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D.M. School Board candidate: Natasha Newcomb

(Photo: Special to the Register)

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Natasha Newcomb

District / Seat: District 3

Age: 33

Address: 4024 Hubbell Ave. Apt. 234

Work: Affiliates Management Co.

Education:

  • Bachelor of arts in political science, concentration in political processes, minor in sociology, University of Iowa 2006
  • Law degree, Drake Law School 2014
  • Certificates in Legislative Practice and Public Service 2014

Political experience: None

Community experience (top 3):

  • Chair Pro Tem, Housing Services Board, City of Des Moines, 2013 - Present
  • Board Member, Neighborhood Revitalization Board, City of Des Moines, 2012 – Present (Chair: 2014)
  • Board of Directors, Multicultural Educational Programs, Inc., 2015 - Present

Family: Son, Christopher, 13

Contact:

Website: www.natashanewcomb.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natashanewcomb4education?fref=ts

Twitter: @natashanewcomb

What is the biggest challenge facing Des Moines schools?

As funding continues to shrink and costs continue to rise, hard choices will have to be made. Encouraging participation in the budget process will lead to a better understanding of the impact of board decisions and in turn result in more thoughtful policy and budget determinations.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

  • Strengthening communications between the Des Moines Public School District and residents.
  • Leveraging all our resources and adopting a responsible budget that supports an atmosphere that is conducive to the success of each student.
  • Supporting programs that prepare our students to be successful in a diverse world.

What is your position on outsourcing substitute teachers to private companies such as Kelly Educational Staffing?

I oppose spending tax dollars to pay a private company to hire our substitute teachers. It creates an unnecessary and costly barrier between schools and substitute teachers. The district should not shift this responsibility. Examining our current practices and seeking input needs to take place prior to considering any action.

How will you represent your district or at-large seat?

As a representative of the 3rd District, I will welcome and encourage input and I expect them to hold me accountable for the decisions that I make on their behalf.

Why are you running?

As a parent and resident, I am vested in the outcomes of the policy decisions the board makes, as are all members of our community. The policies they develop today will determine the future of our neighborhoods for years to come. Having engaged the district and school board on a number of decisions over the years, I understand the importance of having a representative that is responsive to their constituents. It is my personal goal to ensure that the constituents of the 3rd District feel welcome to participate in the decision-making process.