Delmar Events
Thursday, May 4th, 2000
Board candidates talk about issues
By April Durham
Delmar School Board elections will be Saturday, May 13, in the Delmar High School cafeteria from noon to 9 p.m. Two candidates are running for the one open seat. Following are profiles of each man:
David Hudson, 48, has lived in Delmar for most of his life. Born in Laurel, he lived with his parents in that town until he was 5, when his family moved to Delmar. After graduating from Delmar High School in 1969, he attended Harding University in Searcy, Ark., where he completed a bachelor of arts degree in education in 1973. After graduating he went to work as a supervisor at the Coca Cola plant in Salisbury. He worked there for six years before leaving to start a floor covering business, Dave's Floor Covering Inc. in Delmar, which he still operates.
Hudson has served on the board of directors for School Board Association and on the board of Delmar Little League. He was president of the Kiwanis Club for three years and is still an active part of the club. He attends the Laurel Church of Christ, where he teaches classes and does some occasionally preaching. He is seeking his second term on the board.
Hudson and his wife Norma reside in Delmar with their three children, David Jr., 21, Daniel, 14, and Paul, 12.
Following are Hudson's answers to question that were asked of both school board candidates:
• Question - Why did you decide to seek reelection?
Answer - I was in Dover last night attending a legislative meeting. I feel honored being a voice for Delmar in Dover and I hope that I can be a stronger voice. The longer you stay on the board the more influence you have in Dover because they know you. You know the people more. I think I'm getting to a point now that I'm getting to know more of the people and I can be more of a influence in helping our district.
• Question - Did anyone encourage you to to run?
Answer - My mother was on the school board for 30 years. I was interested in the school board but would never run because she was on it. She spoke to me about it and I thought that this would be one way with a little bit of an educational background and a real love for kids and education, a real quality thing I could do.
• Question - Do you have any relatives working for the school board district?
Answer - No.
• Question - What do you see as the most important issue concerning the Delmar School District?
Answer - To see that we are preparing every child to live a productive life. Sometimes that's tough and that becomes a real problem, but I think we as a school need to be able to prepare these kids, not always for college but for a productive life. There's a lot of jobs out there and a lot of things that kids can do to live a happy productive life and be a real asset to the community without going to college. I love to see our kids excel on the high end but I don't want to forget any kid as far as trying to educate them to be able to do something productive. I don't think you need a college degree to be a productive person in this society. There's too many trades out there. Even a two-year college or a one-year apprenticeship. I think schools need to take more of an active part in helping these kids find out what they want to do in life, instead of saying, "Do you want to go to college or do you not?"
• Question - Are there any other issues that you feel should be addressed?
Answer - We always need to keep a safe environment in our school. We need to keep an educational environment where all kids can learn. As long as we continue to develop our staff and our administrative groups I think that we can continue to get better. I'm always proud when I go upstate because Delmar does have a good reputation in the state. I want to help be a part of that continuing high quality education that we can give kids in Delmar.
• Question - What kind of job do you feel the Delmar School District is doing now? (Rate it A, B, C, D, or F.)
Answer - B. I think we always have room for improvement. Only Mary Poppins is perfect in every way. I think that we have some places that we need to work on but I don't think there's areas where they can't be developed.
• Question - What are some issues that you would like to address if you are reelected?
Answer - A, I would like to see us get through a new school that we can be proud of and eventually start lowering that tax rate for the Delmar citizens that have supported us. There's a lot of conflicts along the way in that big of a project, a $19 million project, but I'd like to see us get through that and the community be proud of our roots but also what we've been able to accomplish because of the taxpayers in Delmar who are willing to go the extra mile for our kids.
B, through the DSBA we're trying to cooperate with some other larger groups that can lobby for quicker change or to stop some bills that aren't good bills for the children of Delaware. I'm anxious to be involved in that through DSBA. I think that may be one of the things that we can see in the future.
Dave Burton, 31, has lived in Delmar all of his life. After graduating from Delmar High School in 1987, he attended the University of Delaware, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1991. After receiving his degree he went to work for Conectiv as a mechanical engineer at the Edgemoore Plant in Wilmington.
In 1999 he graduated from the University of Delaware with a master's in business administration. In
1998 Burton transferred from Conectiv's Edgemoore plant to the plant in Millsboro, where he is the financial and administrative supervisor. This past February Burton received his professional engineer license from the state.
Burton has been in the Delmar Lions Club for two years. He is the club's vice president and was recently elected as the club's 2000-2001 president. He will start his term this June.
Burton resides in Delmar with his parents, David and Joyce Burton. This would be his first term on the board.
Following are Hudson's answers to question that were asked of both school board candidates:
• Question - Why did you decide to run for the election?
Answer - I have been thinking about running for a couple of years because I wanted to get involved. I felt this was my opportunity to give back to the school what it has given to me. The Delmar school gave me a very good background to go on in life and I would like to do what I can do see the school provide the kids that same education. Whether someone decides to go to college or enter the workforce, I want to see that both are given the same advantage. Being such a small school like Delmar the whole town really revolves around the school. I'm fairly young to be running for the school board but I think that's good. I can offer a lot of new and fresh ideas.
• Question - Did anyone encourage you to run?
Answer - No, but both my parents were teachers so school and education has always been a big thing in the household.
• Question - Do you have any relatives working for the school board district?
Answer - My dad teaches American history. He started teaching in1969.
• Question - What do you see as the most important issue concerning the Delmar School District?
Answer - Probably my biggest concern is some the legislation dealing with teacher and student accountability that is coming down from the state. How the legislation is implemented in the next few years and what effect it will have on the teaches, students and facility is a concern of mine.
• Question - Are there any other issues that your feel are key issues that should be addressed?
Answer - One is the math scores . Delmar did well at all levels in reading and English. Students at the 8th-grade level math ranked 10th in the state but in 10th grade math students ranked 25th in the state. So there's a definitely a drop-off where improvement can be made. That will be a big issue because that will effect if the kids get their degrees. The school has a responsibility to give the kids the background and the tools to perform well on these standardized tests. For those going to college it's important that they are getting college preparatory courses so they'll be prepared for college and ensure that they do well on the SAT. For those not going to college it's important to provide them with the education they need to enter the workforce.
• Question - What kind of job do you feel the Delmar School District is doing now? (Rate it A, B, C, D, or F.)
Answer - B. There is room for improvement but at the same time I think the school board does a good job.
• Question - What are some issues that you would like to address/accomplish if you are elected.
Answer - A. If I am elected I will do all I can to ensure that every kid coming out of the Delmar School District is given the best possible education they can get. If standardized tests are going to be the yardstick that is used to measure the school I'd like to see us do good year in and year out. We should make efforts to improve the standardized tests and keep them high.
B. When we move into the new school there is a big opportunity to make improvements. I would also like to ensure that the library has all the materials that the kids need and are going to use. By providing them with good materials they'll use the library more.
C. We need to try to minimize the burden on the community as much as possible by being aware of the tax. I know the school district and the citizens agreed to pass the referendum which raised property taxes in order to provide money to build the school. It shows that the school has the support of the community but at the same time the school district needs to be aware of the tax burden on the community.