Farmington Voice is profiling the four candidates running on November 6 for two open Farmington Public Schools Board of Education seats: Pam Green, Jeff Grynaviski, Mark Przeslawski, and Zach Rich.
Farmington Public Schools Board of Education trustee Mark Przeslawski isn’t a teacher, but he spends a bit of time in the teachers’ lounge.
“I’ve tried to make the board more open by going into schools and sitting in the teachers’ lounges, just to chat with them,” said Przeslawski, who is seeking a second term on November 6. “To hear that I’m the first board member (to have done so) in up to 30 years… is wrong.”
If re-elected, Przeslawski said his most immediate concern will be integrating Harrison High students into North Farmington and Farmington High Schools. “It affects the entire district, not just the Harrison kids.”
Talk about enrollment projections before the decision to close Harrison created distrust among some district residents, Przeslawski said. Through his work with the data, he found that the district’s elementary schools will be over capacity in the next few years, which is why officials chose to keep the former Highmeadow Common Campus building.
But while the populations of cities within the district may grow, people just aren’t having as many children as they have in the past, Przeslawski said.
“People are having two kids instead of three, and there is the need for having two high schools rather than three,” he said, adding the district has “quite a good plan” moving forward, particularly moving pre-K students into one building.
Going forward, Przeslawski would like to see course offerings improved to ensure students going to college, technical schools, the arts, military, or straight into the workforce all have what they need to succeed. He’d also like to continue the stabilization of the district since his election in 2016, when officials were closing schools, struggling with contract negotiations and a shrinking fund balance.
A 20-year district resident, Przeslawski is a widower with two sons at Harrison High – a senior and a freshman – and two who’ve graduated. He said his senior recently commented that when Harrison closes in the spring, four of the six schools he has attended will have closed.
“That is what I want to stop,” he said. “Kids shouldn’t have to go through that. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”