State Superintendent candidate Ceballos talks business/education relationships and science standards

(Lander, Wyo.) – Mike Ceballos, the democratic candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, told County10 on Monday that he wants to continue to further relationships between the state’s education system and the state’s businesses.

The Cheyenne man spent more than 30 years in the data and telecommunications business, most of which was with Qwest Corporation. He was the state’s President of Qwest from 1997 until his retirement in 2011. Ceballos said that his interest in education blossomed after his company won the contract to provide broadband service to schools across the state. Shortly after, then Gov. Jim Geringer appointed Ceballos to serve as a business representative at a national education forum. Since then he’s served on a number of educational boards.

“We are spending a lot of money on education,” he said, adding that the system’s customers should be more involved. Ceballos said he wants to reach out to teachers and families and help them understand how personally responsible they are for their children’s success. He also wants to work on the alignment of needed jobs to education.

Noting the complex nature of the many facets of education, he said he would bring in experts to help guide the Department of Education. With his business background he thinks he can serve as an effective manager and leader of the department.

Ceballos is of the belief that the controversies surrounding Cindy Hill and science standards have set the state back years in providing proper education, with most of the effects falling on the heads of the students. He believes the state should adopt more recent science standards, calling the 10-year-old standards currently in place “unacceptable.” He said believes students should be taught all points of view and given the critical thinking skills to come to their own conclusions.