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Position papers: Green Local Schools Board of Education

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

Bob Campbell (incumbent) vs. Sally Fanelly vs. Steven Foster (incumbent) vs. Rick Miller vs. Katie Stoynoff

Voters living in the Green Local School District will vote for three candidates for Green Local Schools Board of Education 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.


Bob Campbell (incumbent)

Why are you running for a seat on the Green Local Schools Board of Education?

“When I first ran for the Board in the fall of 2005 I felt that the school and community had grown apart and there was an obvious lack of trust. Over the past eight years I believe that the Board has begun to earn back the trust of the community through transparency, honesty and open communication. I want to build upon this foundation and continue to seek ways to strengthen the bond that we have worked so hard to mend. There will always be changes to how we do things and why we (sometimes) are forced to do them. The challenge as a Board member is keeping (or developing) open lines of communication so our taxpaying community knows what we are doing and why. Trust is something that is earned over time but can if taken for granted can be broken in an instant.”

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

“My top three priorities are simple; sound fiscal policy, consistent leadership and high student achievement.

“Sound fiscal policy means that we do everything possible to live within our means. Along with the superintendent and treasurer we are all obligated to our community to do what is best within the confines of what we can afford. The reality of school funding (currently) in the state of Ohio is that the state is only willing to do so much and the remainder of that burden falls upon us. This community has demonstrated the willingness to support our schools with additional money when warranted and we have a similar responsibility to spend it wisely.

“Consistent leadership is essential for long-term success. This year the community and Board developed the Strategic Plan for our district. It provides the Administration with a road map of where the community wants the schools to go. This type of long range planning is vital to the prolonged success of the district.

“High student achievement is THE underlying theme of any school district. It’s all about providing our children the best educational and extra-curricular opportunities possible. We must continue to collaborate with the business community and city to create new opportunities for our students.”


Sally Fanelly

Why are you running for a seat on the Green Local Schools Board of Education?

“I am running for a seat on Green Local Schools Board because I know the schools from an employee’s point of view, a community member’s point of view and a parent’s point of view. I want to make a positive impact on school policy, educational initiatives, and the spending of taxpayer’s money. I am very vested in Green Local Schools and I would love to be a School Board Member.”

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

  1. “I am a supporter of innovation in education and how it can successfully affect our children in college and in the business world. The market place is changing so rapidly that we must meet these changes and teach our students not only to learn, but to be lifelong learners.
  2. “I would like to use my 18 years’ experience in the schools administration office to make a direct impact on the student’s education and the employees of Green Local Schools.
  3. “Now that I am retired, I would like to stay involved with the schools and have contact with the community to address their concerns and needs of our schools.”


Steven Foster (incumbent)

Why are you running for a seat on the Green Local Schools Board of Education?

“I believe the best is yet to come for Green Local Schools. As a parent and community member I continue to believe that excellent schools are the core foundation for a solid future and a strong community. I am confident that I can continue to play a vital role, as a member of the Green Local Schools Board of Education, in making our schools even stronger.

“In this year of significant change I have demonstrated the leadership ability required to continue moving our district forward. With the recent hiring of Jeff Miller as our new Superintendent and Kevin Finefrock as our Assistant Superintendent (a reinstated position at no additional cost to the district), I believe it is imperative that they, along with our entire leadership team, have the full support and confidence of the board. More specifically, a board which consists of a majority of the members who chose them to lead our district.

“While financial responsibility and safety of students and staff remain a constant area of focus, I also look forward to working with our leadership to implement the recently endorsed strategic plan regarding: Academics, Communications, Leadership and Human Resources, Operations, Student Culture, and Technology.”

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

“Fiscal responsibility.

“Fiscal responsibility has been, and will remain, a priority. Promises made in the 2011 levy campaign are promises that have been kept. We fully expect to get through fiscal year 2015 without asking for a new levy, even if that means making difficult and/or unpopular decisions. We continue to reduce expenditures through shared services, renegotiating vendor contracts, job consolidation, and buying consortiums. We also continue to look for new sources of revenue such as grants, gifts and collaboration with corporate partners. I will continue to make fiscal responsibility a top priority using these strategies and will encourage the exploration of additional opportunities.

“Safety of Staff and Students.

“Safety of our staff and students has been, and will remain, a priority. We have made significant investments in building safety by installing security vestibules, additional interior and exterior cameras, and replacing keys with card readers. Procedural changes include more in-depth visitor screenings. Our partnership with the Summit County Sherriff has recently expanded to include additional law enforcement time and visibility in our buildings — at no additional cost to the district or the Sherriff. We will continue to look for opportunities to improve the safety of our district and to collaborate with both the Sherriff and the City of Green as appropriate.

“Strategic Plan/Continuous Improvement.

“Our district is excellent, but we should never stop improving. The implementation of Strategic Plan as endorsed at the June 2013 board meeting is both a district and a personal priority.”


Rick Miller

Why are you running for a seat on the Green Local Schools Board of Education?

“I have a strong desire to make an impact in our School District. There was no one event or issue that prompted me to run, but more so just a persistent desire to be part of our School District in a manner that affords me the opportunity to have a voice in the decisions that will ultimately shape the future of the children of Green.”

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

“I believe in the importance of leadership. Our School District needs a Board of Education made up of positive role models and people that have a desire to lead with Integrity. I am a person who will do that and I look forward to joining others with the same motivations and intentions.

“I also believe it is important that our School District not rely solely on traditional state funding but to also begin exploring partnerships with local Businesses, Colleges and Universities to bring new opportunity to our students. I would like to be part of the group that champions a new approach to Academic Funding and the possibilities that it offers to those in our School District.

“Lastly, I look forward to working with existing Board Members and District Administrators as we navigate the winding roads of an ever changing academic landscape. There are many new challenges that face our school district and I’m confident that I can be a voice of sound reason and leadership as we attempt to steer our district in the right direction to ultimately best prepare our community’s children for a bright, successful and prosperous future.”


Katie Stoynoff

Why are you running for a seat on the Green Local Schools Board of Education?

“I am running because there are sweeping changes coming to K-12 education over the next few years. These changes will require a school board that is able to work with district administration to make sure we are meeting requirements related to implementing the Common Core Curriculum, teacher assessments, and student assessments. These changes have broad implications for the district; many could be financial, but many are related to making sure that all students have what they need to be successful and that all teachers are being treated fairly when it comes to assessing their success in the classroom. The strength that I bring is that I am able to see how changes impact more than just the obvious, and I am able to plan ahead for unforeseen complications. This skill, along with my knowledge of the education system, will give me the ability to be a productive member of the board from my first day.

“Because I was a member of the Community Stakeholders Committee selected to interview for our new superintendent, I have looked closely at the above mentioned changes. This experience convinced me that I should seek office. I know that my knowledge of education, administration, and school funding will enable me to be of service to the school district. I want the best possible education for my son and all the children that pass through Green Local Schools.”

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

  1. “Of foremost importance is giving the Green Local Schools administration my support. I also believe that this support must by balanced by a willingness to ask tough questions as we work to determine the best ways to make the K-12 changes work for students and faculty. Having seen several presentations at recent Board Meetings, it is clear to me that the administration has a plan for implementing the Common Core, teacher evaluations, and student assessments.
  2. “I will make it a priority to be a responsible steward of taxpayer funds. This includes not only spending our local tax dollars wisely, but speaking out when state funding is taken from the District’s coffers. Green Local Schools will be receiving $1.3 million less over the next two years than it did in the 09-10 and 10-11 school years and is losing approximately $500,000 a year to low-performing charter schools. When cuts like this come from the state, districts are often forced to place levies on the ballot. It would be my preference to fight for the money that should be our reward for a history of high academic performance.
  3. “Green Schools plays an important role in the economic success of the City of Green. I will work with the administration of the City and the School District to make sure our schools continue to be an asset from an economic perspective, helping to attract new businesses, reduce the tax burden on residents, and maintain our property values.”
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