Tim Frazier, a candidate for the Board, aims to seek improvements in the district and create a change in the budget process with more transparency and involvement from community and school members.
Frazier has years of education experience, including his most recent job as principal at . “I think we have a really good budget process here in Southampton," he said. "We have made a lot of gains in building trust and transparency.”
Frazier moved to Springs about 10 years ago after working as an elementary school principal in Virginia, where he also received his educational doctorate from the University of Virginia.
Springs was a natural choice, because Frazier and his family liked the area whenever he came to visit friends. He landed the job as principal just as his wife got a fifth grade teaching job at Springs School. The couple have two daughters in the district –Mackenzie, in seventh grade and Grace, in third.
“The school is really where families get together," Frazier said, adding he has been involved with Springs School as a parent and from a business standpoint. He comes to events and is involved with the PTA through his wife.
Frazier has also served on several committees for school improvement and consulted for the foreign language program.
As an invested member of the community and school, Frazier said he wants to preserve the character of Springs.
“I think I decided to run for school board because I see some difficult times ahead for the community as well as the school. I don’t want to lose the Springs School my children grew up in," he said.
In addition, Frazier doesn’t want to see cost cutting just for the sake of saving money. Instead, the candidate calls for a full-fledged plan that spans years and focuses on efficiency and what is best for the children.
Frazier supports this year’s budget: “I think in the past couple of years [Springs] has made substantial cuts. This was a year we needed to maintain and not cut deeper.”
In the future, he wants to see a better budget process with the superintendent. “I would like to see more stakeholders in the process, including parents and community members," he said.
Frazier also challenged those on the other side of the issue, those “complaining that educators are running” to “join the process.” Why, he wondered, did those who wanted to vote the budget down did not run for the board of education.
As for the concern expressed by some that teachers’ salaries are too high, Frazier said the situation reflects the “reality of negotiation. You are always trying to be reasonable and equitable, but you have to abide by the contract.”
When considering a budget on a year-to-year basis, Frazier emphasized long-term changes are needed. “There is a space issue. The building doesn’t look great. I think you really have to do some long-term planning and you cannot think it will all change overnight," he said.
One of those long-term plans is consolidation, Frazier said. “I’m overjoyed with the fact that East Hampton is willing to open the door with discussion and dialogue. I think it is one of the most important ways to save our school district.”