Lauri Kemper: Candidate calls for more vocational education, parent participation
Watching her son, Paul, move through the school district and on to his freshman year at Lake Tahoe Community College, Lauri Kemper said she can bring a parent’s experience to the board of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.
Kemper is the supervising water resource control engineer at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, where she has worked for 22 years.
Along with her current job, Kemper has experience as a faculty advisory committee member for the Environmental Resources Engineering department at Humboldt State University, and she is on the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission. She has volunteered as a literacy tutor with the El Dorado County Library and as math tutor.
Kemper said she wants more vocational education programs at the high school. She likes the path the school is on with its culinary, automotive and dental assistant programs. She said future grants could aid the school in branching out into trades so students will have more options when they graduate from high school. The district needs to be aggressive in going after grants, she said.
She said the district needs to start evaluating the 4-by-4 schedule at the high school. The schedule, consisting of eight classes in the year, with four blocks every day, is now in its second year. The pace is fast for most high school students, which is stressful, she said. And students are at a disadvantage from a lack of continuity since they don’t have math for the full year.
The joint programs the board started with the community are a step in the right direction, Kemper said. The track is a great example of what can be done with support outside of the district, she said. If a wish-list is made, the community will rally behind it and try to fulfill those needs, Kemper said.
With such a small budget, Kemper said it’s important to have more people involved with discussions, so decisions are made with the most possible insight.
To get parents involved, the district needs to find out what appeals to them. For example, not many parents show up to parent night, but at Bijou, the family breakfast was packed, Kemper said.
“We need to build on what works and drop things that don’t work,” she said.