District 196 teacher to run for Farmington School Board
Bartosh questions trend for iPads
Eric Bartosh’s passion for teaching was so strong he dropped an entire career path to pursue it.
Now, he wants to bring that experience and passion to the Farmington School Board as a
candidate in the November election.
“I’ve had extremely valuable experiences with success in the classroom,” Bartosh said. “I’ve developed relationships with students, I communicate with parents and served on committees. … I think I have good expertise as far as what makes and effective classroom, where money should be spent and what could be done better.”
Bartosh, 36, was selling insurance and investments, when he was recruited in 1999 to coach ninth-grade football at Apple Valley High School.
Bartosh enjoyed working afternoons with the students so much, the former college football player went to his boss and quit.
“I said, ‘I don’t think my heart’s in this business,’ ” Bartosh said.
Teaching and coaching brought him to Wisconsin and Texas as he pursued his license while gaining classroom experience before he returned to Minnesota. While living in the Farmington School District, he earned a master’s degree and kept teaching and coaching numerous sports in District 196.
He is currently a reading specialist at Valley Middle School in Apple Valley.
As a Farmington School Board member, Bartosh said he would prioritize spending money on things that make an effective classroom and favors increased options for all-day kindergarten and additional emphasis on preschool literacy.
Bartosh said early reading programs are effective in addressing the achievement gap between white and minority students.
He is not as eager for the district to invest in iPads for every student.
“Our kids need to be comfortable working with technology,” Bartosh said. “But I don’t think it is the magic bullet to solve all problems.”
He said parents he has spoken with are concerned about the equipment being lost or stolen.
“I‘m for technology, but I’m not necessarily sure I’m for everybody having an iPad,” he said. “I think the money could be used better elsewhere.”
Bartosh emphasized the importance of maintaining extra-curricular activities like sports and theater, even in tight budgets, to provide students opportunities to learn valuable life skills.
“I think schools are so focused on standardized test scores, they end up cutting everywhere else,” Bartosh said.
He is an advocate for improving communication between the schools and parents and expressed frustration about the district’s history of public disputes between school board members and former Superintendent Brad Meeks.
As a board member, Bartosh said he would respectfully listen to community members, officials and other board members before making a decision on an issue.
He vowed to respond to emails and phone calls from the public quickly.
“I think I represent a silent majority of people in Farmington who want the schools to do well,” Bartosh said. “I think we have a lot of potential here to be a leader.”
Bartosh and his wife Alyssa Bartosh, a literacy coach at Parkview Elementary, have lived in Farmington since 2002 and have three preschool-age children.
Laura Adelmann is at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/sunthisweek.