Steven Black was raised in Blanding and has lived in San Juan County for most of his life. He currently serves as the District 3 school board member. Black hopes to improve the educational performance of all schools in the district, especially those with low ratings from the state’s ranking system. In addition to serving on the school board, Black is an accountant and computer programmer.
“We have to focus on low performing schools in the district,” Black said. “We need to find a way to raise the level of education at those schools, so students are performing on par with the rest of the district and with the rest of the state.”
While he notes that there is no single answer to the disparity in school performance, Black emphasizes educator excellence and improving teacher retention rates as possible solutions to helping students’ excel.
Black supports initiatives that bring in experienced instructors, including the Quality Teacher Incentive Program introduced district-wide last year. The program helps educators teach students, but it also provides mentorship for other, less-experienced teachers, Black said. The goal is to help less-experienced teachers learn new instructional methods and improve teaching quality.
“I want to continue the QTIP program because we’re finding that it is making a difference in the quality of education,” Black said. “The experienced teachers take other teachers under their wing and mentor and monitor their progress and it’s helping poor schools improve.”
Black believes his experience on the school board and his impartiality in the allocation of school resources makes him an ideal candidate for District 3. He notes that his district has remained largely the same, even after the redistricting process.
“I hope that voters will look at candidates and their qualifications diligently before they decide who they would like to have serve on the school board,” Black said.