Hubbard seeks seat held by Frank Kline
- Real estate broker (45 years)
- Horse-packer (until about 10 years ago)
- Seeking fifth 4-year term on school board
- Teacher in Boston area (autistic students with severe challenges; HS history — 15 years)
- History teacher at LBHS (4 years)
- Knowledge Bowl coach (14 years)
- Real estate broker (10 years)
- Home and construction-loan inspector
- Runs a B&B
Judith Hardmeyer-Wright, second term
Mary Anne Quigley, fifth term
Frank Kline is running for his fifth term on the Methow Valley School board — and he’s facing a challenger for the first time in 16 years.
Kline welcomes the competition. “I look at it as a testament to the functioning of the board as a whole,” Kline said. “My goal was to make the board as fun as it can be so that people would want to spend two nights a month in the boardroom.”
Leverett Hubbard is the first to take up that challenge. “I think my skill set would be good for the board, since I’ve been a teacher recently,” Hubbard said. As coach of the Knowledge Bowl team, Hubbard has regular interactions with students, teachers and parents, in this school district and others. “I have no real agenda,” he said.
Hubbard says he has an accurate picture of what’s going on in the schools, which would help him hold administrators accountable if an issue arose. “Kids tell me what’s going on in the classroom,” he said.
Kline believes the board and school district are on the right track in terms of policy and vision. “I have confidence in the administrative staff — they’re hiring the best people,” Kline said. “We tell Tom [Superintendent Tom Venable] what needs to be done, but leave it to him how it needs to be done.”
Kline is confident staff and families will speak up if something isn’t functioning properly and trusts that board members don’t get a lot of calls because potential problems are already being handled.
Hubbard agrees with Kline that management should be left to the administrators, but he believes he can bring additional insights to the table because of his relationships with students and families.
Kline returns to the school’s motto, “Every student shines.” That’s the main goal, with an individual education plan for each student and as many choices as possible, he said. He’s pleased with the International Baccalaureate program and professional development for teachers and staff, which builds consistency and individual attention for each student, he said.
Having watched changes at the school, through three superintendents and new teachers and administrators, Hubbard sees a positive trajectory in management, course offerings and academic rigor.
The school district has done a good job addressing the needs of academically high-achieving students through curriculum and travel opportunities, Hubbard said. And while the district is making important strides in meeting the needs of other students, that’s an area that still needs attention, he said.
Hubbard is encouraged by LBHS Principal Crosby Carpenter’s background in project-based learning, experiential education and internships, which he believes will help meet those needs. “I’m excited to watch it bloom,” he said.
Bullying is a problem, but Kline believes it’s being addressed by each building’s administrative team, who’ve set clear consequences for unacceptable behavior.
But Hubbard said he’s seen the school culture decline — for example, students at Liberty Bell are less polite than at other schools he visits with the Knowledge Bowl team. He hears about issues such as bullying from both students and parents.
Both agree that school finances have improved and that the current team is doing a good job.
Kline is conscious of needs of families, whether they’re juggling jobs and child care or struggling to make ends meet. “Pay-to-play fees have been on my hit list for 16 years — my goal is no extra fees,” Kline said.
“That equity thing is a huge thing with me — and labeling of students. That’s my guidelines — a student is a student, and they all get what they need,” Kline said.
“I view school as opening up as many doors as possible — for everyone,” Hubbard said.