School Board Candidates Field Questions from Madison Consolidated Students

October 18, 2018

 

The Madison Consolidated High School Student Council held a School Board Candidate Forum on October 29th, 2018.

The event was organized and moderated by students and questions were fielded anonymously from students and teachers throughout the district.

Student Council members reviewed and selected questions to pose to the candidates in both written and oral formats.

Candidates received twelve questions via email and returned the below written responses:

 

Greg Bentz

1. Do you feel the recommendations of Principles and AD’s in the rehiring process of teachers and coaches are sufficient, or do you feel the board should choose to rehire those positions?

I feel that since the board has reasonability of the budget, if there are no open positions, the board should take the recommendations of the principals and AD’s on why we need to ad positions. If the positions are open, the board should stay out of the hiring process on teacher or coaches on who the actual person is. If there were no serious problems with the person’s evaluations, the board should the take the recommendations and rehire them.

2. What is one major project that you feel the school corporation should start planning for in order to benefit the entire corporation, increase student enrollment, attract young families to move here, and contribute to long term success for the school corporation?

I feel that we are moving in the right direction with the all day kindergarten and pre school (I helped fund those projects on my last board), and the IVTC agreement and Cub Manufacturing. So, the one thing that we need to do to make MCS, THE school of choice with an obtainable 5 year master plan. A master plan that includes buildings, maintenance, personnel, and transportation.

3. Do you plan to attend or take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to board members, if you are running for reelection what have you attended.

While I was on the board for 6 years previously, I attended every regional ISBA meeting, state ISBA training, and 2 national NSBA 4 day trainings. I feel every board member should attend all regional and state meetings. At least one national meeting.

4. What activities do you participate in, and how are you getting up to speed on district programs?

I have not attended any board meetings for a while. However, I did attend all local, district, state meetings for 6 years. I feel that I can step back in with little training and hit the ground running. I am keeping up to date with the regional and state ISBA websites, and the state legislator website on anything to do with education.

5. Do you support funding preschool, and do you feel it is important to the success of our students.

I was on the board that funded all day kindergarten and kept pre school going. I feel very strongly about these programs.

6. What qualities and experience do you possess that would make you a productive school board member?

By spending 6 previous years on this school board. Before the school board, I served in many capacities in city government. Serving a few years as street superintendent.

During that time, it was my responsibility to create a budget for 3 different departments for around 5-10 million dollars. I did this successfully f
Every year.

7. Are you more worried about the schools reputation or the actual students that attend MCS?

My main concern is that we are offering the best education we can for our students. This is a two fold question for me. Every student deserves the best education, weather they have an IEP, or they are AP students. We take care of our students, make sure that they get the best education. Take bullying and mental health issue seriously and handle them, The reputation will follow. You cant fix a reputation, without fixing the problem, from the superintendent, The board, the administrators, to the students.

8. In light of the recent incidents what can the board do to help increase school safety?

Training, Training, Training, SRO in every school. Contact it out if need be. What is one life worth.

9. What do you feel is the school boards role in funding extracurricular activities?

I feel that extracurricular activities are very important. Sometimes its what keeps students in school. They should be funded with a workable budget for what is needed to run the program. If a team or group decides they need matching shoes, or something no necessary, they can have a fundraiser, or work with cub boosters. I ran the cub booster club for about 5 years and we had a very good working relationship with coaches, directors, and group sponsors. They need to get back to this.

10. What is your view of eLearning and the use of technology in classroom?

I think that technology in the classrooms is very important. Students have to keep up to date on tech, you cant start to young. I still don’t have a fix for eLearning and families in the county that don’t have internet. Would still love to see where IT is on that.

11. If there is a need would you support a tax increase to pay for student services or building repair?

If it was a last ditch effort for things needed. It would have to be professionally presented to the public, with open and honesty from us, and plenty of input from the

public. It cant be a poorly rushed in to plan, with to many unanswered questions like the last one.

12. What is your role interacting with students, staff, and the community?

I Love to have face to face with all. I interact at sporting events and activities. I always speak to all when I see someone at the store, walking down the street, community events.

Ken Brunner

1. I feel the recommendations of Principals and ADs in the rehiring process of teachers and coaches are sufficient.

We hire qualified professionals to to be the principal and athletic director. I believe we should let them do their job. Board members are their to formulate policy.

2. First and foremost, I feel we should make sure all of our school buildings are safe, secure and good learning environments. Secondly, I believe it’s time to update our fine arts department and athletic facilities at the high school.

3. Yes, I think it’s important all board members follow Indiana Board of Education rules and regulations. With that in mind, I would take advantage of any professional

development opportunities available.

4. I have attended sporting events, spoken with teachers and administrators, attended school board meetings, and read the “District Correspondent.”

5. I would support free pre-school for those parents that feel their child is ready for school. Providing “early education” opportunities can only help our children succeed in school.

6 My 35 years in education has helped me understand the role we all play in the process of education.

I feel fortunate to have graduated from Madison High School, and then to have had the opportunity to come back home to teach, coach and become the Athletic Director. I believe my experience far surpasses any other candidate.

7. Obviously we are here for the students. Providing them with a sound education and opportunities for success in life should be the goal for all of us.

8. Three things: A. Make sure money is set aside to provide “up to date” security,
B. Educate our students and teachers to recognize “high risk” students,

C. Encourage our teachers and administrators to be vigilant,

9. A certain percentage of the “General Fund” can be used for extracurricular activities, we need to make sure it’s being directed for that use.

10. I see elearning and technology as tools available to the teacher. I still believe the teacher is the main component to a quality education.

11. Absolutely, we must keep our schools safe and secure learning environments.

12. A Board member should be out and about in the community, talking to parents, teachers and students about their concerns.

Gina Lawrence Freeman

1. Do you feel the recommendations of Principals and AD’s in the rehiring process of teachers and coaches are sufficient, or do you feel the board should choose to rehire those positions?

I believe that the Principals and AD’s recommendations in rehiring teachers and coaches is sufficient. The Principals and AD’s will be their direct supervisors and will be working with the employees daily. Since the direct supervisors see the work and interaction that the teachers and coaches have with the students daily it provides a good work environment.

2. What is one major project that you feel the school corporation should start planning for in order to benefit the entire corporation, increase student enrollment, attract young families to move here, and contribute to long-term success for the school corporation?

I don’t have one major thing that I would add to what our district already offers. We have the pre-school, the IVY Tech partnership and Cub Manufacturing just to mention a few of the wonderful areas in our schools.
What we need is a big marketing campaign where these areas and others like the fine arts, Project Lead the Way and the list of multiple extracurricular activities is available in a package through the Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Madison and to the local businesses that are recruiting new hires.

With the renovation of Anderson, the High School Auditorium and the areas in the gym I believe families will see that we care about our schools and our teachers and students by providing them with a safe and up to date environment and this will help being new families to the district.

3. Do you plan to attend or take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to board members, if you are running for re-election what have you attended?

If elected I plan to attend professional development opportunities that will enhance my job as a School Board Trustee. For my job as, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters I attend quarterly and annual professional development opportunities that keep my updated on community and BBBS national policies.

As a School Board member, professional development would be a great opportunity to network with other school district professionals and keep up to date on state and national issues concerning education.

4. What activities do you participate in, and how are you getting up to speed on district programs.

I attend numerous committees in the community involving drug prevention, healthy community awareness and Chamber events. The way I keep updated on district programs is by talking to teachers, administrators, and community members.

During my campaign I have met with Mike Frazier and received a tour of the high school and am aware of the renovations that have been made and that are are under way. I have also had a tour of the jr. high and Anderson. I have met with Ashey Schuttee about the communication between the administration and families in the district. I met with Molly Dodge, the Chancellor at IVY Tech, to talk about the partnership that MCS has with IVY Tech. I spoke with Tara McKay about the Pre-school and the increase of numbers she has in that program.

I believe the best way to keep up to speed is to meet in person with the teachers, students and parents.

5. Do you support funding preschool, and do you feel it is important to the success of our students?

I do believe in funding preschool. I find it to be important to the success of our students because early learning sets the goals for the child in the future. Preschools not only involve the child but the parents. We will see more parent involvement and the child will be gaining not only cognitive skills but social skills earlier and be ready for elementary school.

I also believe that we should go after any grant funding that is available for early childhood funding.

6. What qualities and experience do you possess that would make you a productive school board member?

As the current Executive Director with Big Brothers Big Sisters the agency works with the district to help match children with positive mentors. I attended numerous meeting with teachers, administrators and community members. I currently work for a Board of Directors, so I understand the job of Board Members and the need for these positions. BBBS is affiliated with the National BBBS Federation.

I was employed by the United States Air Force as a child Development Director at RAF Alconbury, England. During this time I over saw a center with 120 children of active duty military. I supervised over 50 civilian workers. During my time as Director I served on the planning committee to oversee the 2.3-million-dollar renovation of the Child Development Center. This included new playgrounds, classrooms, air conditioning, kitchen facilities/laundry rooms.

I was employed by the United States Navy as a Youth Services Director and Child Development Center Director at the Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland. At this time, I supervised 67 civilians. The attendance at the center was 150 military member’s children ranging in the ages of 5 to 18 years of age. During my time as Director I worked with base officials on the planning

committee for the construction of 2.5-million-dollar youth center and teen center and the renovation of the Child Development Center to include indoor playgrounds for both centers, new media rooms and a dining facility a kitchen area.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College in Europe with a minor in Business/Education and a School Age Proficiency Certificate from Concordia University.

I am a Chamber Ambassador giving me connections within the community and working one on one with new community members and businesses.

7. Are you more worried about the schools reputation or the actual students that attend MCS?

Students are my top priority. I believe that the improvements that we are seeing within the districts with give the students, teachers and families more reasons to be proud of their school. Therefore, there will be no worries about the school reputation.

8. In the light of recent incidents what can the board do to help increase school safety?

I believe that the district has done an excellent job in training the teachers, administrators and students. I believe the best way to increase safety is to stay vigilant. If the budget would allow I would like to see a full-time resource officer at each school with at least one dog for the district.

9. What do you feel is the school boards role in funding extracurricular activities?

I would like to see the Board help in funding extracurricular activities. I do believe that the groups need to have the student raise as many funds as possible. This gives the students ownership in the activities.

10. What is your view of eLearning and the use of technology in classroom?

I have toured the high school and jr. high media centers and find them to be up to date with new technology. I visited classrooms and noticed how technology was utilized by the teacher and students. Technology is the future and we need to continue to update it in our schools.

My view on eLearning is we are preparing children for the future. As we see in today’s workforce many jobs are based on work from home.

11. If there is a need would you support a tax increase to pay for student services or building repairs?

If it is a SAFETY issue, yes. We need to keep our schools safe at all costs.

12. What is your role interacting with students, staff, and the community?

I believe through one on one interaction with the students, staff and the community it will better the schools.
I currently attend the meetings in the community- Healthy Community Initiatives- I am a member of the Healthy Community and Suicide Prevention. I attend Jefferson County Justice, Treatment and Prevention meetings, Prevent Child Abuse, Envision Madison meetings and other community meetings where not only community members but school staff are present and involved.

I recently attended the community event at the Deputy school and visited the communities of Brooksburg and Canaan. I will attend events as possible in the district in support of the students and staff.
I hope the board will be part of the town meeting that our Superintendent has started in the district to hear positive feedback or concerns in the schools.

Carl Glesing

1. Do you feel the recommendations of the principal and Administration in the rehiring process of teachers and coaches are sufficient, or do you feel the Board should chose to rehire those positions?

It is the administration’s responsibility to hire, evaluate, discipline and terminate all employees of the corporation. They have the expertise to screen applicants, investigate their backgrounds and to evaluate their skills. The Board should not be involved in this

process for a number of reasons. To name a few, it would require an extensive amount of time, most board members would not have the proper training in these areas and it would delay the process and would not be in the best interest of the corporation. The board has the responsibility to give an up or down vote in approving the recommendation of the administration. If any board member has disqualifying information they are always welcome to share that information with the

superintendent. Personnel issues are always best left in the hands of the professionals who are trained in those areas.

2. What is one major project that you feel the school corporation should start planning for in order to benefit the entire corporation, increase student enrollment, attract young families to move here and contribute to the long-term success of the school corporation?

A great school is the key to improving the whole community and promoting economic development which will reduce poverty which is currently very high in our community. Much has been done in the last few years but more is needed.

I think developing a current 3 year strategic plan to guide all decisions and an action plan to implement it is necessary. Dr. Studebaker has agreed to work with the Board in the very near future to jointly make this happen. I believe this is overdue, but I am

convinced it can and will happen. I would encourage community input in this process as well done in an orderly fashion. I would value ideas from the community as a whole.

3. Do you plan to attend or take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to board members, if you are running for re-election, what have you attended?

If re-elected I plan to continue my professional development as I have always done in the past. I have attended extensive professional development at every opportunity. The professional development I have attended most has been through the Indiana School Boards Association. The 4 levels of certification are:

Level I Level II Level III

= 75 points = 125 points = 175 points

Master = 225 points
One half-day of training equals 5 points (1/2 day = 5 points) Full day of training equals 10 points (1 day = 10 points)

I have achieved a Master Certification and am the first ever Madison School Board Member to achieve this level and have far exceeded the points required for the Masters’ Level.

4. What activities do you participate in and how are you getting up to speed on district programs?

I am very familiar with most programs at MCS. I regularly attend many of the sporting and fine arts activities plus academic competitions. I have participated on the Board of Directors of the Educational Foundation for 8 years serving as president for 5 of those 8 years. I have served as an interviewer for the AVID program for several years as well. I have also served as a judge during the Academic Decathlon Competition for several years.

I have served as the School Board Representative to the Economic Development

Commission for 3 years.

I have been instrumental in developing and upgrading programs at MCS such as the preschool, Ivy Tech partnership, Cub Manufacturing and implementing high school credits in the middle school. I have continually pushed for better opportunities for those students who wish to go into trades and craft areas rather than going to a four-year college.

5. Do you support funding preschool and do you feel it is important to the success of our students?

I do support funding preschool to some degree; however, without state supported funding tuition needs to be an important element of support. We currently have local donors who help with tuition for families who meet certain financial guidelines for need. I will continue to lobby legislators to provide additional help.

I believe that preschool is very important for the future success of our students in their development. It also plays a very important role in attracting and retaining students to MCS and as well as being a factor to attract young couples to the area.

6. What qualities and experience do you possess that would make you a productive school board member?

Experience, specialized training, leadership background, common sense, ability to evaluate the big picture and the ability to listen to the whole community not just special interest groups who are usually the loudest.

I have extensive experience in business management both for myself as well as other business owners and the U.S. Army. I make decisions after I have collected all of the facts and have made a thorough evaluation of them.

When I come to a board meeting, I am prepared by having my homework finished.

7. Are you more worried about the school’s reputation or the actual students who attend MCS?

Both are important; however, students are always first and are always considered as

such in my decision process. I want every student, regardless of ability or social- economic status, to have the best educational opportunities possible and to be able to follow the career path of his or her choice. If we move forward with this in mind, the reputation of the school will always continually improve. Test scores are not always the best gauge of success. The real measure of success is the students’ success after leaving MCS and moving into adult life.

8. In the light of recent incidents, what can the board do to help increase school safety?

Much has been done in the recent past. Resource officers have been added, additional security cameras have been added, secure entrances have been added plus safety training added for a number of staff. I am not in favor of arming staff with only minimal training. I believe that could prove to be too dangerous. It would be fantastic if the Federal or State governments would provide funding to hire a trained resource officer for every building. Our budget will not support this. I am all for more training for staff and students to intercept problem situations and report them before they become critical and this would eliminate a large portion of them.

9. What do you feel is the school boards’ role in funding extra-curricular activities?

I am in favor of funding all we can within budget limitations and within all the laws and regulations that we must follow. Every situation is very different and must be studied by the administration before a recommendation is made. An example is band
uniforms. There is a law that limits the corporation to only 50% of the cost of band uniforms. I have served on the Board of Directors for the Educational Foundation for 8 years and through this organization we have supported Academic Teams. We have other groups providing financial assistance such as the Band Boosters, Athletic Boosters, Theater Parent Group and others. These groups have their own fundraising activities and the community has been fantastic donating to most of these groups. The corporation takes care of the facilities and things seem to work fairly well but it is always a struggle.

10.What is your view of e-learning and the use of technology in the classroom?

Technology plays a critical role in today’s world and will be even more important in the

future. It gives us the potential to be life-long learners. Most decent paying jobs require the use of extensive technology regardless of the field including heavy-equipment operators, modern farming, education, engineering, nursing, airplane maintenance, pilot and about anything you can think of.

Technology is moving forward at lightning speed in nearly every aspect of our daily lives and will continue. If we do not keep up, we will not be successful. We would be remiss if we did not provide this critical portion to students’ education.

11.If there is a need, would you support a tax increase to support student services or building repairs?

Yes, I would if the need is there and can be justified. It would have to be done with reason and common sense with the least possible impact to the taxpayer. I see no foreseeable need for this to happen for student services in the future. We are getting

our buildings slowly back in reasonable condition and trying to do this as our debts are paid off with very little tax impact. Our school corporation is in excellent financial condition at this time and I believe we can maintain this in the foreseeable future. Our local property tax rate for support is one of the lowest in the region and I would hope to keep it there.

12.What is your role interacting with students, staff and the community?

I believe interaction with all of the above is very important. I have interacted with all on a regular basis at extra-curricular events, out in the community and by phone and e- mail. I will listen to anyone at most anytime. I have not and will not address complaints about personnel issues, coaching issues and things of such nature but will refer to the proper administrators. I will listen to most other issues and refer to the superintendent for proper investigation, consideration and resolution when necessary. When resolutions with the administrators are not possible, a procedure is in place to do a formal appeal to the whole Board should it come to that point. We do want community input on important issues and done in the right way.

2018 School Board Written Responses to Questions

School Board Candidate Larry Henry

In the recent past students, teachers and the community have been

deeply concerned and even hurt by what they viewed as unfair decisions

related to hiring and terminations. I believe we should have faith in our

administrative staff including our superintendent, principals and ADs.

However it is important that such actions be in a fair and ethical

manner. I believe the board should set both the standards and the

examples when it comes to employment status. Given that school policy

has been followed and ethics code upheld I believe we need to allow

those we hired to do their job to do it well and the board should not

undermine our school leadership and administrative personnel.

1.

2. The most important project to me is putting a program in force that entices young teachers or veteran teachers to come to Madison Consolidated Schools. Teachers are the frontline to quality
education. That is why increasing wages for teachers is very important to help to not only hire teachers but to also keep teachers at MCS and not have them swept away by other schools who will pay more.

3.

I believe in lifelong learning and as a board member I will take

advantage of as many quality opportunities that are important to

fulfilling my duties as a board member. That means I will look for

traditional opportunities such as the school board association but I will

also extend my training by seeking out local and nearby school systems,

our teachers, community members and even students. We can all

benefit from listening to each other’s ideas and learning from our

unique experiences. Sometimes answers can be found in our own

policies, sometimes in reference books and sometimes at workshops and

association meetings. I will not only consider a variety of sources but I

will also consider the cost to taxpayers and our schools for attending out

of town conferences. When I can gather knowledge without needlessly

spending money for overnight travel and meals I feel a responsibility to

our community and schools to do so. Let’s stop wasting thousands of

dollars.

4.

My life is so full of wonderful people. Like most of us my time revolves

mostly around my family and friends. I am in a unique position because

I am retired which means I have time to devote to my school board

duties without interfering in a job or livelihood. I believe I can balance

my school board responsibilities with my devotion to family including

time I spend with my energetic grandson and lovely wife Penny. I enjoy

time at my church and am there almost on a daily basis since I am a

trustee. I enjoy my responsibilities with the church and often help my

wife who, with her degree in early childhood development is director of

the North Madison Baptist Church Preschool. I volunteer on many

community committees and was appointed by the county commissioners

to the local cable television board. Currently I am acting President and

am responsible for assuring our local public access television channel

has the resources and opportunities needed to provide local government

and educational programming to our community. I’m eager to engage

directly with other board members and administration regarding the

school systems current status. Although I’ve attended every board

meeting for the last 2 years that doesn’t mean I know everything about

everything I need to know. Initially, I hope to spend individual time

with each board member and the school superintendent and hear their

thoughts on what is most important or pressing at the moment. At the

same time I would like to hear from the student body, teachers union,

PTO, and other parent groups that might be concerned about current

issues in our system.

I have a keen interest in many of our schools current programs and therefore

have stayed abreast of projects and issues confronting such programs as

…. I think cub manufacturing has done a great job with several of their latest

projects. I’m a big fan of the FFA, our school dual credit program with Ivy

Tech, and… Even though I’ve attended all the board meetings I think it’s

important for a board member to make the time to stay informed as to the

progress and challenges facing our many successful programs.

I am a strong supporter of early childhood education and I don’t say

that just because my wife has an Early Childhood Development

degree and is a preschool director. I say that because almost every day I

see the positive impact preschool has on young children. So yes I believe

we need to fund our preschool. There are rules restricting preschool

funding in some programs and while we can’t change them now we can

work to find ways to financially support preschool programs. Access to

affordable preschool is critical especially to economical disadvantaged

families and I would support efforts to fund preschool for all.

5.

  1. I was a substitute teacher at the High School and Junior High for a couple of years where I was exposed to almost every class and had the opportunity to talk with students and get to know teachers and other staff in the buildings.. It gave me a feel for what a day of school is like and appreciated what the teachers do even more. I believe in facts and research when making decisions. I’ve been at all the school board meetings the last two years and most of the meetings for two years before that. I’ve absorbed a lot by being there. I also believe strongly in openness and transparency. I’m 100% for a board that welcomes public comments and allows teachers, students and families to speak to a respectful, friendly board. ….I strongly disagree with a statement that “This isn’t a public meeting but a meeting in public” we can have organized, civil, efficient public meetings without offending and angering our staff, students and citizens.
  2. I’m always concerned about the students. Are ALL of the students getting the best that the corporation can give them? Is Madison Alternative Program doing enough? Is Special Ed working well for special needs children and many more items. I think about those things often.

Of course I’m worried about our schools reputation. A bad reputation means the community is less likely to support the schools when we are hoping to improve our buildings or programs. A bad reputation means patents will enroll their students in another system – each time a family decides to walk away from MCS we need to take a hard look at why those students were not happy with MCS. As board members we must be concerned because our community depends on us. Good schools not only mean more opportunity for students and teachers but also for the community. Families don’t want to live where their students may not get a good education and businesses won’t locate in communities with bad schools. Being the best we can be and showing off the great things about MCS are critical to our students success but also our systems overall success.

8. This is a very tough problem with no easy answers. But we can begin with things we can control like our school bullying policy. Yes it’s true that school shootings have increased but it’s also true that most students

who are afraid at school aren’t afraid of being shot they are afraid of bullies. So let’s start there and then meet with our school resource officer about other options to reduce risks of school intruders and contraband from entering the building. Maybe “hardening access” is the answer – only one entrance and that entrance is not only actively monitored it may need to have metal detectors. But how do we protect against someone from bringing in a weapon say during a ball game or evening event or practice and hiding it somewhere to use later ? These are tough scenarios and yet we have to face the risks head on which means we have to learn more about those risks, identify our current vulnerabilities, ask our students input and advice as well as teachers because they are the ones most at risk. Perhaps a school resource officer in every building is a good idea – if so we must find the dollars. This is a very good question and the bottom line it’s a tough problem we must begin somewhere. So let’s start with sharing concerns and ideas with each other.

9. Extracurricular activities are essential to our schools success because research shows students who participate in sports, school clubs, band and other after school programs are more successful not only in class work but it life. We learn more than how to play ball from coach…. for example I’m told coach Skinner works hard not only to build good wrestlers and football players but to help young men learn responsibility, accountability, the importance of volunteering in the community and to support one another during challenging times be it family or school issues. Often times it slow during extracurricular activities that a student who is considering or newly engaged in drug use learns how to cope and make better choices. Coaches and teachers are the best and strongest support after our parents and families and sadly sometimes in spite of our parents and families.

Money is always an issue. I wish it weren’t because I would support all the clubs and sports we wanted and honestly if more clubs, sports and after school activities not only help us save students but save life’s as well we must find a way to invest in these programs that reflects their importance. We may not be able to afford all the things we want right but surely we can create a plan that supports these programs. Whatever we do we need to keep in mind that the school is here for All Our students not just a few. I also think we need to

recognize and work closer with our alumni, parents who do fundraisers and of course our school foundation, local government and many opportunities for grants. Whatever we do we must remember not everything is learned on line or from a book. Life lessons are just as important – ask any of our local employers who are struggling to find new employees who understand teamwork, accountability and responsibility. They will tell you they want the schools to do more to help young people develop those skills and after school and extracurricular activities are a great way for our students to enjoy learning those skills and gaining “people” experience.

10.Technology is ever expanding and changes quickly. It is also expensive to keep up with those changes leave alone “ahead of the game” . But it isn’t an option not to remain current with our technology. Our students need the competitive advantage for jobs, trade school and

college. However eLearning is not a solution to every situation because not every student has access to the resources needed to participate in e learning- we can’t change the fact our community doesn’t even have cell service in some areas and even worse no internet access. So we have to step back and look for real solutions and opportunities instead of easy fixes which leave many students only further behind.

11.I would not support a tax increase (referendum) without detailed facts and that it would not over reach as did the referendum in 2014. I want the best of everything for our students and teachers so I’m willing to work hard to create a plan which benefits ALL students that we can proudly and confidently present to our community. I believe investing in our schools is one of the best investments we can make in our future and for our community. We just have to be fair and make sure our plan is solid and based on facts not fantasy.

12.I don’t consider it a “role” to interact with students, staff and the community. I consider it an exciting opportunity. I interacted with many students, teachers and staff when I was a substitute. I really enjoyed the conversations I had. In the last few months as I’ve run for School Board, I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of people going-door-to- door and also at various happenings in their communities. I believe we need that interaction to also be at school board meetings. It’s called

Public Education. Let’s get the public back onboard.- we need them if we want to improve our schools.

I’m dedicated to open, honest, civil board meetings where no matter which parent or which student or which citizen, I want them to feel comfortable speaking to the Board on issues of importance to them. I take my responsibility to listen seriously. I view this as an ethical obligation for board members to listen and consider, student, teacher, parent and community comments and concerns. I believe in stewardship of the Madison Consolidated School Corporation that is community focused and embodies a welcoming atmosphere.

Rob Kring

1. Do you feel the recommendations of Principals and AD’s in the rehiring process of teachers and coaches are sufficient, or do you feel the board should choose to rehire those positions?
I do not believe the board should be involved with the rehiring process of teachers or coaches. I do believe principals and athletic directors should be held accountable for their recommendations.

2. What is one major project that you feel the school corporation should start planning for in order to benefit the entire corporation, increase student enrollment, attract young families to move here, and contribute to long-term success for the school corporation?
I’m not aware of any project that would accomplish all of those things. I do believe we have the programs, staff and resources available to achieve those goals. Build on the Ivy Tech partnership, keep funding the pre-K while exploring ideas to make it affordable and accessible to all families, promote the Cub Manufacturing and Engineering programs, and enhancing the Arts Academy are all essential to moving towards those goals. I am pleased with the district newspaper that is being mailed to Jefferson county residents. It serves our district well by spreading the word about the great things happening at MCS.
3. Do you plan to attend or take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to board members, if you are running for re-election what have you attended?
In my four years on the board I have attended all board workshops and two ISBA seminars. There really is no comparison between the two methods of professional development. The workshops we attend with a facilitator are much more informative and serve the entire board, whereas the ISBA seminars are lengthy, overpriced and an inconvenience with the travel time involved. Our tax dollars are better spent on board training. The state is considering making professional development mandatory for school board members which will be a huge increase in cash flow for the ISBA and do very little to enhance board performance. Professional development for school boards should be done collectively, not individually. Boards need to sit down together and receive their training as a unit. I might add, I have spent numerous hours researching board materials on line. Individual study is probably the most efficient way to gather information.
4.What activities do you participate in, and how are you getting up to speed on district programs.

I’m not sure I understand what is meant by “activities”. There are three extremely important areas in my life; professional, personal and public. My profession is superintendent at Canaan Water Co. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 26 years in this profession. It has been a challenge and an awesome responsibility to provide safe

drinking water to over 1700 customers. It has introduced me to many wonderful people in eastern Jefferson County.
My personal life is completely family oriented. My favorite past time is spending quality time with my wife of 40 years, Niki. We enjoy our children, grandchildren and the new arrival of our great-grandson. Along with my faith, my family is what sustains me in this crazy world.

My public life is my service on the school board. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have the community put their faith and trust in me to make decisions which influence the education of our youth. I will continue to serve openly and honestly. It takes a lot of time to be an informed and prepared board member. I consider my time spent serving the community as time well spent.

There is plenty of information available to board members to remain up to speed on our programs. I will say that information flows more consistently through Dr. Studebaker than it did with the previous administrator.
5.Do you support funding preschool, and do you feel it is important to the success of our students?

Not only do I support our preschool program, I support it with a passion. I consider pre-K to be the most important program we have. Studies have shown the preschool experience is most effective with a challenging curriculum. Our preschools are doing a fantastic job of preparing our students for kindergarten. I applaud Dr. Studebaker for finding a way to make this program more accessible to low income families.

6. What qualities and experience do you possess that would make you a productive school board member?
The youth of this community have always been my motivation to serve, whether it was coaching little league, youth leader at church, or serving on the school board. There is no better investment of our time and money, than in our young people. I have no problem putting students first. I am beholden to no political party or special interest group. I serve with honesty and integrity, I believe in holding myself, and others, accountable for their actions. My 26 years as superintendent for Canaan Water Co. has afforded me the experience of working with large budgets. I have been responsible for the development and oversight of many construction projects and improvements totaling over a million dollars. I understand the value of a dollar and the value of a good employee.

7. Are you more worried about the schools reputation or the actual students that attend MCS?
If you mean which is more important, it would be the student. I have a healthy concern for our reputation, but my focus is on the safety and success of our students. As long as we continue to do well by our students and provide

opportunities and the resources needed to succeed, our reputation will take care of itself.
8. In the light of recent incidents what can the board do to help increase school safety?

The results of our facilities survey conducted in 2015 showed that safety was the number one priority for our parents. Their concerns echoed that of the board. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that our buildings are safe and secure. We have safe and secure entries and security cameras at all of our buildings. We are installing scanners at our entry points which will access federal data registries to confirm identities and background checks of people entering the buildings. We have resource officers for added security. After the last episode where there was a possible threat to our students’ safety, I felt reassured by the quick and efficient response of our local law enforcement. I would consider our Emergency Response Plan to be highly effective.

9. What do you feel is the school boards role in funding extracurricular activities?

I think the board has consistently been willing to fund extracurricular activities. Our contract negotiations this year included stipends for several ECAs. I support funding extracurricular activities that have value to a complete education.
10. What is your view of eLearning and the use of technology in classroom?

This is one of those topics that has a vast array of opinions. I have had discussions with parents, grandparents, teachers, students, Dr. Studebaker and several others. I am of the opinion that Elearning days can be useful in making up snow days, but they do not compare to being in a classroom receiving instruction. The scheduling of these days has also been a little suspect. I am not convinced that these days are what is best for our students.

We have invested millions of dollars in technology for the classrooms as we transition into a whole new world of learning and teaching. The teachers seem to approve of the technology. My concern with the technology transition is if we will be able to sustain the cost of advancement and replacement. I don’t believe we can keep pace with the advancements in technology because it moves too quickly. Although I prefer a book to a Kindle, I am in favor of classroom technology. Its hard to compete with so much information at the push of a button.
11. If there is a need would you support a tax increase to pay for student services or building repairs?
Yes. If we have a NEED and the ONLY solution is a raise in taxes, then I would support a well planned project to meet our needs. However, the real question is whether or not the people would support an increase. I am running my platform on communication and rebuilding trust between our schools and our community. The people of this community love their schools. They know how important our schools are to the welfare of our community. They want what is best for our youth.

They just don’t have the confidence in our school board to follow our lead. And why should they? The responsibility of repairing this relationship rests solely with the board. The community has tried to communicate and be a part of our plans. The board has responded with a deaf ear and a cold shoulder. We simply cannot run our schools efficiently without the support of our community. And that is a fact we have proven.
12. What is your role interacting with students, staff, and the community?
Well, I would hope they all know I am someone who is representing them to the best of my ability. I have a genuine concern for the well being of all people. I try to let students know they have my support in academics, athletics and any personal goals they might have. I always treat our teachers with the respect they deserve. I have enjoyed many conversations with many of our teachers. I think what I admire most about our staff is their positive attitude. They are always so upbeat and excited about what they are doing. I also enjoy conversations with the community whether they have compliments or concerns. It is my responsibility as a board member to keep the community informed as to what is happening in our schools. I consider it an honor to represent the people of this community, our teachers, and most of all our students.

Jodi Yancey

1. Do you feel the recommendations of Principals and AD’s in the rehiring process of teachers and coaches are sufficient, or do you feel the board should choose to rehire those positions?
The Principal and AD’s job is to evaluate the teacher and/or coach

on a yearly basis. They also work with the Superintendant in the hiring and rehiring process of the teachers and/or coaches. I feel if we as a board have done our job by overseeing the hiring of outstanding people to be our Superintendant, Principals and AD then we should feel confident in their recommendations. However, the board does vote on all contracts to hire or rehire whether it be a teacher, coach, principal or superintendant so if I have received numerous issues or complaints from parents, students or community members I will address them with the superintendant and other board members and I will vote.

2. What is one major project that you feel the school corporation should start planning for in order to benefit the entire corporation, increase student enrollment, attract young families to move here, and contribute to long-term success for the school corporation?
I think the biggest obstacle that we and all schools are facing is

hiring and retaining quality teachers and staff. I think we have to continue to work on the culture, positive environment and allowing the teachers to have more input on leadership and creating curriculum. We can not continue to lose experienced teachers to other corporations, higher paying jobs and other professions.

3. Do you plan to attend or take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to board members, if you are running for re-election what have you attended?
I think it is important to be educated and informed on being a

good school board member. I would participate in professional development opportunities within reason. I would not support using taxpayers money for the board to go on expensive trips for professional development.

4. What activities do you participate in, and how are you getting up to speed on district programs.
My family and I attend many sporting events, theatrical performances, chaperone dances, field trips and elementary school fairs. I am an active member of the Madison Athletic Booster club.

My biggest resource for keeping up with the district programs is that I currently have two students in the school system who participate in many of the district programs.

5. Do you support funding preschool, and do you feel it is important to the success of our students?
I believe the State of Indiana should completely fund preschool for all students. However, since the state does not fully fund preschool at this time, I feel if there is money in our school budget to help fund preschool it is very important. There are many studies that show a quality preschool education is a great community investment with better performance in grade school and high school, higher rate of graduation, less interaction with law enforcement, an increased likelihood of attending college and a greater chance of career success. In our student population we have 50% of our students who receive free/reduced lunch. If we can help fund preschool I feel it will help many students be successful.

6. What qualities and experience do you possess that would make you a productive school board member?
I feel like my biggest asset of being a board member, that no other candidate has is that I have children that are currently enrolled in our school system. Therefore, I will always put the students and teachers first to ensure quality education is being given.

7. Are you more worried about the schools reputation or the actual students that attend MCS?
I feel both of these are very important however, if I have to chose one I would chose the current students that are enrolled at MCS. I feel if we as a board continue to improve transparency,

environment at the schools and quality education for all students, our reputation will take care of itself.

8. In the light of recent incidents what can the board do to help increase school safety?
Over the past couple of years, I feel a lot has been done to improve safety. We have new camera & security systems at the high school & elementary schools. We have more secure entryways at all locations. Just this month the new Raptor system has been implemented in all our buildings. I support having resource officers in the buildings. I feel having active shooter drills and making staff & students aware of what they should be doing is imperative. I feel it is necessary that our principals, assistant principals, counselors, teachers and all employees are visible as much as possible. It is important that they develop relationships with all students and build trust so that students feel comfortable enough to come to them with issues that may arise. Lastly, I would like to see our district implement more resources for mental health services.

9. What do you feel is the school boards role in funding extracurricular activities?

I feel very strongly about students participating in extracurricular activities. The school board does budget and pay for athletic and academic coaches salaries, stipends for teachers who oversee clubs,band and theatre, facilities to do these activities and part of their transportation cost.

10. What is your view of eLearning and the use of technology in classroom?

I like that we have the option of using an eLearning day when there is an inclement weather day. I, also, don’t mind having a couple scheduled eLearning days but I think we have too many scheduled ones. I feel that it is more important that the students be in the classroom with the teacher getting more direct interaction. As far as technology in the classroom, I would like to have more teacher input on what they feel works best for improved learning.

11. If there is a need would you support a tax increase to pay for student services or building repairs?
I think this is a very difficult broad question about raising taxes. I feel every community member is going to have a different perspective on “need”. There would have to be many open discussions with the our community to determine what they feel is “needed” and what they feel comfortable paying.

12. What is your role interacting with students, staff, and the community? I feel the role of a school board member is to be open, transparent and available to all students, staff and community. I will continue to attend many events that are hosted by our schools and hope to be able to visit all the schools on a more regular basis.