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Position papers: Summit County Educational Service Center Board

10/31/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Alyce Simmons Altwies (incumbent) vs. Ashley Dusseau Carr vs. Timothy Gallagher vs. Susan Lobalzo (incumbent) vs. Patricia Weber vs. Dow Wolfe III (incumbent)

Voters living in the Summit County Educational Service Center (SCESC) district will vote for three candidates for SCESC Board in the Nov. 5 General Election. The race is nonpartisan. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted. Incumbent Dow Wolfe III and Ashley Dusseau Carr did not respond to our request for information by the stated deadline.

In the South Side News Leader’s coverage area, the SCESC member districts include: Coventry Local Schools, Green Local Schools, Manchester Local Schools, Norton City Schools, Springfield Local Schools and Portage Lakes Career Center. Its educational partners include Kent State University and The University of Akron.


Alyce Simmons Altwies (incumbent)

Why are you running for re-election to the Summit County Educational Service Center Board?

“I am running for re-election to a member seat on the Educational Service Center Board of Governance. I have been a member of this Board for the past 16 years and am proud of the many accomplishments of the ESC.” 

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

“First, I would work to continue the wonderful work done by the ESC as they support each of the county of Summit school districts. The ESC provides support in all areas of curriculum, State and local laws, classified and certificated staff as well as financial and administrative leadership.

“Second, I would continue to work with local and state politicians to seek remedies to the current confusing funding of schools. We must find additional funds to help our schools provide quality, world-class education to the students of Summit County without the total reliance on property taxes as it currently stands.

“Third, we must continue to monitor and increase curricular expectations for our students as we also provide the safest environment for learning. Schools must remain a safe haven for our children where curricula remain current and rigorous. The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. We must hold ourselves responsible for their education.”

Timothy Gallagher

Why are you running for a seat on the Summit County Educational Service Center Board?

“I am seeking to serve on the Board because I strongly believe in the mission of the ESC to provide the means for our teachers and students to excel. My wife homeschools our children (two are now in college, four are in homeschool and one is waiting in the wings) and I have a first-hand appreciation of the exhaustive effort, dedication, discipline, intelligence and patience required to be a top flight educator. I have been very blessed in my career and want to give back to the community, and especially the children of our community, by devoting my skills in running a small company combined with my first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be a successful educator to the successful functioning of the ESC.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

  1. “Continue the work done by the organization to provide tools and resources for the County’s teachers and students. Providing educators resources to permit them to excel in their jobs will result in students reaching their potential.
  2. “Ensure that the tax money collected so that the ESC can carry out its responsibilities is spent wisely and carefully. These are tough economic times and tough decisions have to be made. No business or organization can fund everything that it might want to do, so we need to be judicious in spending money where it can do the most good.
  3. “Get the word out regarding the resources available to the community via the ESC. There is so much that the organization has to offer and we need to make sure our families are aware of it and can put it to use for the benefit of our children.”

Susan Lobalzo (incumbent)

Why are you running for re-election to the Summit County Educational Service Center Board?

“I strongly believe in the public school system. Excellent public schools are the root to a thriving community. When we have a strong school system graduating students who are ready to go on to college or prepared to join the work force we will attract more and more businesses leading to economic growth and a better life for all residents of Summit County.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

“Expanding the services for special need students such as our Kids First school; a school recently opened by the ESC and specifically for designed for the needs of autistic children in Summit County. Having this excellent school in our own county enables parents to keep their children close to home and saves the individual school districts thousands of dollars per year by not having to bus the children long distances each day.

“Expand the services we offer to our local districts such as specialized teacher training, technological support, evaluation support, curriculum support and highly qualified staffing to name just a few.

“Continue to serve, expand existing, and develop new preschool programs across Summit County. When a child has a good beginning through one of the ESC preschools, they are able to enter elementary school with the assurance of being well prepared.”

Patricia Weber

Why are you running for a seat on the Summit County Educational Service Center Board?

“I wish to serve on the board to ensure that it can effectively meet the needs of the local school districts it serves. As state funding shrinks the ESC requires new ideas and more efficient operation.

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

“Given the opportunity to serve on the board, I would first assess the extent to which the ESC rehires retired educators and do a cost/benefit analysis of that practice. Next, I would encourage the board to begin filling positions with those having fresh ideas in education and look to network our ESC with others throughout the state to enhance our services to the local school districts while constraining costs. Finally, I would audit the programs presently operated by the ESC and either scrap or at least revise those that are not fiscally sound. We cannot afford to run programs where the number of teachers exceeds the number of students.”

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