Bowling Green Public Schools, Miami University and Cornell Law School
Lifelong member of the Bowling Green community. Active law practice. Member of the Bowling Green City Schools Board of Education, currently serving as president.
There are eight essential areas on which the Board needs to focus:
VISION: describing what we want our school district to become and how we will focus on student achievement as our top priority.
STANDARDS: setting the targets for what we want students to learn and to be able to do.
ASSESSMENT: determining whether we are achieving our goals for student achievement and whether students are learning.
ACCOUNTABILITY: taking responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions and actions.
ALIGNMENT: deciding how our district’s human and financial resources should be used.
CLIMATE: ensuring safe and orderly classrooms where students can learn and teachers can teach.
COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS: bringing people together to solve common problems and to support common successes.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: questioning, examining, revising, refining, and revisiting.
Communication is a two-way street. Navigating and traveling on that street is not easy. Efforts must be made by the administration to effectively provide information to the community about the schools. The Board should establish a communication policy and a communications department. This would free up the administration to focus on the actual job of educating our students. The community would receive current and relevant information and be afforded the opportunity to respond.
The communications department would take advantage of all social media. The website would be up-to-date and revised daily. There could be publications, newsletters, reports about citizens’ groups and committees, surveys and other relevant information. We should let the professional communicators get the word out and the professional educators concentrate on education.
We have contracted with an architectural firm which specializes in school buildings to perform an on-site review of the facilities, current conditions and possible constraints. They will also facilitate an educational visioning process which will focus on how construction can support the curriculum delivery goals. There will be a community engagement process to share the critical facilities data and to gather stakeholder preferences regarding facility improvements.
The architects will also develop a district’s facilities master plan that summarizes all recommended improvements and related budgets.
In other words, we’re going to find out what we need and involve the community in the decision-making process. We know that at least half of the community likes the neighborhood elementary schools. A question to be determined is whether the community would support a new high school.
This is what I love about Bowling Green. We have a diverse community. We welcome diversity. It’s a part of who we are. But it is also important to “walk the walk.” We have students from different racial, religious, economic and educational backgrounds. This diversity must be recognized and embraced as we do our job to educate each and every student to the fullest extent possible. That is the challenge of public education.
Furthermore, it is essential that everyone is included in the process and be a part of the educational community. We must involve the parents in this process. Inclusivity is not just a slogan. It is a requirement which must be met in order to fulfill our responsibility to educate all of the youth of Bowling Green.
- Masters in Educational Administration- BGSU
- Bachelors in Teaching (Special Ed)- BGSU
- Superintendent License
- 22 Years in Education
- 17 Years in Education Administration
- Parent of 2 BGCS Students
- Member of Athletic Advisory Board and Facilities Committee
There are many important tasks required by school board members. A first priority is the responsibility of the hiring and evaluation of both the superintendent and treasurer. Because these two positions are so key to the success of a district, this is one of the most important tasks. Board members are also responsible for setting district policy and help set both short-term and long-term goals of the district. Other tasks are adopting and overseeing the budget, approving contracts with outside vendors, overseeing construction and managing the collective bargaining process for the employees of the district.
Good school board members are responsive and good stewards of the district's finances. Board members should be able to listen to others' perspectives and work collaboratively with differing views. I believe board members should be able to articulate clearly their opinions.
Communication is key in building the relationship and trust between the school district and the community. Working in the school system myself, I understand that the community (and parents) get frustrated when they do not feel like they are being communicated with. Therefore, I believe it is essential for the communication to be frequent and cover everything from policy changes, testing protocols, schedules and district news to name a few. The community should have easy access to this communication and in various formats such as email, news blasts and social media. I also believe that we as a district can contribute to this effective communication by frequently celebrating the many good things that are occurring within the district. Celebrating our successes makes the community feel included. We as a district, also need to be receptive to feedback and questions from our community.
Currently, I sit on the Core Advisory Committee for our district's facilities. This group is composed of various perspectives from a cross section of our community. We will be on the leadership team to build this committee to an even wider range of people that will involve community members from a variety of differences (rural/urban, younger/older, male/female, past supporters of district endeavors/people that have historically opposed district endeavors, and teachers/non-educators). Finally, we will open this up to the entire community for input. Our goal is to bring our community together and identify common interests and needs so that we can move forward together to address our district facilities.
At the point we are able to move forward with a building project, it is the responsibility of the district administrators to maintain and care for the investment we will make.
As a board member, I want all students to feel welcome and included in our district. I want all students to feel, "Bobcat Proud!" Diversity and inclusivity mean accepting and embracing our differences. It is important for our schools to create an environment with awareness and inclusion to help all students succeed regardless of differences. As a board member, it is my job to ask questions and know what our district is doing to ensure all students have the ability and means for success in Bowling Green City Schools.
MA in Organizational Management with a Specialization in Human Resource Management
*Parent not a Politician
*Kids attend BG city schools
*Involved in Non-profit leadership for over 20 years.
Most importantly I feel they listen and remember who they represent and work for. The school board is representation of the community. The school board members are the seats at the table for the community and need to act accordingly. Secondly, to ensure children in the schools are educated to the fullest extent possible. This requires thinking outside of the box and coming up with what can be done instead of what cannot be done. Third, the school board needs to hold administration accountable for leadership. The administration is to present well thought out plans to the board for decision making. The board is not intended to do the planning for the schools, but for making well informed decisions on what plans should and will be carried out.
First, trust needs to be built back between the community and the Bowling Green Schools. Without trust, effective communication cannot be possible. With this trust thier needs to be accountability. Mistakes happen and you admit to those and move on. Living in the past does not help the present and certainly not the future. Communication needs to be clear and concise. Mixed messages cannot be sent saying one thing then doing something different. It takes trust away from the community and has a lasting negative impact. Holding community forums and Coffee chats again are important, along with the Friday messages that used to go out. This allows the public to be heard, as well as be a positive representation of our district. This needs to be ongoing and cannot just be happening when a levy needs to be passed.
The community has spoken on what they want to have happen with the BG city schools. The buildings need to be fixed, and updated so that our kids can have the best environment for learning in the current community schools. Many hours and dollars were already spent on getting the communities input. This input needs to be reveiewed and acted on. Planning needs to happen immediately and I would prioritize with the needs that currently have to be addressed so children are no longer missing school due to heat, or other temperature issues. Our kids have fallen so far behind with last year. Missing even one day of school is a problem and needs to be treated as such. We must make the best education possible in our current community schools and I beleive it can be done under the right leadership.
I have spent my career advocating for those who do not always have a Voice. Wether it be students with dissabilities, children in the system, or other minorities I feel that we need to ensure our school district is all inclusive and has the best possible supportive learning environment for each and every student who walks through our doors. We always need to be fair to students. Being fair to me means that not all students get the same. Fair to me is we meet each and every student where they are and give them the education, the tools, and the experience that works best for them. We have to be done with the one size fits all model. If we can get to this point then we already meet many needs of the students and families regardless of the abilities they have, the size of thier bank account, or the color of thier skin.
BA and MBA from Heidelberg College
Accounts payable for BG Schools for 32 years--understand appropriations
Was on the negotiation team for OAPSE #311 for several contracts
Grandparent of several current BG students
Adopting the annual budget (and understanding it), exercising the school's taxing power, acting upon the Superintendent's and Treasurer's recommendations, and informing the public of the school's needs and progress. The Board also hires and evaluates the Superintendent and Treasurer. These duties are outlined in the Ohio Revised Code and can be found on the school website.
Of all of the duties, I am hearing from taxpayers that we are not as strong as we could be when it comes to informing the public. Board agendas need to be posted online several days in advance of the Board meeting. I realize that there will always be last minute additions, but the main issues should be available for the public to view days before the meeting. Also, all MAJOR items must be listed on the agenda, giving the public time to evaluate and educate themselves on the items that concern them.
Much of the communication between the administration and the community is handled at the monthly school board meetings. The community can log onto the school website (bgcs.k12.oh.us) and see what is being discussed and decided that month. More information needs to be available to the community before it is acted upon. A list of long-term and short-term goals would be helpful. When extra money is received, there would be a plan of action already established. Transparency is needed from all departments.
Encouraging community volunteerism in our schools would also help. When I volunteer, I feel more connected to the school and understand some of the issues that need to be addressed.
All of us want to be heard and our opinions valued. The Board should be the connection between the administration and the community. All Board members live in the district! They are accessible!
We need to look at our current buildings and see if we are maintaining them as we should. We will be using these buildings for the next few years, no matter what is decided in the future.
We need to expand our tax base. Should we petition the State of Ohio to provide funds for all the land and buildings that are State owned (BGSU, ODOT, etc), and thus don't pay property tax to the schools? Should Wood County provide funds annually for the property taxes that are not collected from their buildings (all Wood County offices, courthouse, etc)? New businesses that come to our area pay their share of taxes to provide for the schools,
The current tax base is only able to maintain a certain level of income to the schools. We need to be sure that whatever is decided in the future, we can sustain it. Discussion and planning will be needed to determine the best outcome for our community.
Diversity and inclusivity in any arena speak to equal access to opportunities. Equal doesn't look at differences. Equal is there for everyone, no matter if we are all the same or all of us are different. Our students need to be students, not numbers in a category. The current vision statement on the school's website states "Provide excellent instruction and equitable opportunities for each student."
My proposal is to have this mission statement for our schools - Providing instruction and equal opportunities to all students, helping them ensure their future as productive citizens.