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Perrysburg Exempted Village School District Brd of Education

Perrysburg Exempted Village School District Brd of EducationTerm Commencing January 1, 20223 to be Elected // Vote for 3Term of Office: 4 YearsSalary: $125 / meeting(Once you have clicked on a candidate(s), scroll to the bottom of the page for their information.)

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    Eric Benington

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    David Desser

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    Sue Larimer

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    Laura Meinke

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    Lori Reffert

Información Biográfica

Describe your motivating interest in serving on the Perrysburg School Board. And, what specific characteristics and skills do you bring to the Board?

Do you believe that racial and cultural prejudices exist in our school district? What, if anything, should the Board do to promote a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for all students, their families, and staff?

Other than school funding, identify two (2) issues facing the Perrysburg School District and how would you propose to address them?

In light of past school shootings in other communities, what is your position on arming school personnel?

Education Miami University - Bachelors of Science (Accountancy) University of Toledo - Executive MBA
Qualifications Perrysburg Schools Board Member since 2015, Penta Vocational School Board Member since 2016 Certified Public Accountant 30 Years financial leadership expereince
I have served as a Perrysburg School Board member for over six years and on the Penta Vocational School Board for over four years. It has been and honor to serve and has provided me with a deep understanding of the opportunities and the challenges that exist in preparing our students for their future. I wish to continue the important work done by our School district in the development of Northwest Ohio’s future work force. I want to continue addressing the challenges that our district is facing such as growth, school funding, educating in uncertain times and the increasing social pressures on our students.

In addition to my school board experience, I am a certified public accountant with an executive MBA and 30 years professional career experience. I will continue as a thoughtful leader while making the right decisions for the benefit of our students and the community.
Perrysburg Schools is a destination school distirct. It is located in an area with several national companies and is experiencing explosive growth. This has resulted in an increasing diverse population within our District. The Perrysburg School district employs over 700 staff and is educating over 5,300 students, each with their own identity and experiences that make them unique. A vast majority of the interaction between individuals are positive, however, sometimes these interactions don’t go as well as they should. Our school community must be able to have the communication tools and cultural understanding to resolve these conflicts when they do occur. I support the district in providing the resources necessary for our staff and students to better understand and communicate with each other as individuals. This results in greater educational outcomes for all our students.
An increasing number of teachers are leaving their chosen career and college enrollment in education continues to decline nationally. The proper mix of new and experienced teachers must be strong to continue delivering an excellent education. The district’s ability to provide in-person learning is also effected by staffing shortages of substitute teachers and bus drivers. I will continue to support hiring excellent staff at competitive wages being mindful of the financial accountability our community demands.

Another issue that I will continue to address is the District’s future school building needs. Perrysburg School District utilizes a Community based school model focused on children attending their local area elementary building. I will continue to work with the community on maintaining this model amidst the district’s footprint, growing enrollment and aging buildings.
I appreciate the partnership that our community has between the School district and the City of Perrysburg. The City provides well trained School Resource Officers in our schools. These officers provide extra security for our students and foster a positive relationship between students and law officers. The key to this successful relationship has been in the selection and training of these valuable SROs. The proper mindsets, behaviors and experiences are critical to best support the safety of our students. Earlier this summer the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruled that armed school personnel are required to have training that is at a level that our school resource officers must go through. I support this high standard of training prior to arming someone who is going to be around our children and believe that the current SRO program is the best option for the District.
Campaign Email ddesser@hotmail.com
Education West Side Montessori, Toledo Early College High School, Downtown Development Toledo Board
Qualifications 5 Children have attended Perrysburg, Penta, Rossford, West Side, St Johns and Notre Dame. Wife teaches at Ball State. Small Business owner for decades.
We have 5 children and have experienced 6 different school systems through an unusual set of circumstances so I have seen multiple ways to operate schools. These varied experiences can benefit Perrysburg. I am community minded and enjoy people and being involved. I am good at finding common ground with others and communicating. A board should have an array of experiences amongsts it members and listen to the community. My experiences as a small business owner, & being on the Salvation Army Board, which provides services throughout the area, Downtown Toledo Develpment Committee, which works on the vision for Downtown Development, West Side Montessori School Board, and Toledo Early College High School Board, which is an Excellent rated Charter School operated by Toledo Public Schools and The University of Toledo positions me with useful experiences to share with the Perrysburg community
Human nature dictates that we will always have, and have to work against, racial and cultural prejudices. In order to achieve opimum results, a board has to first, listen to the community, and second, make sure the administration is executing the strategies that represent the entire community, evenly. Children are not to be tools for a teacher or school districts vision of social change, but instead, educated factually so as adults they have the knowledge base to make good, roundly educated, kind decisions.
Communication and follow up! We need a board, administration and staff who don't just validate concerns, but actually address them. We need a ten year plan, and we need to lay out half a dozen options for what our future can hold, so the public can decide what choices are best for the entire community. We don't want to create a community that causes people to move out of the district due to high taxes.

We also need to look at the cost audit report the State of Ohio did for our school system on cost issues and take action.

We currently have armed school personnel. We have an SRO at the JUnior High School and an SRO at the High School.
Campaign Email electsuelarimer@gmail.com
Education MEd Lourdes Univ/Teaching & Curriculum BSEd/UT 1-8; Middle School Social Studies/Liberty U
Qualifications Retired Educator, 8 years Board experience so I understand the basics already. Served as VP and on most of our committees as well as OSBA Delegate. Perrysburg resident since 2009
I truly love being on the Board, working with these professionals, students, & families. My background in curriculum and teaching allows my own personal experiences to add to our discussions and my 8 years on the Board gives me valuable understanding of our community and school laws which govern us. Even with that there is an enormous amount of information to learn! I enjoy reading educational articles and sharing what I’ve learned with my Board about recent legislative activities and current thoughts on pedagogy. I’ve served on our Operations, Pupil Services, Communications, and Curriculum committees as well as being our Legislative liaison & delegate with OSBA. All this experience is an asset as we continue to implement the plans already being considered to face growth and funding issues for our District.
We have had reports from students and parents of bullying based on prejudices during some of my eight years on the Board. The staff is well-trained on the Olweus Anti-bullying protocols (https://olweus.sites.clemson.edu/). This has greatly helped but a few years ago a group came together to offer staff, community, and student support to broaden understandings amongst the many diverse representations we have in our school community. Last year alone we had 16 different native languages spoken in our buildings! It’s not just racial issues but also learning to have compassion for students/families/staff of differing cultures, capabilities, needs, and backgrounds. There is so much more that can unite us than divide us. I’d like to see more emphasis on the Golden Rule, MLK's mantra, and our own beloved Jacket Way.
1) The most obvious issue to all is our rapid growth. While this confidence to move here is a huge compliment to what we’re doing in our District and community, it’s a heavy burden. When it came time to build the new HS, that levy failed 3 times before a smaller building passed. After 20 years it now must be added on to which plans have been underway to consider. HPI was also designed to be added on to. With interest rates so low, now could be a good time to consider what buildings need adjusting and/or additions added. 2) We cannot be sure what mental health issues have developed from the pandemic problems. We’re using a multi-layered approach to address the needs for which we are currently aware and prepare for those unknown to us at this time. Any counselor, principal, or teacher can direct students, staff, or families to the source of help most applicable to them.
The horror of these incidences hit me hard as I wondered what it would be like to be the parent outside anxiously awaiting news of my child’s safety. And what trauma infiltrates those victims as they desperately seek shelter inside? The average mass shooting lasts 9 minutes with a police response time of ~4 minutes with ~2 additional minutes needed to call 911. Only in 4% of these cases does the shooter quit and surrender. As either the victim or parent, I would love to know there’s a competent counter-offensive near my loved-one so yes, I support an armed employee/s who has completed the required approved basic peace-officer training program and/or has 20 years peace officer experience per the Ohio Supreme Court (Gabbard v. Madison Local School Dist. Bd. of Edn., 2021-Ohio-2067). (Shooter stats from Rich Iott, USCCA Certified Instructor – Countering the Mass Shooter Threat)
Campaign Email votelaurameinke@gmail.com
Education BA in Spanish, The Ohio State University
Qualifications 11+ years Board of Education at Genoa Area Local Schools, served as V.P. & President, Committees: Finance, Curriculum, OIP, Construction, Wellness, OSBA liaison
With 11+ years of previous BOE experience I am well versed in Board policy, district long/mid/short term planning, levies, school funding, bond issues and refinancing, school and facilities construction, finance including 5-year forecasts, retire/rehire, contract negotiations for both certified and classified employees, budget cuts to reduce deficit spending, financial audits, Superintendent and Administrator searches, curriculum, Ohio Improvement Process, District/Building Leadership Teams, Special Education audits, and the state report card. I believe that every student should be provided a solid education foundation so that they can set their own goals for their future and be a contributing member of society. Perrysburg community, schools, and students have so much potential that has yet to be tapped. Developing that potential is the gift that keeps on giving.
I believe that because we are human there will always be prejudice. Acceptance of persons different than oneself starts at home. The Board has and should actively carry out their policies on any type of discrimination. Students, parents, and teachers should be familiar with chain of command for reporting and reporting methods. Activities like cultural fairs can be used to expand curriculum learning opportunities. The district could start a "New to the District" welcoming committee to aid new families on becoming connected within the community.
Perrysburg is experiencing an explosive population growth that can be seen by the number of portable classrooms throughout the district. A district growth plan should have been addressed and implemented years ago because new facilities or additions, from resolution of Bond Issue to building completion, usually take at least 4 years. With the commercial development off of Rt. 20 and the 75 corridor from BG to new housing developments within the district our schools will remain overcrowded as is. For immediate relief I would look into the cost and logistics of leasing the empty Kroger building instead of spending money on more portable classrooms. For long term solutions I would propose a bond issue and planning with area governments on development timelines. Operations spending needs to be reigned in and decreased to ease voter fatigue.
I am open to arming school personnel. Why? If you know that there is a badger in the badger's den do you knowingly enter? If the knowledge that someone or many are armed and it saves one student's life it is worth the effort. Every second counts and response time to the schools will vary dependent on the distance and number of police personnel available. There are many state and local agencies entrusted to train and support school personnel willing to take on the responsibility. As for who, that would be a very controlled selection process in conjunction with local agencies.
Campaign Email forlorireffert@gmail.com
Education Doctorate Educational Administration and Supervision, Bachelor's and Master's in Education
Qualifications 26 years in public education as a teacher, administrator and Senior Director of Human Resources for the 4th largest district in Ohio. Very involved in our community and NW Ohio.
My motivating interest in running for our School Board is to be a voice for community members ensuring that all are heard and valued. As an educator and mom of a son with a disability, I believe a community and school district should serve the needs of every student. Living in Perrysburg for 18 years and the parent of two very involved students, I have seen first hand the strides the district has made regarding inclusion and understanding of marginalized populations in our community. I want to ensure this growth continues in a positive way. As a 26 year public school educator and active volunteer, my experiences and background are a perfect fit for our school board. I am a proven leader, skilled in process improvement, communication, strategic planning and budgets. I am not afraid to get involved, challenge the status quo and ask difficult questions. I am ready to serve my community.
I don’t believe racial and cultural prejudices exist in the school district community so much as lack of understanding does. The 2020 Census notes the racial composition of Perrysburg as 90.29% white compared to 61.6% in the U.S. with the U.S. becoming even more diverse by 2030. Our students will be living in a global society and we are home to many global companies. As our community continues to grow and change it is very important the district continues the great work being done regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. As the district is more diverse than the community at 81% white, every voice and every experience is important. It is crucial that the Board continues to support educational opportunities that promote the understanding of differences so that all students’ and their families' varying experiences, backgrounds and talents are supported, valued, respected and understood.
Two key issues I feel the district faces are overall growth and opposing community views. To address the growth issue it is vital the Master Facilities Plan is continually reviewed and the board educates all on how growth affects a community. Another issue I see is how opposing community views have become an assault on the district and its educators. No other college educated profession is publicly questioned and criticized quite like a public school educator. We are very fortunate to have dedicated educators. It is crucial the community acknowledges that while it has changed over the years we all have a common interest in educating our students to be their very best. I propose hosting regular community forums where we take the time to talk, learn from each other and understand different perspectives. Our collective focus should be on doing what is best for students and our community.
There are so many areas to consider with this question. What personnel would be armed? What type of training will they receive? How and where will a weapon be stored? Who will be liable when things go wrong (student takes a weapon, weapon accidentally discharges, accidental shooting)? Who will pay for training and purchase the weapon? Before a law enforcement official can carry a weapon, they need to go through a series of evaluations, including physical and psychological, and attend Peace Officer Training (approximately 728 hours). In this training, officers are taught how to suppress psychological changes that happen during a high-stress, traumatic event. This type of training does not occur during an eight hour class for a concealed carry permit. Until the above would be satisfactorily answered, my position is no to anyone other than a School Resource Officer being armed in a school.