116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Name: Daniel Doyle
Office sought: Cedar Rapids Community School Board director District 3
Age: 47 (born March 30, 1974)
Occupation: Principal program manager, Collins Aerospace
Campaign website: Facebook page
Have you held office before? No
Personal bio: I grew up in Cedar Rapids and attended Pierce/Harding/Kennedy. I graduated from the University of Iowa with a Mechanical Engineering degree. My wife Amber graduated from Iowa State with a Chemical Engineering degree. We chose to live and raise our kids in Cedar Rapids because Cedar Rapids is a vibrant community with family-centric values and great schools and teachers. My family and I are active community members and I have 11 family members (including my two kids) who are either graduates or are currently enrolled in the CRCSD. I have been heavily involved in youth programs the past 10 years coaching and mentoring kids and am blessed that my network and relationships with the families involved continues to grow. Professionally, in the last fifteen years, I have worked at Collins Aerospace in roles where we analyze data, data trends and develop solutions with our customers, suppliers and engineering to develop solutions in the industries that we serve.
Why are you seeking a seat on the school board?
There is a concern among many parents/families that they are not heard or represented in the topics discussed and decisions made at the CRCSD level. I am seeking a position on the school board to represent families and ensure our voice is heard. Educating our kids and providing support to our teachers and students should be our number one priority, and the school district should be transparent and focused in executing this mission.
How do you rate the district’s current performance? What areas are going well, and what could be improved?
The district has wonderful families, teachers, staff and students. Let’s continue to unify around that and draw on those successes and enthusiasm. We need to continue to look to engage and raise everyone up with clear expectations and goals. We need to continue to focus on the scope of education and not let national discourse topics and political agendas leak into the mission of educating our kids. There are many wonderful activities going and many great intentions as well, but sometimes there are narratives and pander involved which can take away from the mission.
What are the three largest issues facing the school district and what will you do to address them?
1. Many families perceive that their voices are not always heard in some discussions and the district needs to be cognizant of not letting some of the national discourse topics flow into the scope of educating kids. There is concern that parents/families are not being represented in decisions and on crucial topics. It appears the district is moving in certain directions without input or diversity of thought. The decisions and topics discussed in the district are consistent with certain agendas. Politics should not play a role in the scope of education.
2. A current issue is ensuring students are comfortably up to speed after missing out on significant time in the classroom last year. Focus should be at the teacher/student interaction and ensuring the teacher is fully supported to do what they do best. I would garner input from teachers on where they believe the students are and what may be needed to catch all students back up and then push thru to the next level.
3. The district has worked to get engagement of families in order have more successful relationships at the classroom level. Data tells us that the most significant behavioral issues that can plague schools stem from the home environment and not from something learned at school. We should help these kids the best we can thru mentorships and behavioral plans, and we should also support our teachers dealing with these issues in their classroom in order to retain the best and most qualified teachers.
What level of local control do you think school boards should have?
School boards should be elected officials that help set direction, goals and review progress of the schools in the district. The board should be representing students, teachers, staff and the community with the philosophy that the people closest to the students, staff and community have a vested interest and are best suited to make decisions about the operations, leadership, staffing, academics and improvement.
What will you do to be responsive to concerns by parents, students and staff? What type of communications should they expect from you?
We should want transparency and open communication when it comes to what is going on in the hallways of our schools and the Educational Leadership and Support Center. I would welcome input/feedback from families, students and staff as I am running to represent them. It is important that the community understands how decisions are made and the thought process and data that drives those decisions.
Should school districts be allowed to enact a mask requirement for students during the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, what type of masking requirement would you want to see in place?
As we go into year two of COVID, families are aware of the risks and can make decisions on how to protect themselves. Prior to the mandate, most students chose to not wear masks. Despite this sample size, the district chose to enforce masks right away under the temporary ruling. Many families do not feel represented and there is perception that the district was very political and hasty in this decision.
If you were required to cut the district’s budget, what areas would you look to for savings and why?
I would protect and encourage funding toward the mission of educating kids and that teacher/student interaction. It is perceived that the budget on the administrative/overhead governing body continues to grow and is much larger now than it has been historically so savings may be found in areas where kids are not directly involved.
Are there curriculum concerns that you have with the district? What are they? What process should the district use to address the concern?
We should continue to be steadfast in providing world class education and challenging all students to go above and beyond. Beyond curriculum fundamentals, I would garner input from the teachers on the topic of curriculum as they are the experts in their field and know what works best for their students. Personally, I would advocate to implement more financial education in the curriculum as it is important that young people understand budgeting, taxes, investing and where revenue flows from in the public and private sector industries. I view that it is important to continue to expose students to all postsecondary options as well. From a curriculum perspective, we do need to keep political agendas and narratives out of the classroom and focus on educating our kids.