The following is a questionnaire sent out by The Bee to candidates for the November 2009 election. Candidates supplied the answers, and they are being published it their unedited form.
What is your full, legal name?
Joseph Stephen Collins
What name do you prefer be used in print?
What office do you seek?
Reelection as a member of the Modesto City Schools Board of Trustees
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I am running for reelection to the Board because I believe there are good things happening in Modesto’s schools and I want to continue to support these positive changes
Test scores are up. Attendance rates are extremely high. Our high schools are being organized into small learning communities and academies that provide students with better academic focus and a greater sense of community. Programs such as language institutes and Advanced Path Academics have given new opportunities to students who are English learners or do not fit well into the standard school setting. Our small K-3 class size and comprehensive arts and athletic programs have been preserved in spite of the state wide economic crisis. The vitality of Modesto vocational/technical programs helped Stanislaus County become the fourteenth area in the United States to receive a prestigious Ford Partnership. The community should be proud of that record of accomplishment.
In 2005 I ran for the Board on a platform of encouraging just those kinds of innovations and reforms. I hope the citizens of the District will be pleased by those accomplishments and will vote to reelect me so that I may continue to promote the right kind of change.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
Maintaining high quality education in a period of increasing financial challenge.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I had an over forty- year career as a teacher and instructional leader at Modesto Junior College in which I worked in both academic and technical/vocational instruction. In that time I had the opportunity to build partnerships with high schools and the business community. As a result, I have a unique perspective on how school systems and the business community work and how we can cooperate to create vital educational settings serving the needs of both college/university bound students and those planning to move directly into the job market. No other candidate can offer that kind of experience.
Where do you work and what is your job title? (If retired, list position before retirement)
I am retired. The last permanent position I held was Vice President for Instruction at Modesto Junior College. The last temporary position I filled was Dean of Allied Health, Family and Consumer Sciences at MJC.
What date were you born and where?
New Orleans La. March 20, 1939
What is your spouse's name, if any?
Linda Becker Collins
What are the names and ages of your children, if any?
Alison Collins Alpar, 39.
Please list the schools and colleges you attended, the degrees you attained and when.
Graduate, Thomas Downey High School 1957
BA, University of the Pacific 1962
MA, University of the Pacific 1963
Have you ever held an elected or appointed public office? (Include dates and office title)
Elected to the Modesto City Schools Board in November 2005. Served in that position to date.
Have you run before for an elected public office? (Include dates and exact office title)
Not prior to my candidacy for the Modesto School Board in 2005
Approximately how much money do you expect to spend on your campaign?
I expect my campaign will spend between 15 and 18 thousand dollars. (By the way, this question should ask for an approsimation of the value of donated in-iind services by endorsing organizations.)
Have you ever been convicted or charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation? If so, please explain and include dates and locations.
Have you or a business you owned or had principal interest in ever filed bankruptcy? If so, please include dates and the location the bankruptcy was filed.