Voters will select one person for a term to expire June 30, 2020

Elections for a single seat on the Caesar Rodney School District Board of Education will be held Tuesday, May 14.

Running for a single one-year term are David Buckson, Joyce S. Denman, and William C. Victory Sr. That term will expire June 30, 2020.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and are located at Allen Frear Elementary School, 238 Sorghum Mill Road, Camden, W. Reily Brown Elementary School, 360 Webbs Lane, Dover, and the W.B. Simpson Elementary School, Camden.

All voters will be asked for proof of identity and address. Voters must be United States citizens, over the age of 18 and residents of the district in which they are voting.

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David Buckson

AGE 55

RESIDENCE Camden-Wyoming

PRIOR ELECTED OFFICE None

YEARS LIVED IN THE DISTRICT 45

What is your assessment of the state of the school district?

Our district is benefited by a wonderful group of educators and administrators. The facilities and infrastructure continue to improve. As a father of two high school boys, I have witnessed firsthand the success and education afforded them throughout our district. The education they have received is in my mind second to none in the public setting. As always, we need to look for ways to improve, along with adding the most recent technology and teaching tools.

What areas are your priorities given budget limitations? Where, specifically, would you advocate for more funding and what areas would you advocate for cuts?

I feel our priorities will always be the students and their education. Whatever enhances their education or supplies a benefit, I will support. I believe that the school district has always been financially responsible in its decision process. I agree that some decisions could cause a hard look. However, I feel that those involved strived to do the best at the time.

When was the last time you visited a district school? What did you see in that school that you felt was going well? What did you see that concerned you and what did you do to follow up?

As a parent of two high school boys, one who is playing lacrosse and another who is a senior on his way to Clemson University, I spend a considerable amount of time at events and in the school district. I also volunteer as high school coach for the Caesar Rodney football team. These activities have afforded me considerable access to our district. The one thing that always stands out is the high caliber of educators we have in our district. Their dedication and willingness to help others to learn and grow is what makes our district strong.

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Dr. Joyce S. Denman

AGE 66

RESIDENCE Dover

PRIOR ELECTED OFFICE None

YEARS LIVED IN THE DISTRICT 35

What is your assessment of the state of the school district?

Caesar Rodney enjoys a fine reputation and I plan to collaboratively revise policies as they are reviewed. The Resource and Development Committee, established in 2014, identified the most pressing needs for capital improvement as: capacity, improvement of learning spaces, aging buildings/infrastructure and increasing and improving athletic facilities. The successful referendum in 2015 generated close to $87 million and the work is well underway. In the area of operating expenses: student safety, progressive programming, focus on arts and athletics, support for fair contracts and professional development continue to be top priorities.

What areas are your priorities given budget limitations? Where, specifically, would you advocate for more funding and what areas would you advocate for cuts?

My priorities are: 1) quality programs with specially designed instruction and professional development, 2) fair contracts for all district employees, 3) strengthening athletic programs and facilities, 4) strengthening music, band, performing arts, physical education, visual arts and, 5) increasing access to technology (tech support, hardware, software, bandwidth). Advocating for cuts requires much collaboration and fact-finding before an opinion is formed. It would be a priority to try not to cut staffing, because it is difficult to reinstate, once lost. I favor creative funding and inclusion of a diverse cohort of staff to agree on cuts that are feasible. Necessary budget cuts are more palatable when all parties have been part of the discussions.

When was the last time you visited a district school? What did you see in that school that you felt was going well? What did you see that concerned you and what did you do to follow up?

My most recent visit to a school was W. Reily Brown Elementary. I was impressed with the wall display completed by young students featuring pictures of themselves 100 years from now using age progression technology. Interesting to look at, for sure! Students wrote predictions of what they might be doing or how things might be different. The assignment encouraged creative and forward thinking! What concerns me is the level of stress our students and staff feel around state testing. I know it is a government mandated activity, but we can certainly continue the conversations about how to make it fair and meaningful for all.

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William C. Victory Sr.

AGE 66

RESIDENCE Dover

PRIOR ELECTED OFFICE None

YEARS IN THE DISTRICT -- 51

What is your assessment of the state of the school district?

Caesar Rodney has the potential to be one of the greatest school districts in the state if the correct changes are made to upgrade the climate based on how we use our money. As of now, we are one of the poorest school districts in the state. We have to be careful about the decisions we make for our students and those who play a part in their education.

What areas are your priorities given budget limitations? Where, specifically, would you advocate for more funding and what areas would you advocate for cuts?

Over time, the Caesar Rodney School District has become one of the lower paid districts in the state. How do we expect to keep the great educators that we have and attract more great educators without increasing the amount we are able to offer? Evaluating the district’s budget as a whole would be imperative before making cut recommendations, knowing that any cut will ultimately take away from the students in some aspect.

When was the last time you visited a district school? What did you see in that school that you felt was going well? What did you see that concerned you and what did you do to follow up?

I visit schools in our district on a regular basis. I have also toured surrounding school districts to observe the school climates and student and staff interactions. What I have noticed in each one of the schools in the Caesar Rodney School District is that they ALL bleed blue and gold! Rider spirit floods each school, celebrated in many different ways. Every building has several “star” teachers that be mentors and role models for the other staff. I would like to see consistency across all schools in the district, in terms of communication, accountability, and discipline, between students and staff and staff and administration. I plan to continue visiting the schools in our district on a regular basis – we need our school board to be visible – so the voice of a silent majority is always heard by the school board.