Not able to get responses to us before press time.
What incident, circumstance or other motivation prompted you to run?
Being a member of our school board has been something I have been thinking of for a few years. We have an amazing community and I love being a part of it. My volunteer work with many different organizations throughout Goshen has solidified my desire to run. With district changes and capital projects in the works, I thought this is the best time to run.
What, specifically and concretely, would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?
There needs to be a certain amount of flexibility when considering district needs. New priorities can arise at any time. However at this moment, the most important priority is to address the substance abuse crisis we are facing in our schools. We need to get ahead of this crisis quickly. We need to be forward thinking in terms of our curriculum and instruction and be on top of the ever-changing technology that can benefit our students. Providing a comfortable and quality working and learning environment should be an ongoing effort. Indoor air quality and reducing energy consumption are crucial.
What experience, education or other factor gives you the ability to be skillful in this office and accomplish your goals?
Within our community, I have coached Little League and Odyssey of the Mind. I am a Scout Leader and I design, build, and paint sets for the CJ Hooker Players at Goshen Middle School. In all of my roles, my dedication and leadership skills have been what separates me from others.
In my profession as the lead Architect of our firm, my experience lends itself to being a well rounded board member. I understand capital improvement projects and building systems. I work directly with our IT department regarding technology development. I work side by side with our accountant to plan budgets, projections and evaluate quarterly financial goals. All of these experiences are directly translatable to what it takes to be a board member.
What would be your strategy?
I will listen diligently with an unbiased ear and process all of the needs, and concerns of our district. I will work collaboratively with our school community and school board members. The ability to do so is especially important when facing complicated and tough decisions. I will help identify critical path decision-making to ensure decisions can be made in a timely and logical manner.
I have seen what goes on in the District, particularly in light of what went on with online learning during the pandemic.
As a very experienced educator I know I can make a difference guiding a fiscally responsible quality educational experience.
During the online “learning” of the past couple years, our son received subpar school work
Observing the classroom goings on, I was quite disappointed.
Also, our son was disallowed access to his doctor prescribed asthma inhaler over some obscure rules, with medical and school administrative staff making a decision which was not in the best interest of the student, our son in this case.
The teachers earned a full salary when parents did much of their job during the online “learning” experiment. It is not inappropriate to wonder where the paycheck is for a parent who must miss work to work with their child on the computer while a teacher earns their full paycheck, already working 180 days per year.
I am choosing to run to influence the quality of education, transparency in the classroom and fiscal responsibility in light of an ever swelling school budget.
A verifiable and appropriately challenging and factually accurate curriculum and a reasonable budget to ease the burden on tax payers significantly.
In particular, I would like to examine any redundant expenses and cut any red tape which makes progress move more slowly.
I’m a lifelong educator, patented inventor of children’s products and a tenured teacher.
In addition, I’ve been a mentor for new teachers, a school team leader and a Crisis Counselor for at risk youth.
I’ve worked extensively behind the scenes with school administrators and have an intimate knowledge of what it takes to initiate and sustain an optimal learning environment for students, without a budget that swells astronomically, as in the case of the roughly five million dollar increase of the Goshen budget to $83,700,000 for the next fiscal year.
Eliminate redundancies which cost tax payers more money every single year, work to shrink the budget and continually check to make sure the education provided is top notch.
As a lifelong resident of Goshen with four children currently attending our schools, my motivation is to support my community in a new way. I have been involved in public service my entire adult life serving 28 years in law enforcement along with being involved in many extracurricular activities spanning from varsity wrestling to mighty-mite football .
But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the current drug crisis we are facing is a large factor as to why I decided to run.
I would use my experience to do everything possible to aggressively address the growing substance abuse crisis in our schools. I would also like to increase transparency between the board and the people we represent so that we can build community trust through improved communication between our families and the district. Lastly, we need to create a culture of support for our teachers.
They are our most vital asset for our children.
My experience in law enforcement gives me a unique perspective that is currently lacking from the board. I offer a breadth and depth of law enforcement knowledge and experience which will be an asset as our School Board navigates strategies to combat substance abuse, school safety, mental health, communication reform, technology advancements, collective bargaining, among many other issues.
I would guide our district into obtaining new specialized training for our staff in ways to assist our law enforcement partners with stopping the flow of drugs into our schools. I would reestablish communication with administrators, teachers, parents and residents. While Dr. Kotes has improved communication, there is still a significant lack of transparency between parents and the administration. I would work to empower and assist teachers and staff in regaining control in our schools with the direct support from building administrators, the Superintendent and the Board.