TIPP CITY — Four candidates are vying for two seats on the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools board of education.
Frank Maus is running for reelection, while the other three candidates would be new to the board.
The following are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire sent out by the Troy Daily News. The responses have been edited for length.
• CORINE DOLL
Family: Husband, Mike Doll, a math teacher and wrestling official. Children Paul (17), Killian (15), Nathan (13), and Matthew (11). Parents, Frank and Linda Ares of Tipp City.
Occupation: Fourth grade English Language Arts teacher.
Previous political experience: None
Qualifications: Bachelor Of Arts from Wittenberg University in Middle Childhood Education Master’s in School Administration from Miami University, principal’s license. Coursework in special education with Western Governors University. Member of the Reading Recovery Council. Middle school career and technical education certification. Junior high track coach.
Reason for seeking office: To be the voice of education and guide in the creation of policies that work for our students, families, teachers, and tax payers. To be held accountable for where and how our tax dollars are spent. To ask questions and to offer solutions to problems that are facing our schools, our state, and our nation in the future of education the leaders of tomorrow.
I grew up in Tipp City, graduated from Tipp High School and now my children attend Tipp High School. I want to give back to my community in a meaningful way in the place I have the most expertise and knowledge.
Goals for office if elected: Create policies and procedures that allow for more input from our citizens in constructive ways. Currently, board policy allows citizens to sign in and speak at a board meeting. The board does not respond, does not question, does not comment. We need a policy that allows for follow up or feedback.
The last school levy in May of 2016, was resoundingly defeated by 63 percent. Our board is still using valuable board time and tax dollars meeting with architects and discussing plans to move forward with a new levy. I am not against new buildings, but I am against not listening to taxpayers.
Board meetings should rotate between all existing buildings and all board meetings should start with a quick tour of facilities so that all citizens can see state of current buildings. Think how actually being in the buildings and looking at our current utilization will help frame conversations for future plans.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed: To walk humbly as a leader while seeking justice in education for students and honesty in office with stakeholders. I have listened to concerns about the teachers unions, staff turnover, and mistrust of the administration. I have heard questions about building levies, current expenditures, football stadiums, and communication with administration. We need trust between leadership and the community to move forward. I want to be apart of the healing. The answer to the future of our schools is healing the mistrust in our past.
• JOELLEN HEATHERLY
Family: Spouse Jim is a chief operating officer at a locally-owned business. We have two children, Claire, 18, and Grant, 17.
Occupation: Administrator in a county-operated facility serving adults with developmental disabilities. I am celebrating my 30th year in this field.
Previous political experience: None.
Qualifications: I have worked on several school levy campaigns. Jim and I were the levy chairs for the March 2017 emergency operating levy that was successfully passed.
I have always worked in public service, under a board-led model. I am currently employed in a human services levy-funded agency. I am accountable to state and federal regulations while being fiscally responsible with funds generated by tax payers. I have collective bargaining experience, a strong advocacy background, and have been recognized for creative problem solving.
Reason for seeking office: I am seeking this office because I believe that I have a unique combination of experience, strengths and skills that can add to an already strong school board.
Being a native of Tipp City and remaining actively involved in the community, I will bring my networking ability to connect multiple sectors of citizens together for a common cause. I support the direction in which the district is heading and want to contribute and facilitate implementation of actions that benefit Tipp City students and the community as a whole.
Goals for office if elected: Every student has value and deserves the very best educational experience possible as the foundation for adulthood. This means expanding academic and enrichment opportunities through curriculum, activities, and guidance from passionate engaged teachers.
The district needs safe and accessible buildings with a master plan that addresses how and when buildings are replaced and existing ones, if feasible, is maintained with capital improvements.
Connecting with our community for engagement, resources, and openly communicating outcomes towards fiscal preparedness, district goals, achievements, and cultivating a culture of respect and integrity.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed: By far, the greatest challenge currently facing the district is aging buildings, specifically replacing two elementary buildings with one new school for K-6 grades.
Second, in 2018 a master agreement contract with the collective bargaining organization representing teachers is due for renewal. My mother, Kay Myers was an educator in Tipp City Schools until her retirement. I have great respect for educators and share in our community’s expectation to be fiscally responsible while retaining qualified, engaged staff.
Finally, the district needs to continue strengthening student opportunities and building a climate of respect and responsibility among students and staff, but outwardly as well. Engaging and informing the citizens of Tipp City of the accomplishments, efforts, and progress towards goals is critical to restore faith and trust throughout our community.
• FRANK MAUS
Family: I have a wonderful wife of 28 years, Brenda. We have been together since high school. We have two sons who attended Tipp schools Kindergarten through grade 12, Joey and Jake.
Occupation: As the Technical Sales Manager for ASPM and The Minco Group, I helped the company grow from 70 employees to more than 500.
Previous political experience: I have served on the Tipp school board for eight years, and the Miami Valley CTC board for seven years.
Qualifications: I have been involved in hiring two successful superintendents, and three successful treasurers. Strong network of other area school board members for information and support.
Reason for seeking office: Of the last five school board members up for re-election, I am the only one to decide to run again. If I’m not re-elected, the average length of term for the new school board will be less than 15 months in January, and we would have 100 percent turnover over the last two election cycles.
I still have a strong passion for public schools. They are important for our community in so many ways. Tipp City schools are a great source of pride for our community.
Goals for office if elected: Continue the high performance, low per pupil cost of the school system. Your school system currently is in the lowest 20 percent in per pupil cost, and the highest 20 percent in performance. Finalize facility plan. We need to have our students and staff in air conditioning. Make financial adjustments, based on feedback from the staff and community. Continue our fiscal fitness. We have gone from needing to cut $1 million dollars from the yearly budget, to complete financial stability.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed: Just like the private sector, healthcare is a growing issue that doesn’t seem to stop. Our staff has instituted programs that have helped keep these costs lower than other schools/companies. But even with these efforts, there will have to be more changes for school employees. The new board will have to take a close look at compensation packages for the employees. Included will be analysis of other area compensation structures.
Society is still losing the fight against heroin. We need to continue fighting and schools need to continue to support this fight.
There is a real estate development underway across from Windmere. There are also other developers very interested in developments in Tipp City. We will have to make adjustments.
• ERIC WINDEKNECHT
Family information: I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Amy, for 13 years and we have three children who attend Tipp City Schools, Jackson, Ava and Brooklyn.
Occupation: Director of Operations at Nidec Minster Corporation (formerly Minster Machine).
Previous political experience: I have served on several boards with various leadership roles for many different organizations. Most recently the Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce board member and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
Qualifications: I have worked in the private sector for over 16 years in manufacturing facilities. I know that my strong background in business operations will be fully utilized on the board to help make our district run more efficient. The board needs a more forward-looking stance when it comes to planning our facilities, sports complexes, and all the other items that are needed to make a district successful.
I have successfully developed great working relationships with three separate union organizations (UAW, USW and GMP) over the last 16 years.
I offer a unique perspective because of my active involvement in the last two levies, my membership on the facilities planning committee, and my regular attendance at school board meetings and work sessions.
Reason for seeking office: I want to serve as the community’s voice on the school board. I will push the board to be fully accountable for the decisions made on behalf of the community through a transparent decision making process. I want our board to bring back as much local control to our teachers as we can when developing the curriculum for our students. I want to be part of the team that produces the future leaders of our community and the broader world.
Goals for office if elected: We are in desperate need of developing a comprehensive plan that addresses all our district’s facilities. I would drive the board to develop an all-encompassing plan that lays out a master facilities plan for the next 5, 10 and 25 years, taking into account district growth assumptions.
The school board needs to regain the trust of the community by creating a fully accountable and transparent environment on the district’s board. One of the easiest ways to quickly improve the transparency of the school board is by implementing Ohio’s online checkbook.
It will be my priority to ensure we provide clear, concise, and regular communication to our teachers, parents, and fellow residents.
The school board needs to develop clear expectations for our students, staff, and teachers. The administration needs to then hold everyone accountable to these expectations and rules.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed: The school board currently lacks the ability to plan for a strategic direction for the future of our school district. I believe that there is a ton of potential within our district waiting to be capitalized on. If the community elects a school board that will work diligently to develop a mission, vision and master strategic plan, that our community supports, our students and community will benefit from stronger future leaders, increased home values and an admired community.
Reach Cecilia at cfox@AIMmediamidwest.com.