Education: Master’s in education, Miami University
Current Employment: Retired teacher
Community Involvement: Talawanda School Board, Butler Tech School Board, chair Oxford Police Community Relations and Review Commission
Why are you seeking elected office? After 40 years of being a classroom teacher, I still have a passion to serve students. I want to ensure that all students receive a quality education. I want to make sure staff members are treated fairly and equitably. I am running to stop the outsourcing of our custodians, kitchen workers, and others who serve our students. These workers are an integral part of the Talawanda team. Our school community faces challenges, including financial ones, and I believe my experiences and my approach to issues make me well suited to be a member of a collaborative board dealing with these challenges. We have cut approximately $4.5 million out of the budget over the next three years. I was in the “trenches” for 40 years and I know how budget decisions can trickle down and adversely affect students. I want to make sure as we continue to deal with our budget issues we do not damage our educational product or our students.
Why should voters elect you? Voters should vote for me because of my experience in the educational system. I taught 10 years at Catholic schools and thirty years for Butler Tech. For 29 of those years I worked with at-risk students in the Talawanda school district. I did home visits throughout the district during those years, about 750 of them. I know this district well. All six of my children went through the Talawanda schools. The only years of my adult work life not in education were the two and a half years I was a house parent at a local boy’s home - Bunker Hill. I have also proven to be a leader that takes a balanced approach to issues and one who is not afraid of the tough decisions. I will put students first in every decision I make. Voters should also reelect me because of the board’s accomplishments in my first four years. We placed school resource officers and social workers in all of our buildings. We completed a new building, Marshall, in Hanover Township. We eliminated pay-to-participate which increased student involvement in extracurriculars. We now live stream our meetings and archive them increasing transparency. And we have not outsourced any more custodial jobs.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? The first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students. The second priority has to be dealing with our deficit spending. Number three would be making sure we can attract and retain quality staff.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? We have added SROs and mental health workers to all of our buildings in the last few years. This is an area we have to continue to examine and make sure our students are safe, and we are helping in meeting their mental health needs. We have already made some budget cuts. We will look for more savings; however, I will not support cuts that adversely affect our students education or their mental health. Eventually we may have to look at the revenue side of the budget. We have not had an operating tax levy since 2004. To attract and retain quality staff we have to offer them a competitive wage and benefit package. We have to compete against nearby districts. I would like to see Talawanda stay in the top half in comparison to other Butler County schools.
Anything else? I am thankful for the chance the last four years to serve the Talawanda School District. I look forward to serving our students and community for another term. I am asking for your support and your vote on Nov. 2.
Krista M. Stenger
Education: Bachelor’s of arts in sociology and paralegal studies certificate, University of Cincinnati
Current Employment: Substitute teacher, event usher supervisor, online program moderator
Community Involvement: Former Girl Scout troop leader, Marshall Elementary PTG, and YMCA youth sport coach
Why are you seeking elected office? I am seeking a position as the Talawanda School Board because I think our board needs a parent who is involved in out schools on our board. Also as a property owner, I have a vested interest in the success of our school district.
Why should voters elect you? Voters should vote for me because I have the best interest of our students at heart. I care. I want our next generations of Talawanda students to be successful. I am trained as a paralegal, so I enjoy legal writing and reading, so I would be helpful in policy writing and researching issues our board will face. I am committed to communicating the needs of our community to the board.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My top three priorities would include getting out kids up to speed academically and helping their social-emotional needs, our budget and increasing communication with our community.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? To get our kids up to speed academically I would push to evaluate our students’ and staff members’ needs to improve out students’ education. I would keep counselors at schools and make sure mental health services are available to students and staff. Our budget needs to be examined closely and professional suggestions made to increase revenue without a levy, if possible. I think our school board can communicate better with the public. I want to introduce community advisory boards to give the community a voice to the board member. I think respectful communication is key to help solve issues that are current and the future.
Anything else? I love Talawanda School District. We have lived here over eight years and we plan to stay forever! The better your school systems, the better our property values. I am running as a positive role model who will be respectful, responsive and responsible to our community needs. I want to be a voice of the townships and those who just want the best for our kids.