APPLETON SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE
James Bacon (I)
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/JamesBaconforAASDSchoolBoard
James Bacon is a father to two young boys, with his oldest in AASD 4k this year. He began his career as a middle school math teacher, where he met his wife, Brianne, who taught art to the same students down the hall. He has dedicated his professional life to education and served as a teacher coach, education nonprofit leader in a rural community, and district administrator in a large urban district. He currently supports middle and high schools across the country, using technology to reimagine and operationalize their school schedules so kids get the support they need each day. He believes all students, from all backgrounds, deserve an excellent education and that by listening to our families and those working in our schools each day, we can continue building excellent schools for all students in our community.
Do you support using COVID precautions such as wearing masks in school and requiring vaccinations of eligible students and staff? Explain
The administration and board of education have an obligation to implement expert recommendations to ensure the health and safety of our students. For decades this has included the implementation of public health measures recommended by the Appleton Health Department, which are informed by other state and national organizations. Expert guidance at this time includes universal masking and encouragement of vaccination by those eligible. My voting record on this issue also demonstrates my commitment to this position even when I am in the minority (in the November 2021 vote, which was 5-2 to remove the mask requirement beginning January 18, 2022). I believe the board of education should take this as a matter of course and focus on our work to support student outcomes.
Do you support teaching fact-based and accurate history of events that have and continue to shape our nation? Explain
Yes, I support teaching accurate, fact-based history in our schools. To ensure students are accurately informed and develop critical thinking and analysis skills that will serve them well throughout their lives, our district has an obligation to ensure that information is both accurate and reflects comprehensive perspectives. This can be accomplished through study of history utilizing not only historical commentary which has been common, but also leveraging historical and contemporary primary sources that reflect more than just a singular narrative from those in power. The Appleton Area School District serves students from many different backgrounds and with many different identities, and it is important that all of our students can both see themselves and many examples of people with different identities through the study of history, social studies, and all their classes.
What are your thoughts about the AASD referendum that is proposed for November 2022?
I do currently support the referendum currently being planned for this fall, especially knowing it will continue to be revised with input from the public over the coming months. I believe it should help address some issues that would benefit our students, such as lowering class sizes in lower grades, addressing overcrowding that is happening in some of our schools, bringing consistency across when students transition from elementary to middle school across all our campuses, and bring new opportunities to provide better services and support to our students, including space for receiving special education, language learning, and mental health resources, in addition to providing access to STEM resources and other technology that prepares our students for life beyond high school. My main concerns as the planning process continues are ensuring we continue to seek input from our community and that the referendum is equitable for all students and schools across our district. You can learn more about the referendum and planning process here.