Voter Guide: Ross School Board Member

Voter Guide

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Voter Guide

The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News invited local candidates to fill out the following questionnaire to inform readers.

VOTE FOR 2:

Keith L. Klinefelter

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Keith L. Klinefelter

Keith L. Klinefelter

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Keith L. Klinefelter

Education: Master’s degree

Current employment: Bowling Green State University

Community involvement: Former Ross Board of Education president

Why are you seeking elected office? I am running for school board for several reasons. First, I think it is important to serve the community in some capacity. I see being on the school board as a way of serving the Ross community. Secondly, I feel it is important to have someone with a background in public education to be on the board. I have worked as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, high school principal, Board of Education member and currently work for Bowling Green State University as a field mentor in Career Tech.

Why should voters elect you? I think people should vote for me because of my experience in the field of education, having spent over 38 years serving four different local communities in various capacities. I believe that Ross Local School District is a premier school district in the state of Ohio. I would like to see RLSD become better each day. Ross has continued to achieve despite the recent years of flat funding from the Ohio Legislature. This along with teachers having to work until age 60 is really handicapping a district like Ross, because funds are extremely limited, and expenses are rising too fast for our local tax base to keep pace. It is hard to continue to be innovative and cutting edge in delivering a quality education as the funding formula from the state lags the rising costs of providing a quality education. Our local tax base is constantly asked to do more and more, which really forces the district to be lean in its operation.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? School funding; Fiscal responsibility; Quality employee recruitment and retention

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? School funding: We need to make a concentrated effort to work with our state level legislators to make school funding constitutional and fair to our district. We need to organize a systemic program to contact and meet with legislators as a district to express our concerns and to showcase what the district is accomplishing. We need to organize a county wide group of BOE members to regularly meet and lobby the Ohio Department of Education and the legislature to address the recent lack of support. Fiscal responsibility: We need to be open and transparent in our district operations. We need to look for creative and outside the box ways to reduce costs and increase revenue streams. The consistent issue in school finance is that districts are constantly under the prospect of being broke at the end of every official five-year forecast. This severely limits long term planning, staff retention and expansion of any new educational programming. STRS by changing the retirement formulas for teachers, has added a high additional employee cost to districts our size. It equates to over $1 million of additional expenses per each teacher over their teaching careers. It also created a period of eight-10 years with very few retirees. This has kept our expenses higher than usual, which is difficult to sustain as a district experiencing 10-plus years of relative flat funding. Employee recruitment and retention: As a district we need to develop a plan to recruit and retain the best employees that are available.

Anything else you would like voters to know? If elected I will do my best to serve the Ross Local School District to the best of my ability.

Amy Webb

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Amy Webb

Amy Webb

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Amy Webb

Education: Master’s degree in educational leadership; currently in the second year of a three year education doctoral program at Miami University; Baldwin-Wallace University; University of Cincinnati; Miami University.

Current employment: Butler Tech

Community involvement: Ross Local School Board; Ohio School Boards Association; Ohio Association of Career Tech Educators; Ohio Association of School Personnel

Why are you seeking elected office? The reason I am running for school board is to continue the trend of our excellent schools and be progressive in areas of need. We are the highest performing school district in the county, where our kids are involved in many sports and extracurricular activities. Our children deserve opportunities to have equitable access to high-quality education, and facilities to support their extracurricular activities. I want to look at innovative ways to fund initiatives, such as with community and business partnerships, without putting the burden on taxpayers. Having three children in the district and a background in education, I hope to have a voice in the academic decisions made and be fiscally responsible when it comes to operating costs, without sacrificing opportunities for our children. Most importantly, I want to continue to maintain the tradition of excellence that we have acquired through the retention of our quality educators and support staff.

Why should voters elect you? My background and career is in education. I understand the educational processes and the community in which we live. I operate my life with integrity, and my decisions are always grounded by what is best for students. I love the school district, the staff, the kids and the community, and will always fight for Ross and promote our excellence.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. Fiscal responsibility 2. Quality academics 3. Advocacy for Ross at the state and local level (Communication)

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? 1. Creative solutions to funding initiatives through community partnerships, angel investments, etc. 2. A quality education comes from the recruitment and retention of great employees. Ensuring we are hiring and keeping the right people to support learning opportunities for students. 3. I am currently the legislative liaison/representative for our school board. I hope to continue an active partnership and stance with representatives. In addition, communication on school policies, procedures and operations need to be fluid with both state officials, as well as our community and staff.

Anything else you would like voters to know? I am committed to our district and students. My heart is in the right place to work hard as a responsible board member while preserving our excellence. My moral compass guides my decision making, and I truly understand the educational processes because of my background as an educator and school administrator.

Jason Schubert

ajc.com

Education: Bachelor’s of science with dual concentrations in computer information systems and marketing, College of Mount St. Joseph

Current Employment: P&G

Community Involvement: Cubmaster for Pack 923, Eagle Scout

Why are you seeking elected office? My wife and I moved into the school district eight years ago because we wanted to raise our family in a great school district. I want to ensure that Ross stays a great school district. I would like to help the school district develop a robust five year plan with clear, measurable success criteria. I feel that the school board could improve transparency regarding decisions, strategy and communication.

Why should voters elect you? Transparency is my main concern. Allowing rumors to circulate about future plans is not the best way to handle policy decisions or setting long term goals. I would like to see the school board develop a five year plan with clear, measurable success criteria. Other school districts in our area have their five year plan readily available and Ross should, too. Ross (and the greater Hamilton area) will begin experiencing impactful growth in the next few years. It’s important for our school board to be aware of the changes ahead. Our district needs to plan and prepare for these changes. The school board should be a liaison between the community, parents and schools to set our students up for success. I believe the skills I have developed at P&G as an IT project manager, and with my community involvement in scouting, that I have the skills to make this happen! I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 2!

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. Improving the transparency of school board decisions 2. Creating and implementing a five year plan with clear, measurable success criteria to handle the growth our district is experiencing while still maintaining the excellence that we have come to expect from the Ross School district. 3. Assessing the current student/teacher ratios and ensuring they meet or exceed the state statute.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? 1. Recommend the implementation of an easy to use and understand school board website with a published five year plan. Ensuring that the financials are clearly called out and explained. 2. Help identify and eliminate excessive spending to allow the district to hire more teachers

Anything else? I am the Cub Master for Pack 923 here in Ross. Our pack has 52 boys spread out over six den levels. Boy Scouts has always been a passion of mine. I earned my Eagle Scout rank at age 14 after completing a hiking trail improvement project in Fort Ancient. I enjoy being involved with the Ross community through Cub Scouts. I think it’s important for kids to be involved in their community from a young age, and I am always impressed by their passion and hard work. I believe my professional background and community involvement makes me an excellent candidate for school board.