Making the Case – Service

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Meeting with the Parma Board of Education, August 8.

Since early in this campaign, I have been emphasizing three themes: Commitment, Service, and Leadership. Yesterday I explained what I mean by Commitment, and today I’m writing about Service.

I believe in the power of people to get things done when they work together, and as a result I have worked in a wide variety of religious, musical, civic, educational, political, and professional organizations. Those experiences have taught me how to turn good intentions into concrete steps that can help get things accomplished, and some of those steps apply to the work of the State School Board.

State Board of Education District 11 includes 27 K-12 school districts. Over these past months I have reached out to all of them to introduce myself, both to open communications and to learn about them in order to represent them effectively.

Generally, they have welcomed this outreach, but they have also been a bit surprised to be getting this kind of attention. That’s because I offer a much higher expectation of the service to be provided by a State School Board member. I offer two main ways to raise the level of service, and both ways are grounded in my organizational experience.

  • First, I will provide a monthly report on actions of the State Board of Education. This simple step seems so basic to good representation that I am surprised that previous SBOE members haven’t done it. It’s what I did as a union representative, and it makes sense to do it as a State School Board member.
  • Second, upon taking office I will immediately begin scheduling community outreach sessions to meet with residents and learn their observations on how Ohio’s schools are serving Ohio’s kids. I’ve learned that you don’t get far sitting around waiting for people to come to you: you have to go to them.

My vision of Service is based on my experience of service to the community, the education profession, and my church. I look forward to providing a radically different level of service to the communities, educators, and families of District 11, for the good of Ohio’s kids.

Tomorrow, the third theme: Leadership.

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