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I am seeking a third term on the Big Walnut Board of Education because of my commitment to a strong public education for every child and for the health of our community. Now that my younger son has joined his older brother as a Big Walnut alumnus, this might be an opportune time for me to step aside. However, I believe deeply in the importance of public education for the functioning of our democracy, and I would like to continue to serve our community. I wholeheartedly support the Big Walnut Schools’ mission –“to inspire and guide each student to his or her maximum potential” -- whatever their passion. I have worked in student affairs, focusing on the education of college students outside of the classroom at Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University and Denison University. I have been a licensed psychologist since 1998. I have have experience owning a small business, working in health care, working in education, and in being a stay-at-home parent.
The changes in our economy and in our society demand that we pay attention to teaching students how to be life long learners, as the jobs that many will have in the future do not exist at the present time. It is exciting to be a part of this current period of community growth and support the evolution of our Big Walnut 2020 Vision.
A critical challenge for the Board of Education of Big Walnut Schools is to manage growth but not build more than what we currently need. Our current bond issue is critically necessary to allow us the space to accommodate a growing student population. The permanent improvement levy is essential to allow us to update security in the older buildings and maintain our buildings and bus fleet. Continued communication and coordination with our townships and villages is essential to diversify the economic development of our area while maintaining the character of our community.
I have a personal interest in preserving and improving the quality of our schools. I want to insure that our son, along with every other child in our district, has an opportunity for an education that prepares them for their future.
For 10 years I have been dedicated to and involved in the Big Walnut schools and community.
• Served on executive boards of PTOs at HSE, GRE and BWIS
• Library’s Board of Directors since 2012
• Chairperson for the successful 2009 Library Levy campaign & for the 2015 BW Schools Levy
• Chaired district’s 2016 bond campaign
• Attended almost all school board meetings for the past four years
• Solid foundation for understanding school financing for both operations and construction
Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from The Ohio State University -- dual major in Economics and Communications.
Director of Public Relations for OSU/ATI in Wooster.
Chief of Division of Markets for the Ohio Department of Agriculture oversaw international and domestic trade.
The single greatest issue facing our schools is how to plan for community growth while being fiscally responsible. However, fiscal responsibility doesn’t always mean not spending money. It means being responsible with every dollar that is collected from Big Walnut residents. As our community grows, our schools must have the necessary classroom space to educate every child who moves into this district. The district cannot continue to take money from the operating budget to deal with the lack of classroom space. I want to be part of the decision-making process as our district moves forward with initiatives that help solve our enrollment issues.
We need to insure that our students have the ability to think critically, collaborate, communicate and create. They need to be able to apply these skills in the real world. If space concerns are not addressed this will have a direct impact on our district’s ability to provide personalized, hands-on education at each student’s level.
The district surveyed the community and their top priority was to insure the safety and security of our students. The district needs to move forward with securing the entrances of our five oldest buildings. Passage of the permanent improvement levy will allow this to happen.
The most important job of any school district is to provide a quality education that prepares students for their future; whether that is college, a career, or a trade. Our schools need to continue to focus on providing personalized instruction for all students regardless of their academic ability. Big Walnut students must have access to technology that enhances teacher instruction and assists in providing lessons that are meaningful, engaging, and relevant.
Continual improvement in the areas of academic achievement, planning for community growth and development, fiscal responsibility and communications must be the focus for the Board of Education.
I’m a fully invested customer of our School District. My four children are enrolled at every level of our District from Elementary through the High School. Further, my business and the businesses I serve in my day job serve this community and are relying upon our students to be their future workforce. As a taxpayer in Sunbury, I look out my back window and understand the impact and rate of residential growth coming to our area.
I have over 22 years of experience working in Human Resources, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Change. In my four years as a member of our Board, I have had to employ my experiences in employee relations, talent management, compensation planning, and performance management. Further, my experiences in merging and growing organizations have prepared me to collaborate with Township, Village, County, and Development officials to promote responsible growth strategies that unite rather than divide.
The greatest challenge for students in the next 4 years is State education policy that primarily emphasizes testing and promoting students to the next level of education. My first hand professional experience shows me that advanced degrees are not the only path to success and our employers need young people that can get things done; not pass tests.
I have been a strong proponent of the Big Walnut 2020 Vision which focuses on personalized learning for each student. I will continue to promote educational strategies that push our students to apply their knowledge in the context of the classroom and beyond. Current State policy puts more value on providing academic, theoretical answers to paper tests. I want to prepare all students for success, not just those on aspiring towards advanced academic degrees.
Great organizations focus on continuous improvement and I will continue to ensure Big Walnut Schools stay focused on continually raising the bar.
Our greatest challenge is the threat that current and future residential growth brings to our District. Many of our facilities are currently at or near capacity.
The District does not seek this growth. It also does not have the power to stop it from happening. But, it is required to respond. The educational innovations both planned and realized for the Big Walnut 2020 Vision are in jeopardy if operating funds are diverted facilities.
I am personally committed limit operating levy requests to renewals of existing millage only. This commitment is viable only if our community is willing to invest in facilities. These are facilities that not only educate our children but also serve our youth organizations, churches, and community groups that regularly use our facilities to serve their constituents as well.