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North Olmsted Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Term: 4 yearsIncumbents Terry Gorden (vice president), Thomas R. Herbster, and Kim Rahm are running unopposed for re-election to the board. Current members John Lasko (president) and Linda Cleary are in the midst of serving their terms.
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    Terry Groden Media/Broadcasting Professional

  • Thomas R. Herbster

  • Kim Rahm

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Biographical Information

Explain why you want to serve (or continue to serve) on the Board of Education. What talents do you think you add to the board?

What are the most significant issues facing your school district and what is the most effective way to deal with them?

Rankings by the state affect how your district is perceived by residents and prospective residents. How should the board react to the state's performance index rankings for the district?

Age 55
Education Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Akron; Master's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University.
Current occupation Technical Support Agent at Futuri Media.
Qualifications for office Passion for serving the community and advancing the interests of our school children and public education in general; 8 years of previous experience on the School Board; actively involved with the Ohio School Boards Association and its efforts to improve public education in the state; representative for school districts in the U.S. 16th Congressional District on behalf of the National School Boards Association.
Campaign Phone (440) 777-6503
Email address or
I believe few things are more important to the future of our community, and our country, than the proper education of our youth. That’s why I’m passionate about serving the residents of North Olmsted on the Board of Education.

It’s also why advocating for traditional public education is very important to me. Nearly 30 years of experience in the field of media/broadcasting have helped me in that capacity.

Fifteen years as an operations manager, along with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, help me understand the fiscal responsibilities of running a school district.
A few issues come to mind, including the one we’ll address with the last question. The other two have to do with diminishing resources for public education and our district’s upcoming transition into a new 6-12 campus.

Basic state aid has been flat over the past few biennial budgets. But, in reality, state funding for education hasn’t kept pace with inflation. The elimination of the tangible personal property tax, designed to help spur business development in Ohio (with little success), has cost the North Olmsted school district millions of dollars. Millions of dollars have also been transferred from the district’s general funds to mostly poor performing charter schools. We lost more than $644,000 last year alone. Under and unfunded mandates further compromise our ability to deliver the kind of education our students deserve. These are just some of the reasons for consistent and ongoing advocacy efforts.

It’s also a very exciting time for the district and the community. Our new 6-12 facility is on schedule (and on-budget) to open in August of 2018. This will transform the district as never before. Planning for the new school, performing arts center and football stadium started years ago and will continue throughout the building process. But the work will continue even after the new facilities are open as we begin strategic planning for the rest of the district’s needs.
I have no problem with school districts being evaluated on their performance. We should have mechanisms in place to help identify and confirm practices that are working, but also to drive improvement with our teachers, staff and students.

However, I’m very concerned that tests administered by the state don’t do anything to really help students in the long run. By the time results are returned to the district, students have already moved on to the next grade. Such a process, therefore, seems to be more about ranking and punishing school districts than truly helping schools --- and students --- get better.

There also needs to be more of a focus on the overall success our students demonstrate over the whole school year and the entire span of their academic career in the North Olmsted City Schools. For example, our Value Added scores, which measure a student’s progress over a longer period of time, are very strong. Our four-year graduation rate continues to hover around 95%. And our students typically have ACT scores that are above the state average, helping them earn millions of dollars every year in scholarship offers and continuing education grants.

These are just a few factors that get missed when you rank school districts based on a snapshot of performance over a short period of time.
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