Kathleen G. Todd, Valdez City Schools Board Member and Family Physician

How did you come to be in Alaska?

Looking for a small town far from a big town to practice all my medical skills, invited by an old flame from college to fill in in Valdez and ended up marrying him and staying 38 years so far.

How long have you lived in your community?

38 years.

What are your career background and current job?

Family Physician in private practice. Outpatient, inpatient, surgery, obstetrics, etc

Describe a teacher or school staff member who influenced you.

Ms. Pryor, my high school chemistry teacher, was an excellent teacher and a great role model at a time that women didn’t tend to be in the sciences. My high school math teacher (who was a great football coach but a not very knowledgeable math teacher) was inspiring in retrospect in his ability to put up with a student who was pretty obnoxious at pointing out how little he knew and with persevering in doing the best he could even without the training to do so.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I play the piano for the Lutheran/Episcopal Church every Sunday morning

Why did you run for the school board?

When I did, because no one else was willing to do so. I had planned to do so eventually because I consider it so important to get the best for all of our kids.

What special strengths do you bring to the board?

Ability to concentrate on process, even when I don’t get exactly what I want. Knowledge of certain aspects of learning and teaching (such as early childhood learning, dyslexia, hyperactivity, and gifted and talented education)

What goals do you hope to achieve during your term?

Building a motivated team of professionals with the ability and desire to help each child to their full potential. Trying to help every kid and family feel welcome by avoiding activities and assumptions that divide by religion or lack thereof, race, socioeconomic level, parental say, etc.

How have you helped to improve education in your district?

Tried to ensure a process that has all the right people at the table and listens to all of them, thus generating and considering all the good ideas possible.

What’s the hardest thing about being a board member?

Keeping perspective on what’s worth fighting about and what’s not. Keeping a balance between being realistic and never quitting in the attempt to make things as good as they should be.

What’s the best thing about being a board member?

Having the chance to make our schools serve the students of Valdez as well as they possibly can.

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