Name: Tyler Yung

Position you are running for: USD 470 Board of Education

Family members (e.g. spouse, children, grandchildren): Married my high school sweetheart, Alysha, and have two boys, Oakley and Easton.

How long have you lived in Arkansas City?

I moved to Arkansas City in 1997 and started attending Jefferson Elementary, and have lived here ever since.

Have you served on any boards previously?

I have served on Employee Association boards, as well as the Relay for Life Committee at GE. I also have volunteer hours working on some of the Habitat for Humanity houses and projects at the Chaplin Nature Center. Coaching Rec League sports is one of my favorites as it is a way to give back to many children at once.

Why did you choose to run for this position?

It is personal for me. I am passionate about this community because I grew up, went to school and graduated here in Arkansas City. I want my boys to have the same quality and positive experiences that I had. This is my chance to be an advocate for the kids in the district, as well as a voice for the educators. Sometimes, it seems the teachers and staff can get overlooked.

I want to be fair for all parties. I care a lot about the community, and in that, I want to take care of it. I am invested as a parent, spouse of an educator and a Bulldog alum.

The City of Arkansas City has proposed a land swap adjacent to the bus barn area once Water Treatment Facility construction is complete. What improvements or changes would you like to see in the area?

I do not know very much on this topic, but if this land swap could benefit both the city and the school district, then we should take a closer look. We would need to evaluate the pros and cons to better understand the financial impact.

What do you think should be done about Liberty Cemetery, the small rural cemetery owned by the school district that is northeast of Ark City in Silverdale Township?

I would like to hear more information as to why we have this property before any decision is made. I am not seeing the benefit to owning a cemetery.

Tax dollars were used to finance the bonds for construction of the new ball fields south of Arkansas City High School. The bonds are still being paid off. Do you think USD 470 should relax policies for these fields to allow more public access?

From reading Policy KG, the facilities are available to the community, but can be rented. In reading this, I do believe that the policy could be revised to allow for public use during certain hours not interfering with any school- or city-run event. The city utilizes these fields in the summer months for the city leagues which are open to the public. I have personally used these fields for practice and games.

Do you think the school district should develop some sort of master plan for its facilities and how it will deal with continued changes in its mix of students?

The term mix can mean a lot of things, but I think having a plan and how we will handle continued changes is the right thing to do. Our district and many others in the surrounding area are seeing a fluctuation in ethnicity, family involvement and background, socioeconomic status, etc., and there should be a plan to ensure all students are receiving the same high-quality education as the next.

In general, do you think it is appropriate to leave a school board position vacant for an indefinite period of time, or should the board of education adopt some sort of time limit or deadline to fill future vacancies?

I believe there should be a timeline developed to fill a vacant position. These positions are there for the benefit of the school district and community. With a vacancy, the board loses out on another point of view or great ideas.

If the school district were to add one curriculum or program of study, what would you like it to be?

I am a major advocate of the STEM/STEAM programs. The knowledge and experience that these classes provide help our kids excel in many areas other than academics, such as collaboration, organization, leadership, problem solving and perseverance.

Cowley College begins competing in wrestling this year. Are there any new sports or activities you would like to see the middle and high schools participate in, and if so, how would you propose to finance them?

Last year, I was invited to mentor middle school students on their amusement park projects and later judge them. I was highly impressed with how these projects turned out and could see potential in activities like this becoming a competitive activity in the future, not just a classroom project. I have mentored and judged in other school districts where they participated in state and national competitions, and would love to see similar events here.

What is your opinion of the job being done by Superintendent Ron Ballard and his administrative staff? What changes, if any, would you like to see in their approach and/or the school district’s direction?

I think they are doing a great job dealing with the struggles that have been presented by the state’s budget problems. Balancing the budget without knowing what the future will bring is tough to do.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you or why you are seeking this position?

I am a degreed mechanical engineer who looks for creative ways to solve problems. I would use these same techniques in my position with the board. I would be the youngest member on the board and would provide a different view on the topics presented.

This information was provided by Tyler Yung, candidate for the USD 470 Board of Education.