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Cleverley, Mohler take aim in NKSD race

POULSBO — In the race for the Position 3 seat on the North Kitsap School District Board, Melanie Mohler touts seven years of involvement and volunteering while Matthew Cleverley brings the potential for new ideas and a fresh perspective.

The two are reaching the end of a long campaign trail, which will wrap up Nov. 8, during the general election.

Mohler is a homemaker and district volunteer.

Her platform focuses on the need for clear communication between all aspects of the school, and she believes her experience is what best qualifies her for the position.

During the past seven years, Mohler has worked with teachers and students alike at each level of schools. She was also involved with the Superintendent’s Key Communicators Forum, “serving as a liaison between the district and community on issues like levies, capital improvements and budget allocations,” she said.

Cleverley brings to the table what he calls the potential to contribute a new energy to the board. He has a doctoral degree in law and has been involved with the North Kitsap community through such outlets as the Marine Science Society of the Pacific Northwest as well as Rotary and youth sports.

“Education is more than just memorizing facts and figures,” Cleverley said in a recent address to the voting public, adding later. “We need (students) to take learning out of the book and try to apply it to a real life situation.”

The possibility of integrating community businesses into the school’s system of education is one that Cleverley has suggested in his campaign. He believes it would show students the practical side of what they are learning. This type of program could be achieved in small communities of focused learning if businesses and teachers are willing to participate.

The district is on its way to focusing the educational system through Small Learning Communities that could thrive or flunk, depending on curriculum communication, NKSD administrators agree.

“SLCs will bring a huge shift at a personal level,” Mohler said, adding that she feels the new system is a great idea that could increase the number of students attending institutes of higher education. “When you get that connection, those things can happen.”

The connection, or communication, is the topic Mohler feels is most important, especially at a time when the district faces such a shift. She believes that everyone should be involved from the hierarchy of administration to the community and its students.

“As a board member, I would be the liaison,” Mohler said, vowing to continue that role.

Her ideas for better communication include more “face-to-face time” with the community as well as the need to include parents, staff and students on the issues at hand.

In order for things to run smoothly through this district-wide transition as well as the high school class transition, everyone must be on board, Cleverley said.

He is excited about the possibility of an integrated curriculum which could span between subjects as the new system begins to take shape. Showing students how issues relate should help them learn better, Cleverley said.

As for his ideas for the board, he said, “It’s always good to have some change and have new perspectives and new ideas coming in with new people who bring new energy.”

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