My number one priority will always be to keep students at the heart of the district. My entire career has been with nonprofit organizations, where every meeting agenda begins with the mission statement — a reminder of our purpose. As a school board member, I would like to model that dedication to our mission.
To me, keeping our students as the center means ensuring their academic success, and it also means ensuring their safety, their well-being, and their future potential. After all, a student does not begin and end in a classroom. They have family and neighborhoods, friends and hobbies, stressors and successes. All those pieces of our students lives exist outside a school building, but they can impact their ability to succeed academically. This is the holistic approach I believe in when considering what is in students’ best interest.
Our school district is an investment made by our entire community for our entire community. The role of a school board member, in part, is to ensure that investment is being maintained for its purpose — our students.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled the current Ohio School Funding Model as unconstitutional in 1997, and yet lawmakers have been unable to pass a revised funding model to replace it*. Until an improved method is established, Forest Hills, like all districts, will have to continue to make the best financial decisions possible with available resources. As a board member, I will do that by listening to the experts — the staff who spend every day doing the work with our students — listening to students and stakeholders, examining data, and looking for creative solutions.
In the meantime, I believe our community should work together more to promote the legislative changes that need to be made.
(*This WCPO article describes the challenges local districts face under the current funding model.)
Our community’s love for our school district is no secret. Over and over again, I hear Forest Hills parents say the same thing my husband and I said: “we moved here for the schools!”
Because of my background as a fundraiser and relationship-builder, I am confident there are opportunities for deeper partnerships here in Anderson Township and Newtown. We have dedicated and involved parents, active Parent Teacher Organizations/Associations and Boosters, and a community of individuals and organizations alike who are invested in seeing our students succeed. As a board member, I would like to encourage and support more creative collaboration to meet student needs.
As a leader, it would be my responsibility to look both at the present as well as the future. The impact of decisions sometimes impact the present and the future differently, and the weight of each should be considered carefully.
The importance of looking to the future holds deeper meaning to me as well. I believe our community has been divided in recent years. When we all come together to look forward, it helps us unify. I’d like to continue to find our points of shared interest and work toward the future of our school district together.