Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

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

Term: 4 yearsIncumbents Kevin C. Kussmaul and Michael Johns are running for re-election. Other candidates for the three open seats are Alison Giraldo, Amanda M. Karpus, John Schweitzer, Tammie Sebastian, and Steven Vaughn. The terms of current members Karen S. Dendorfer and John M. Tenerowicz (president) expire in 2019.The Parma City School District includes the communities of Parma, Parma Heights, and Seven Hills.
  • Candidate picture

    Alison Giraldo Realtor

  • Michael Johns

  • Candidate picture

    Amanda M. Karpus Small Business Owner

  • Candidate picture

    Kevin C. Kussmaul Ohio Registered Appraiser Assistant

  • Candidate picture

    John Schweitzer Retired Educator

  • Candidate picture

    Tammie Sebastian Information Specialist/Trainer

  • Candidate picture

    Steven Vaughn Class A PGA Professional

Change Candidates

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 34
Education Hondros College
Current occupation Realtor
Qualifications for office Parma Heights resident Member of Focus on the Future Past PTA board memberships PTA volunteer Commissioner of Tri City Youth Cheer Realtor Member of National and local Realtor associations Athletic club member and sponsor
Campaign Phone (440) 570-6159
Email address
My experience as a Realtor has provided me with an in depth knowledge of our area geographically and demographically. As the founder and commissioner of the Tri City Youth Cheer program and many years of PTA support, volunteering and PTA board membership, I have experience with the children and families within the district, assessing their needs. With the current climate of the district, I believe my experience and skills will be beneficial to resolution and solution of the challenges facing the district presently.
Financial solvency has become the paramount concern for the district. By utilizing a better system of budgeting with additional checks and balances, the majority of the fiscal issues would be resolved. An internal auditor position would rectify many deficiencies within the treasury department and applying for additional grant opportunities would free up funds within the general budget to be applied towards the reserve balance needed. Desirability has become an increasing concern for the district which directly impacts the community by affecting the housing market and local business. Desirability will naturally resolve itself once the financial concerns are adequately addressed however, the district can aid in the increasing desirability by addressing curriculum. Expanding the current STEM program using grant funds and showcasing the success and benefits of the career tech program provide students with a relevant education and the skills they need in our society, preparing them for the job market and college readiness.
The ranking of the career tech program has become a source of pride for the district. The expansion of many of the programs and addition of new ones has been successful and the board should be commending and acknowledging this success while encouraging future growth. The district as a whole has not ranked positively and the board will need to take action to improve the those scores. Expanding the STEM program is one way that the scores can be improved as well as refocusing on literacy by regulating the budget and bringing back additional intervention specialists. The district report card components are directly impacted by financial solvency which will need to be regulated first and foremost before additional concerns can be addressed.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Age 32
Education Professional Developement : Lorain County Community College
Current occupation Small Business Owner, Hai Bales Photography, LLC
Qualifications for office 10+ Years as a PTA member PCSD Focus on the Future, Facilities Usage and District Operations Committee.
Campaign Phone (440) 310-4345
Email address
Twitter @KarpusPCSD2017
I am a mother of 6 children in this district, and like many other parents I was ready to see a mindset shift in the Board of Education. With 3 appointed Board members, the stakeholders lost their voice. We as a community are ready for positive outlooks, long term planning and a proactive board instead of reactive. I feel that as a parent who will be impacted by the decisions of the district in the classroom, I can understand and relate to the concerns of ALL our stakeholders.
Our school Board has a histry of marking decisions with direct impact in the classroom. They’ve lacked long term visioning and education planning. We are facing a cumulative debt in excess of 20 million in a few short years. Some of the most effective ways to tackle these issues will be charging the Superintenedent and his cabinet with providing multiple options for housing and educating students, including the number of students impacted both postively and negatively. I would like to implement a teacher leader program in our buildings to enable teachers to achieve professional goals and focus on content areas they choose. We also must maintain a comprehensive understanding of legislation at the local, state, and federal levels, that will impact our district, both in areas of increased and deceased revenue. As a board, we also need to the look down the road, create long term goals and develop achieveable benchmarks through collaboration with the OFCC (Ohio Facilities Construction Commission), and data and research provided by independent third party experts in their fields.
One specific indicator on the state’s performance index ranking that can be immediately improved is our passing scores for the Third Grade Reading Gurantee. This can be achieved by returning to a full staff of literacy specialists that have been cut by the current board of education. We also need to begin to identify the students transferring out of the Parma City Schools after the start of their freshman year. We need to watch for trends to emerge and implement a process of retention in the high schools. We do live in a transient community, so educating parents about the benefits of completing a high school career, from start to finish in the same building will be a solid foundation for combating the low graduation scores.
Age 24
Education Master of Business Administration - John Carroll University 2016; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Major: Management Major with Entrepreneurship Track) - John Carroll University 2015; Peace and Reconciliation Course at Queen’s University Belfast Summer 2015; Business Ethics Course at Regents University in London 2014; Normandy High School 2012
Current occupation Ohio Registered Appraiser Assistant and Parma City School District Board of Education Member (Appointed on May 30th 2017)
Qualifications for office Parma City School District Board of Education Member (Appointed on May 30th 2017); PCSD Policy Committee Member; PCSD Curriculum Committee Member; PCSD Human Resources Member; PTA Member; Parma Area Chamber of Commerce Member
Email address
I am a proud product of the Parma City School District and know the potential this district has. I wouldn't be where I am today without this district. I graduated from Normandy in 2012. After high school I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2015 (in large part because of the AP Classes I took in the Parma City School District) and my Master of Business Administration in 2016 both from John Carroll University. I feel I can provide the perspective of a recent graduate of the district who experienced many cuts the districts has made first hand. I want to be part of helping to create a better future for our district. I believe that by tackling the challenges before us we can make the Parma City School District a district families will want to stay in and to move.
Restoring the communities trust in the Parma City School District - Keep an open dialogue and keep promises made; Stabilizing the finances for the district - Review cost saving measures and making sound financial decisions; Position hires for Treasurer and Superintendent (starting the 2018/2019 school year) - Utilize the Ohio School Boards Association's resources
The Board of Education needs to meet the results of the rankings head on. The district's report card that was released shows we have a lot to work on. We as a district need to communicate to the community how we are working to improve our rankings. Our district should also highlight the fact that we have one of the best Career and Technical Programs in the state.
Age 66
Education Parma High School BSEd. Miami University MEd. Kent State University
Current occupation Retired Educator
Qualifications for office 43 years in public education with over 20 years as a Parma teacher, 4 years as Deputy Principal at Parma, 7 years as Principal of Mentor High School and 13 years central office in the Euclid School most as Assistant Superintendent. Fifty four year Parma resident, Parma youth league sponsor and coach for over 30 years. I have 2 children that graduated from the Parma Schools and currently have 2 grandchildren that attend.
Campaign Phone (440) 590-0774
Email address Campaign:
The Parma Schools are facing many challenges. I strongly feel that my experiences in the public education arena provide me with a unique perspective to deal with the educational issues of the day. I have faced challenges over the years not only as a teacher but also through my administrative career that provide me with the knowledge and skill set to move the district forward in a positive direction.
There are looming financial issues that will challenge the integrity of education and extra curricular opportunities for students. There is a current trust issue regarding the board of education and administration which must be addressed in order for the community to once again give its financial support to the school district. Under our current set of circumstances, it will become difficult to attract top educators to our district. The solutions to all of these issues have a relationship in their resolution. To rebuild trust new board members must involve all constituents in the decision making process. This would provide a more transparent operating system and encourage the community to provide financial stability thus allowing the district to attract quality eduacators while keeping a full battery of educational and extra curricular opportunities for students.
Over the years the Parma District has done well in the state rankings, we can always do better. By focusing on the challenges with appropriate professional development for our educational staff, providing the necessary resources to maintain and strengthen our rigorous curriculum and maintaining as many opportunities for our students as possible thus enabling the district to educate the whole child. We also need to provide a competitive work environment for our educator to keep and attract quality professionals .
Age 46
Education High School Graduate Pharmacy Technician certification, certifications in education, continuing education and professional development.
Current occupation Information Specialist/Trainer
Qualifications for office I have been a member of many outside organizations and committees and remain an active volunteer within my community. Within the district, I have held several roles within the PTA, including President, has assisted with levy campaigns, been a part of consolidation committees and has attended school board meetings regularly
Campaign Phone (440) 799-2384
Email address
I want to serve on the Parma City School District Board of Education because I believe our district needs someone who understands the history of Parma City Schools and who is ready to move our district forward. I have been actively involved in Parma City Schools for 17 years and faithfully attending Board of Education meetings for the past 7 years. During my time attending those meetings I have been effective in changing and adding policies, advocating on behalf of students and staff, and bringing in educational programming along with accountability by being a voice for the community. I also have a unique perspective to bring to the Board with my knowledge of special education, understanding the laws under IDEA, legislation, and financial implications while providing children with disabilities a Free and Appropriate Public Education.
Our fiscal position, leadership, and declining enrollment. We owe the community a solid plan, with a detailed explanation of how all resources will be allocated, along with a short term and long term vision for the use of our current facilities. A short term plan that will serve as a foundation to becoming fiscally solvent and a long term plan that will provide opportunities that are sustainable and equitable. The Board will also be responsible for hiring the next superintendent to lead our district. In order for the board to be effective it is vital that we create a vision based off of the communities input, we will need a strong leader to work WITH the board to implement that vision.
The Board needs to have an accountable reaction to the state performance index rankings. While the states standards of measurement can be a moving target we have to be careful of placing blame. We still have a responsibility to make sure our students are achieving and continuing to grow and the community deserves to have honest and open conversations regarding our performance and a proactive approach to addressing those gaps.
Age 57
Education BSEd Ohio University, MA in Counseling Cleveland State University
Current occupation I am currently a Class A member of the PGA, an assistant golf professional at Weymouth CC, and own my own golf teaching business.
Qualifications for office I am a retired teacher/coach from PCSD. I taught a variety of science classes during my career at Greenbriar and Normandy. I coached football, wrestling and baseball.
Campaign Phone (440) 821-6137
Website http://None
Twitter @None
As I was watching several of the board meetings online last January it became apparent to me that the schools are in need of new leadership. The leadership that I will bring to the board will focus on providing the greatest amount of opportunities possible for all PCSD students. I also recognized that the current decision making process is not educationally sound and needs to be retooled. It is imperative that the students and staff of the district are the main priority. Having taught and coached in the district for 25 years I have a unique perspective. I got to know thousands of kids and their parents. Many of the athletes that participated on my teams would share that I made the atmosphere very much like "family". It is this type of atmosphere that made me successful and one I want to bring to the school board. My strengths are my listening skills, empathy, and common sense. I believe it is important for members of the board to listen to stakeholders. The ability to empathize with stakeholders will be one of my strong suits, and I believe this will lead me to be most effective. My knowledge of the educational process coupled with my common sense approach will allow me to make tough and sound decisions.

The two main topics that I have discussed with community members are consolidation and finances. People are split about what the school configuration should be. Some call for one mega high school, while others like the smaller sized high schools. There are some interesting arguments for both, but we need to make this decision based on what is best for the students and their families. Research shows that smaller schools are more effective.

Also, the system was recently hit with a multi-million dollar deficit so people are looking to shore up how the school operates its financial department. We need review cost saving measures and ensure that any cuts made are furthest from the students. We are also going to need to find ways to increase revenue.
Unfortunately, the current state ranking system is flawed. I believe many districts throughout the state have expressed displeasure in their "grades". Several of our schools were ranked as excellent not too long ago in the previous ranking system, and I truly believe that PCSD has highly qualified teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students' success.

That being said, we need to use state test results to focus on areas needing improvement and provide materials and support to ensure that improvement. We also need to note our accomplishments such as our career tech program, study what we are doing right and try to emulate our success throughout other programs in the district. logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.