From 10/21/09 issue
By Elaine Weinreb
Press Staff Writer
Q. Why do you want to run for the MUSD board?
Don Rosebrook: Because I care about the health and the future of the school district. I can help the district remain financially stable. We have a great school here, tremendous teachers, diverse programs, great community support. I want to promote that.
I can also help the district achieve their strategic goals, which is to create a family-centered educational community.
Q. Since January, how many MUSD board meetings have you attended?
Rosebrook: Probably four.
Q. The state budget is still very unstable. In case further cuts are necessary, what programs would you reduce or eliminate?
Rosebrook: Hopefully none. Sometimes we need to look in other directions. It seems that it’s always the teachers and the students that are losing. There’s going to be some tough decisions ahead, and everybody’s going to have to give. There’s no easy answers. I don’t see it getting better for a long time.
Q. Do you have any other ideas for raising money or improving the finances of the school district?
Rosebrook: Our district needs to retain the families that we have. We have wonderful schools here but for some reason numerous families take their children out of the district.
Families like a K-8 atmosphere. K-5 is close, but families want that continuity, they want the familiarity.
Nowadays, when families are busy, we need to ease those one-stop drops. We need to retain the families that we’re losing.
5. Did you support the idea of making Morris a full language immersion school? How do you feel it is working out?
Rosebrook: I halfway supported it. I was against the re-configuration the way it was presented, as a K-2, 3-5, 6-8. I was against that.
The configuration they have now is working. Immersion is a great program. I have a niece and nephew in it, and they love it. Any program that betters a child’s education, and draws in students from other districts needs to be supported.
Q. Do you believe that the Citizens Oversight Committee should meet more than once a year, or have any more authority than it already does?
Rosebrook: It should meet more than once a year now that these projects are going on. I’m not sure what authority they already have. Meeting once a year, it’s tough to get things done, especially if you involve the Brown Act and can’t talk outside of the meeting.
Q. What would you do to improve staff morale?
Rosebrook: That’s going to be tough in a year of budget cuts. My wife is a teacher [Arcata High School] herself, so I know the issues and concerns that teachers face – overcrowding in classrooms, lack of supplies. I don’t have an answer.
Q. Parents sometimes transfer their children in other districts, to take advantage of what they perceive as better educational opportunities. What would you do to improve education for McKinleyville’s gifted children?
Rosebrook: I don’t think McKinleyville has to change anything. I believe that we have plenty of gifted students that we address. The immersion program is a great one. We lose more students due to the K-8 than we do actually looking for a higher education. McKinleyville offers everything that the students need. We have great teachers.
Q. In the past two years, what decisions of the board have you agreed with? Which have you disagreed with, and why?
Rosebrook: The re-configuration issues. I agreed with the fact that they didn’t go to the K-2, 3-5 configuration, but I still think they should have left the schools the way they were.
They’re going to have an overcrowding issue at Dow’s Prairie eventually. The campuses were fine the way they were.
Q. What is your occupation?
Rosebrook: I’m the controller for Murphy’s Markets.
Q. How long have you lived in McKinleyville?
Rosebrook: Seven years.
Q. If elected, what changes, if any, would you try to make?
Rosebrook: I’m not sure a lot of changes really need to be made. We have a great school. The biggest things if that decisions need to be made that are representative of the entire district.