Board of Education candidates: Paul Drechsler
Published 9:56 am Thursday, October 1, 2020
Wife, Ellen Drechsler, elected Clerk Of Court for Davie County; sons, Abe Drechsler, Zach Drechsler, DCS graduates
West Rowan High School, 1974 graduate; Guilford College, undergraduate degree in physical education & biology; NCA&T University, master’s in education & administration. Teacher & Coach at DCHS from 1978-1994; Patient Services Coordinator for Prosthetics & Orthotics Co. from 1994-2014.
In The Community
• Patient Advocate and Professional Consultant for Prosthetics 2014 to current & beyond
• Davie County Gideon Member/past President
• Member of First Presbyterian Church, now attending First Baptist Church of Mocksville
Why did you decide to seek public office?
Drechsler: I want to continue serve the citizens of Davie County on the Davie County Board of Education. Under the leadership of Mr. Wallace, his staff and the work of the whole DCS family we are realizing results and our Davie County Schools/System is being recognized as one of the best systems in North Carolina.
I have had the opportunity & pleasure to be a part of a team that has helped work through many issues and changes. I believe that we are headed in a great direction and recognize that the work is not finished. I believe that “continuity” in our leadership is vital to stability, progress, and success and I want to continue to be a part of it!
What do you think are the most significant challenges facing the school system and how do you intend to address those challenges?
Drechsler: A. Virtual Learning Program: We need to improve the reach and connectivity of what has started in this program, continue improving it for future use if/when needed and to mold this into the One-on-One Initiative that has already begun.
B. Funding Issues: Funding issues have been high on the major challenges list for years. Recent changes in how schools/systems are being funded by the State have caused some issues. One has to recognize the effect of reduced dollars to public schools on the total dollars available for or in public schools. I will continue to voice this concern to folk in Raleigh but here in Davie County, we must continue our best use practices of doing as much as we can with the available dollars we have.
C. Personnel Issues: There are many predictable and unpredictable issues with personnel like retirements, family moves, job changes, State mandates on class size, increases/decreases in staff based on student head count, etc. In North Carolina, we have seen significant changes to salary/benefits for administrators and teachers at all levels that have affected us both positively & negatively in the recruitment of new and retention of quality personnel. I want to continue to advocate for and voice concerns for our professionals regarding salary and benefits.
D. Infrastructure/Facility needs: Several years ago our DCS Staff did a great job of developing a “Ten Year Facility Study or Needs Analysis”. We know there are predictable and unpredictable events that arise. I am proud of that work as it has been and continues to be used to predict, determine and implement the “staged upgrade or replacement” of facility issues and needs. Thank you to Michael Spillman, principals and the staff who have been and are involved in and update this work. The document shows Priority 1, 2 & 3 events that we have acknowledged for upgrades or replacements through the 2021-2022 school year. Some unpredicted events caused us to change and adjust the schedule when needed but all-in-all, we are prepared to keep DCS facilities in good working order. I would like to see that our staff continues to recognize needs as they arise, to build or add those needs to the chart and thereby allow future Boards and Administrators to plan for needs in effective ways.
What are the next major construction needs for the schools?
Drechsler: A. The need to renovate/upgrade some of our cafeterias due to their age, efficiency and student populations at different schools is likely our #1. Our next needs are predicted and scheduled based on our current 10 year Facilities’ Study. Our 5 Year Facilities’ Plan (required of all School Systems) is scheduled to be turned in to the State Board of Education this fall and it will include our most current and specific needs assessment and information.
B. Further work on the constructed Virtual Learning Program: Atypical events (like Covid 19) caused some recent needs and changes that were not predicted or planned and… there was no template for its planning. I offer my congratulations and thanks to Mr. Wallace and Mr. Harris for successfully working through and quickly securing the financing for our technology needs and training of staff. I also thank Mr. Rooney and his staff for using his contacts to identify, obtain and prepare for using technology equipment. This new equipment was needed to (1) provide for the emergency issues that began in March of last year to (2) prepare for the technology equipment and training needed to begin this school year. Most of us had no idea of the amount of work it would take to plan for and implement our system-wide virtual learning option (required in all school systems). We want to further develop the “reach and flexibility” of this program for continuous learning opportunities.
I want to thank a whole lot of folk who trusted me and have voted for me in the past two elections to be on this Board. Running again was an easy decision for me. #1… I love you Davie County people. You supported me as a teacher/coach from 1978 to 1994. Many of you watched, worked with and or supported my two sons as they worked as students through their graduations in 2008 & 2010. #2… I want to be on this Board for four more years to help keep DCS on its current upward path as it evolves to an even better system. I think it is a wonderful thing… to be a part of this group that shares a common interest of providing for and promoting public education for all students in this district. Just in case you didn’t know… we, the current Board Members, do not always think or decide the same way or come up with the same solution to offer… but we do try to understand each other’s way of thinking and we do support each other. THAT… makes us a valuable team! #3… I know our system is better than others because I have heard directly from Board Members about the issues and challenges in other districts now for 7 years. #4… I, as one of the current Board Members, know that parents/students have access to other educational options. We are proud that we can offer so much more here that we do attract out of county students and we keep most in county students here in Davie County schools. I am proud of the folk in our school system who are committed and dedicated educators for all our students. I am also proud of the specific the parts, programs, schools and our system as a whole for being recognized as one of the best all across the state.
#5… I think the effectiveness of any board is due in large part to its members when they fit and work well together. The Board of Education Candidates will be elected by a Partisan Vote on November this year. I hope all of you will study all the potential candidates, see what they can bring to the Board and vote for the ones that will best fit the role as members of the Board of Education regardless of their affiliation!