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NAME: David “Bruce” Shew
CANDIDATE FOR: Cabell County Board of Education
PARTY: nonpartisan race
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.BruceShew.com
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: B.S. Business Marketing & Finance – Morris Harvey College.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Retired from West Virginia American Water.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: B&K Old Time Fudge – Owner; Different Twist Pretzel – Owner; United States Army SP5 E5 (Personnel Sergeant).
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Lewis Memorial Baptist Church – Deacon; Lesage Lions Club – Past President; West Virginia Section AWWA – Treasurer and Secretary; Cabell Midland Band Boosters – Board Member; Cabell Midland School Improvement Council.
ENDORSEMENTS: AFT - Cabell County.
FAMILY: wife, Karen A. Shew; son, Christopher D. Shew.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I believe we can curve the dropout rate by fully funding our extra-curricular activities and keeping consolidations to a minimum. Students involved in clubs, sports and the arts are far more likely to see their education to its conclusion. We must ensure diverse learning for all students, so that everyone feels successful in the classroom. If we focus on the individual student needs, we can keep them in school. We must deal with the ongoing drug problem in our schools. The county needs additional Pre K, Kindergarten teachers, and aids to combat developmental consequences of fetal exposure to drugs.
1. What should your role be as a member of the Board of Education?
I am running for the Cabell County Board to use my organizational and management skills to promote fair hiring procedures, proper budget priorities, and proper management of Cabell County Schools. I will assure policies are adopted that give the school district direction in setting priorities and achieving its goals.
2. How would you address the dropout issue?
Students dropping out of school has been a problem for years. We must get the parents of students involved at an early age. This involvement helps the student’s cognitive and social skills. We must also get students involved in extra-curricular activities. We must also adapt to the changing workforce, allowing those not interested in a college, a quicker alternative.
3. How would you encourage more parental involvement?
There are many wonderful organizations for parents to get involved within each of our school buildings. Athletic, band, choral and academic boosters could all use more assistance. There are also PTO and PTA organizations that parents can volunteer for at all levels. Parents are always welcome at LSIC and board meetings.
4. How would you increase the rigor of the curriculum to benefit students?
High expectations must be set at the beginning of the year. An example is focusing on higher-level question and answering. These ask students to analyze and evaluate information in lessons. Students get into the habit of giving subpar answers to get more work done. However, that habit will decrease rigor and expectations. Students must use critical thinking when answering questions.
5. What would you do to improve student achievement?
Every school, much like each student, will learn in diverse ways. It is up to each individual school to look at assessment data to make this decision. Administrators should look at successful classrooms in each building to find out strong teaching practices. Administrators should also ask each employee (not just teachers) to become part of the learning process.
6. What do you think schools should be doing about drug prevention?
Sadly, our area is plagued by drug usage. The earlier that students learn about the dangers of drugs, the more chance students have to stay away from them. After school programs are vital in helping kids stay off the streets and off of drugs. This is why academics, sports and the arts are so vital to the community.
7. Do you think schools should do more to prepare students to succeed in community college and apprenticeships, etc.?
Yes, as my generation is retiring, many jobs are opening in fields that have not prepared students to enter. For years, schools have been pushing a four-year degree and many students are left in debt. Schools must prepare students for apprenticeships and community college by adding technical education back into our middle and high school curriculum.
8. How would you access the condition of Cabell County’s school facilities? What improvements, if any, do you think should be the focus in the next 10 years?
Huntington High and Cabell Midland are both on the ten year plan for A/C replacement. However, it seems that Cabell Midland has had issues with this for many years and needs a long term solution. All buildings (old and new) need yearly maintenance to avoid allergy issues. Also, all sport complexes should be kept up to all safety standards.