learned how the current Board was managing the current COVID-19 crisis. “I continually had the feeling that the decisions being made often didn't seem realistic with the classroom sizes and number of children we have in the building. That led me to start thinking about what it would be like to be on the BOE…” said Dee. He realized that he wanted to be back in the world of education and that the Board would be a good use of his skills.

Photo courtesy of ktvz.com

Dee’s main grievance with the current Board was their handling of the COVID pandemic. He has his own ideas as to how the pandemic should be handled in Portage Schools. “I would like to give more choices for different families to decide how they are most comfortable to be educated in the midst of Covid. I think the model used at the elementary level could have been used district wide, but I believe it needs limitations,” said Dee. At the elementary level, families have the option to put their children into school, or keep them at home, engaging in virtual learning. Dee not only had thoughts on in-person learning but virtual learning as well. “I think that the online content could have been run by groups of teachers at grade levels or class levels… So, while it could have been 2 or 3 teachers responsible for delivering online content for a single subject/class, teachers themselves would have similarly sized classes.”

Dee knows that his plan has its own limitations, but he believes it is a better option than the current system. Dee’s ultimate goalie to be prepared for a return to in-person learning. “The whole plan should have been implemented with the ultimate goal to be to get all students back in class, and the transition already prepared.”

Students gathered together in the building, something Dee hopes we can safely return to. Photo Courtesy Amanda Thorpe

Besides the COVID-19 crisis, Dee believes he would be well suited to serve on the board in a more general capacity as well. “ ...I have 18 years of teaching experience along with an undergraduate and graduate degree in education. Additionally, my legal education and experience will be a great asset to the board. Finally, my integrity and work ethic will serve the community in a tireless capacity to make sure education in the city of Portage continues to be successful and accessible to all.” Dee believes that he is an excellent option to serve the people of Portage. While he may not be on the ballot, Dee has many reasons why he feels people should write his name down on their ballots, “People should vote for me because I know about education from inside the classroom, and the decisions I make on the board will be supported by that experience. I will look out for students, teachers, and the community when I am casting votes.”