We reached out to just about every candidate that we ranked with a questionnaire specific to the office they are running for. Here are the answers Mr. Mayberry provided.
Mr. Mayberry is a non-partisan. He's running to represent District F on the Washoe County School Board.
Tell us about your background. What are your qualifications for this position?
I am a single parent to two high school-age children in the Washoe County School District. I have a nearly 30-year diverse public service career in Nevada and understand how local governments function. I have been employed by Clark County, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, the City of Sparks, and Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue, mostly in communications and government affairs capacity. I served former U.S. Representative Jon Porter in Washington D.C. Additionally, I teach Political Science part-time at Truckee Meadows Community College.
I served as a Trustee on the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board from 2012-2017 and have been active in the Washoe County community including Junior Achievement and Secret Witness. I was appointed to the Washoe County School Board in November 2021 to serve the remainder of a term and am now embarking on a campaign to retain the seat and serve our families and students.
I have a B.S. in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and an M.A. in Political Science with a focus on American Politics from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Do you agree or disagree with the measures taken by state officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? What do you think should have been done or done differently?
Everyone has an opinion on measures to address the pandemic, and it is easy to look back, criticize, and second guess. A primary role of our government is to protect the health and safety of our citizens. At times, the pandemic response felt like a government overreach. However, we can learn from the mistakes of the past and do things differently next time. I am not a public health expert, hence I and most citizens had to rely on the knowledge and expertise of health professionals.
The pandemic, however, caused a significant loss of learning for our students in K through 12. The isolation impacted students’ mental health and increased depression. Mask mandates divided the nation and had long-term negative impacts on our youth that are now just being discovered. It is my firm belief that masks should be an option, and each of us is responsible for our actions. Nor do I support government-mandated COVID-19 vaccines, though I encourage citizens to get vaccinated. Online and distance learning was effective for some students, but not for others. Every child learns at a different pace and has specific needs. Online learning for many was not an effective course.
Political polarization about COVID-19 safety or vaccines interfered with our ability to educate students. Pandemic protocols must be consistent and clear to understand. The pandemic also taught us the importance of student and teacher technology, and that online teaching can work for many students if done correctly. It is also important to note that Washoe County School District was one of the first large districts to resume in-person instruction in the 2021-22 school year.
Many voters are unhappy with our public school system. What policies or actions would you prescribe to repair or replace the existing system? Do you support “school choice” policies such as educational savings accounts? Why or why not?
I understand the dissatisfaction and concerns of public education; as a parent, I share them too. The reality is, that every child learns at a different pace, and has unique needs. In some cases, needs simply cannot be met due to a lack of resources. However, before we embark on transformational change for our public-school systems, we must address the systemic problems of teacher (and support staff) shortages and retention, or we won’t have an effective public school system to repair. Compensation for educators must be increased in Nevada, and burdens on teachers must decrease.
Additionally, I am an advocate for school choices for our students to include charter schools, and career technical education opportunities along with more signature academies/programs at our high schools that inspire our students and put them on a path to be successful after high school, whether they are college bound or not. I do support educational savings accounts.
Please briefly describe your political philosophy. What are your guiding principles?
I am a non-partisan with a firm belief in liberty, democracy, and equality for all, and guided by faith and family.
I believe political ideology should not be used as a tool or weapon to govern a local school board. Rather governance and policy building should be strictly focused on improving academic performance for our students. Hence, we should do all we can to ensure our students are learning and progressing.
Many voters are concerned about inflation and its impact. What could be done at the state or national level to address the root causes of inflation or mitigate its impact on the public?
Reduced taxes and less regulation will improve economic conditions across the board. Less government interference and reduced federal reserve intervention are some measures that can reduce the current inflationary pressures felt by so many working Nevadans and Americans.
What are the biggest issues facing Washoe County schools, and how would you address them?
Staff shortages including teachers, bus drivers, and support staff is the greatest issue facing our schools today. We must find ways to increase compensation. If we continue to lose and do not have enough teachers, our class sizes will increase, and students will not get the help they need and deserve, particularly at the individual level. We must also increase per pupil funding which has to be done at the state level during the 2023 Legislative Session. Projected revenue sources are available to support our schools. There are also opportunities to streamline and look for savings here locally and examine the effects of reducing the District’s annual ending fund balance that could be passed along in increased compensation.
Some parents are concerned about “mission creep” in education. How should teachers handle topics like race, sex, gender, and identity in the classroom?
It is unfortunate that “culture war” debates continue to dominate discussions in certain segments of our society. It takes away valuable time and focus on the more important matters impacting our students and teachers.
As a matter of principle, I don’t support a student curriculum that is seen as divisive. I have faith in our educators that they know how to strike a balance when it comes to lessons involving race and ethnicity and teach an accurate account of our history and adhere to the Nevada academic content standards. We must learn from the past to make a better future.
I am hopeful that we can soon get beyond this public debate that continues to divide a great nation, our states, and communities, and that these divisive narratives, which are often inaccurate and propagated for purely political gain, will dissolve, and we can truly focus on improving academic performance for all our students.
We must focus on the core curriculum, while allowing for opportunities to innovate such as curriculums that prepare our students for careers post-high school, including the trades. Every school should be welcoming and safe for every student, regardless of gender and ethnicity. Sex education should continue to have parental choice and review. Ultimately, however, moms and dads need to be involved and talk to their children, teachers, and principals and play an active role in the education and the lives of their children.