B.S. in Social Studies Education
Masters in Reading Education
Ten years teaching in Catholic schools, 2.5 years as a house parent at Bunker Hill Boys Home, 28 years teaching for Butler Tech at Talawanda Middle and High Schools. Was awarded an Innovation Award from Butler Tech in 2011 and the Teckman Award from Talawanda in 2016.
Talawanda Schools are in excellent financial condition. The ODE recommends that districts' fund balances should be 30-60 days of operating expenses. Talawanda has 251 days. The correct question to ask is our we getting desired outcomes for the money we invest? There are many variables that cause some districts to spend more money than others. We cannot take a simplistic approach to complex issues. If savings need to be made the question should be: How does it impact the students? Students first!
The BOE can only support the professional educators in doing their jobs. They need to: 1) support students with the policies they establish 2) make sure the money is managed in a way that provides the staff with everything they need to ensure student success 3) support the entire staff; from the certified staff to the cafeteria workers, custodians, and aids 4) support all areas of the district from preschool to high school, including STEM, IT, Special Education, Intervention Programs, Gifted....
These, as well as excessive testing, are examples of the state interfering with local control of our schools. The erosion of support for public schools concerns me since they are essential for the health of our democracy. I would encourage the board to advocate strongly and publicly for public education. The actions at the state level have not improved the outcomes for our students. I taught ten years in parochial schools. I understand that parents like choice but we need healthy public schools.
PhD, University of Reading, England, 2010.
MA, The Body & Representation, University of Reading, England, 2001.
MA, Art History, Vermont College of Norwich University, 2000.
BFA (Painting) with Minor in Art History, 1995, Miami University.
The question implies that this is a negative issue. Fiscal duties and financial challenges must be implemented in a measured way that always places the students’ needs and best teaching practices in the forefront. If there is need to curb expenditures, it should be in a way that thoroughly considers the purpose and necessity. Also, a consideration of other areas in the school district, such as in administration, should be on the table. An algorithm does not measure “Value” in education.
Students are facing a changing world with jobs that do not yet exist. There are a number of skills that are important for students to have. The ability to collaborate, think creatively, and make connections. Analytical, problem-solving and communication skills (written and verbal). Also a strong foundation in both STEM and the humanities. A school district that emphasizes innovative and integrative curriculum and teaching practices over testing will best prepare students for the future.
This is an extremely important issue. The public school system is one of America’s most important civic institutions. Charter/Voucher programs offer a promise of “choice” at the expense of public school funding. Studies have shown that the majority of these choices have little oversight and do not do a better job of educating the student. Charter schools represent an attempt to privatize schools and is one more example of the inadequacies of applying a business model to educating children.
PhD in Curriculum/Instruction and Administration
8 Years on the Talawanda School Board- Legislative Representative for our district as well as being on SWOSBA Legislative Committee representing Butler County-,retired teacher and principal- retired consultant with Pearson-currently part time at Miami
Understanding what is included in per pupil spending is a concern. From 2014-2017 Talawanda spent 2.7 million dollars on digital 1-1 as was recommended by Director of Curriculum to ensure that every student in the district had access to a computer for instruction to be a 21st century learner. Due to our large geographical district, our transportation expense is another area. Per pupil expenditure is a yearly journey not a destination.
No one can guarantee success for a student. The board provides high quality teachers, high quality resources which are brought to the board as a recommendation from Curriculum Council, and items like the 1-1 three year process for each student to have a computer for instruction. These are all recommendations from our educational leaders. With outstanding guidance counselors, every student is given the best chance possible to be successful post secondary.
It is called "school choice" which has been around for a long time. I believe in school choice, but every choice should have the same requirements and be held to the same standards. The playing field has to be level for all players. It is a very complicated matter right now with the finances. It is extremely important that our legislators understand the tremendous impact it has currently on local public schools financially. I meet with legislators whenever I can to discuss this concern.
Graduate Reily High School
Married to Bill Vollmer, Daycare Provider, 3 children and 5 Grandchildren, graduates of Talawanda
I am proud of what Talawanda offers the students of the district. With the excellent fiscal management we have pushed the need for an operating levy out through 2021. Health Care savings was 5 %, 2016-7 has remained flat with a savings over a 5 year period of 1 millon dollars. Attrition of the high end teachers retiring and being replaced with younger teachers and outsourcing has saved money. We have a state of the art high school, opened a new Kramer and hope to do the same with Marshall withou
Contrary to popular belief not every high school graduate is college bound. For the college bound students our offerings are second to none. With advanced classes, graduates are ready to be college freshman. For the student that does not plan on going to college, we have an asset in Butler Tech. Students graduating from Butler Tech are ready to enter the workforce or further their education. Our district needs to utilize this resource better. Sophomores are now able to attend and 8th graders obs
Charter Schools and vouchers are a part of our educational system. Yes, it concerns me, but if we continue to have a good curriculum and keep producing with good teachers, our excellent product, we do not have much to worry concerning vouchers and Charter Schools. If anything we will pick-up students using the vouchers.