FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Describe your view of the roles of the school board and the superintendent. What is the ideal relationship between these two offices?
The Governing Body – School Board – is responsible for selecting and overseeing a competent and caring superintendent. That person should be selected based on credentials, experience, and expertise, and his or her professional opinion should carry weight. The Board, however, is ultimately the steward of the corporation, and the superintendent is the Board’s employee. The Superintendent manages, while the Board governs. I read an analogy for this related to health care. You would not want a hospital board member attempting to practice medicine, wandering into patient rooms with a defibrillator or a tray of surgical instruments. That is the doctor’s job. The Board is supposed to make sure the professionals are there, competent, qualified, and well equipped. We benefit most from a collaborative relationship with mutual respect, but always remembering that the Superintendent serves at the pleasure of the Board and the board answers to the tax payers and voters of Vigo County.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of education across all grade levels. In a situation that changes from day to day, what is your view on the Board's primary responsibility and role in addressing the district’s needs?
This goes to the heart of the appropriate role of the Board and the Superintendent. The Board’s responsibility is for the financial stewardship of the corporation – particularly in anticipating future state funding decreases that are slow to show themselves - while the Superintendent manages the details of the crisis. The Governor has frozen K12 payments for now, but he has also recommended a 12% cut across the board. We should be planning for a future that includes at least a 12% cut in state funding as a very real possibility. Additionally, the Board should be looking at student learning in the short and long term. Approving requests to get tablets and tech into student hands, ensuring internet access and food availability, improving infrastructure so we can effectively teach students in every socio-economic status, and taking full advantage of grants from the state and federal governments. The Board should be taking care of those big picture items.
What do you think about redistricting or consolidating?
The School Corporation has presented a three-phase strategy to manage an austere fiscal situation. In Phase One, there will be a Task Force studying the proposed consolidation of elementary schools (from 18 to 15 over Phases Two and Three). This group must be carefully selected to represent all of Vigo County, and once convened, they must prioritize student outcomes in their decision making. Whether we are looking at elementary or secondary schools, we know that optimal student outcomes happen with smaller schools, adequate staffing, and modern resources.
What is your position on the sex ed controversy?
As a parent, I support a risk avoidance approach to sexual education. As a School Board member, I would rely on the professional recommendation of VCSC teachers and staff who have been vetted and employed as curriculum and instruction experts. They are the Board’s first and best resource in determining curriculum matters.
I don't live in District One, can I still vote for you?
The School Board is a non-partisan organization, and all members serve in at-large seats. That means all registered voters in the county can vote for all open School Board seats. There are two seats open in District One, where I am a candidate. There is one seat open in District Three. Voters will see “School Board District One, Choose Two” and can select from the list.
How do I vote this year?
Those wishing to vote must register by October 5th. Absentee ballots will begin being mailed on September 19th. To register to vote, go to https://www.in.gov/idr/register.htm?gclid=CjwKCAjwnef6BRAgEiwAgv8mQYxWuJlv_wlTIDjVXDhiIzyjdzsuOsWOZ54DqaGgSoaLr-ybY9p6KRoCSTAQAvD_BwE
Vote Center Locations (list from WTHI)
Beginning October 6
Haute City Center
Meadows Shopping Center – Basement
Vigo County Annex
*The above vote centers will remain open on Columbus Day, October 12.
Beginning October 27
IBEW Labor Union #725
National Guard Armory
Vigo County Solid Waste Management
West Vigo Elementary Conference Center
Election Day, November 3
American Legion Post 104
CASY at Booker T. Community Center
ISU Student Union Building
Maryland Community Church (East side location)
New Goshen Fire House
New Goshen Fire House
Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union #157
Sandcut Fire House (East Rio Grande Ave.)
Vigo County Public Library
What is the biggest change you want to see if you are elected?
We must collaborate. We must work together with other local government entities and our state government. We must work with our business community and job-creators. We must participate in economic development and made decisions with the clear understanding that what the schools do matters deeply to all taxpayers, whether or not they have school age children.
Do you think VCSC teachers are paid enough?
Vigo County must have a competitive pay scale for its teachers. Currently all teachers – even teachers with years of experience in other districts – start at first-year teacher pay. This is a huge incentive for talented teachers to go elsewhere. Offering a competitive salary scale that rewards professional development while maintaining a balanced budget should be a priority.
How would you improve the hiring process?
Hiring, firing, and compensation are essential duties of the School Board. Every decision must be made in a professional and ethical manner, above reproach in every way, and respectful of the professionalism of the individuals in the VCSC.
What do you think about the referendum(s) and new bond the schools say they need?
A referendum is an emergency measure, not a long-term solution to deep financial problems (decreasing student population, aging facilities, planned cuts). Vigo County Schools have asked us to increase taxes to prevent additional deep cuts within the corporation, and we need to see a plan to make our county’s tax climate more competitive in the future. A better tax climate means a more appealing location for job-creating businesses and more opportunities for families. Growing our student population is part of that cycle, and our school corporation must collaborate with businesses, economic development, agriculture and more to create a fair and stable financial plan for the schools.