Name: Brandon R. Wind
Length of time living in Newtown Township: Since September of 1998.
What organizations and activities are you involved with locally?
Vice Chairman, Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board; VP, Newtown Grant Homeowner Association; President, Estates IV Homeowner Association; Coach, Newtown Soccer Association; Coach, Council Rock United Soccer Association (CRUSA); Board Member, Brothers of Israel Synagogue; Board Member, Newtown Exchange Club; Legal Adviser to the Newtown Elementary School PTO; Organizer, Newtown Grant Annual Garage Sale; Board Member, New Hope Chamber of Commerce; member of Newtown Masonic Lodge #427.
Why do you want to serve on the Council Rock School Board?
Having two daughters in Newtown Elementary School, I am interested in making sure that every child has the education that will be necessary to prepare them for the job markets of the 21st Century, when they will be competing with children from all over the world for their chosen professions. At the same time, as a tax payer, I want to make sure that our district is doing all it can to control costs so as not to place an unsustainable tax burden on our residents.
The most recent budget that was passed had a zero percent tax increase. However, that didn't come without significant cuts to staffing and programs. Do you agree with all the cuts made to the 2011-2012 budget? If not, why and which ones do you oppose?
I agree with the cuts that were made. However, regarding the ninth grade sports program, I don't believe it was handled properly. (More information on that topic is in the next question). Unfortunately, with the prevailing economic conditions, the board will be forced to make additional cuts as revenues are not going to grow as fast as the fixed costs.
What is your view on the elimination of the ninth grade sports program and what do you think should be done to keep freshmen engaged athletically?
I believe that ninth grade sports could have been saved had the board had the political will to keep it. A question worth asking is whether those programs were cut as a result of discussions with other districts. I believe that given the opportunity, the community would have been willing to raise the money privately to sustain those programs. In order to keep the ninth grade students engaged, the JV should be expanded as much as possible and there should be a 'club' offered, which would compete against other districts' 'clubs' that can be sanctioned by the district but funded privately.
Council Rock has consistently received top marks for the quality of education it provides to its students. But there is always room for improvement. What is one thing you think would improve education in the district and how would you go about implementing it?
The languages offered should be changed from French, Spanish and German to Mandarin, Hindi and Spanish. These, along with English, are the languages of the 21st Century.
What other issues would you like to see come to the forefront if you are elected to the board?
I would like to see whether our curriculum is properly preparing our children for the economy of the 21st Century. Council Rock has long been known as a leading, cutting edge school district. We should be sure that we are teaching our students to compete with the best high schools in the country, from Boston Latin in Boston to Stuyvesant High School in New York to Princeton High School. The amount of work given to the students is not the same as the content of the work given to the students. It is our responsibility to our children and grandchildren to ensure that they have the education to compete with the best and brightest from around the world.