Name: Jenefer Pasqua
Residence: 6808 Snowy River Rd. Cheyenne, WY 82001
Profession: Special Education Teacher
Education: BA Political Science - University of Wyoming
Master in Teaching (MiT) - City University of Seattle
Master of Science (MS) in Special Education - Western Governors University
Experience: 16 year veteran educator K-12
Past President of the Cheyenne Teachers Education Association
What motivated you to run for this position?
I was motivated to run for the LCCC Board of Trustees because all levels of the education system are suffering from the same problem: too many reforms and initiatives constantly being implemented by people with no experience in the classroom. It confuses students, exhausts faculty, and results in an organization that is administratively top heavy. With budget cuts on the horizon there is only one question: How close is the money to the classroom?
What do you consider to be the top three problems facing people running for this office, and how, specifically, would you solve them?
The first issue facing the board is that even before budget cuts were necessary, colleges around the country were faced with declining enrollments. But last year LCCC closed or placed on hiatus thirty-four academic programs. If a college receives a portion of its revenue from tuition, how does it make sense that there are fewer things for students to major in? How is it better that students have fewer options? Tuition is revenue. Why would a college do things that diminish its ability to take in revenue? The next big issue is that when an organization is administratively top heavy and filled with middle managers, it is not only expensive, but moves power, influence, and discretion away from where it belongs; faculty and their expertise in building strong mentor relationships with their students. The leadership levels of the college, including the board, should embrace collaboration, not compliance. Finally, although no one could have predicted a pandemic that would result in declining state revenues, we now know that budget cuts are coming. I worry that the cuts will be made in the wrong places. The core function of a college is to offer courses and degree programs. Any budget cut affecting that ability is counter to the core function. Imagine building a car, but not including the engine because it’s too expensive. It’s that simple.
What three policy issues set you apart from your opponents?
I can’t tell you what separates me from the other candidates because I have not heard any policy proposals from them. As a lifelong educator the things that I have articulated in the previous answers are issues that I care about, and ones that would directly impact students and educators. These are the contemporary issues facing education. I know and understand these issues because as an educator, I’ve lived them directly, not abstractly. I’d like to serve my community and the students in it. LCCC is an amazing place. It’s a cornerstone of our community filled with talented and dedicated people. It simply needs to spend a little less energy proving what it’s doing and a little more energy doing what it’s doing.