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Ovid-Else Area Schools Board Member 6 -Year Term {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Ovid-Elsie school board

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    Erin Bancroft

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    Becky Holmes-Bukantis

  • Eric J. Jones

  • Janell Kay Kebler

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    Stacie Rulison

  • Brooke Wooley

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Biographical Information

Why are you running for school board? Please mention any experience or background that makes you particularly qualified to serve.

What are the three biggest issues facing your district and how do you propose to address them? Which issue is your top priority?

If budget cuts become necessary during your term, what would you be willing to sacrifice?

If necessary to meet budget constraints, would you support closing a school building?

Are you satisfied with the academic achievement in your district? Why or why not?

Are you satisfied with the facilities in your district? Why or why not?

Are you satisfied with the performance of your superintendent? Why or why not?

Are you current in all tax, alimony and child support obligations? If not, please explain.

Hometown Ovid
Education Graduated from Ovid-Elsie High School Completed several CBA courses
Family My husband, Mike, and I have been married for 18 years and have four daughters, Camery, Madilyn, Kalista and Danica, who all attend Ovid-Elsie Area Schools.
Professional Experience I am a Medicaid Analyst with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Prior to moving into my current position, I worked for MDHHS in the Clinton County office, located in St. Johns which services the entire county of Clinton including the Ovid-Elsie area. I believe that I bring a different perspective to our School Board because of my experience and understanding of the negative impact that the economy has had on many of the families in our community.
Political Experience I’ve been a Trustee on the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools Board of Education since 2014.
I’m motivated to continue to contribute the knowledge and experience I’ve gained as a board member. I have vested interest in our school district, with our 4 daughters attending Ovid-Elsie. During my time on the Board of Education, I’ve had the privilege of working with our district administration and fellow board members on a number of issues and successful implementations for our students. We need to continue to move Ovid-Elsie forward.
Ovid-Elsie Area School District is facing the same big issue that many other districts in the State of Michigan are challenged with, which is declining enrollment. Unfortunately, due to the economy in the past few years, Michigan has seen a trend of residents moving out of state to seek employment opportunities. Although this is out of our control, declining enrollment creates financial, staffing and logistic challenges, including classroom sizes, which one of my top priories. I will continue to advocate for our students and staff and support reasonable classroom sizes.
Under the current leadership, Ovid-Elsie has already made necessary adjustments and made responsible financial decisions. With the support of the current board, the administration has made creative changes to avoid making sacrifices that negatively impact our district.
I don't see this as a current possibility. But, I have supported the closing of the North Community Center building in the recent past. This had a huge impact on many of the students and families in our district. It involved realigning our elementary and middle schools as well as alternative education, pre-schools and daycare. Our administration has been flexible and made necessary changes to successfully make these transitions.
Yes, although there is always room for improvement, Ovid-Elsie is performing at an all-time high academically. We are continuing to expand opportunities for our students and continuously seeking and implementing new educational techniques. I am currently on the Student Achievement committee, which is comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and board members. We are developing an updated 3-5 year Operational Plan for Student Achievement to continue academic growth and opportunities.
Yes, although not perfect, we have very nice facilities. As a community, we passed a Bond Extension in 2014 and have made huge improvements. We were able to update our buildings and grounds cosmetically, as well as completing necessary maintenance. We implemented several safety features in all of our buildings to create a more secure learning environment. In my opinion, the most exciting benefit has been the technology that has been added. With the knowledge, experience, and resourcefulness of our technology department, our district has continued to purchase new and updated technology using rebates from previous purchases, which has really stretched the dollars spent.
Absolutely! Dr. Cunningham is an amazing asset to our district. He is motivated and continues to make fiscally responsible decisions while keeping student achievement his highest priority. Dr. Cunningham is very accessible, both during business hours and often in attendance at extra curricular activities. He is motivated and continues to exceed expectations. Under the leadership of Dr. Cunningham, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools has been recognized with academic honors and awards at the state and national level. Most currently, Dr. Cunningham accepted the District of Distinction Award on behalf of Ovid-Elsie in recognition of Early Literacy Intervention.
Yes. I'm current on all taxes, and have no alimony or child support obligations.
Hometown Originally from Shields (Saginaw) Michigan but have lived in the Ovid-Elsie are for over 20 years.
Education *Graduated from Swan Valley High School *B.S. in Secondary Education from CMU (Biology/Health) *Masters in Counseling (K-12) from CMU
Family Husband- Doug Children - Brandon (23) Parker (17) Hunter (16) Hadley (11) Danielle (4)
Professional Experience I taught high school biology for 7 years and am in my 20th year as a counselor. I have served on strategic planning and school improvement committees. In addition, I have been involved with curriculum, MTSS and anti-bullying initiatives.
Political Experience I served on the Board of Education for 4 years and have completed several of the courses offered by MASB.
This November is a time for change in our district. A time to elect individuals to the board with fresh, new ideas and perspectives that will continue to move Ovid-Elsie Area Schools forward & put “Students First”. I feel it is a time to revise our strategic plan & utilize yearly perception survey data to help guide the development of school improvement plans. I see this as a time to research & discuss, as a community, ways to ensure our students’ educational growth and personal well-being. We have many talented & exceptional staff, that as parents & community members, we need to be confident that these individuals are assigned to positions that are most beneficial to our students.
Open 2-way communication between all stakeholders involved in our children’s education is a necessity. With this open communication comes the need to respect the thoughts, ideas & viewpoints of students/parents/staff. As educational funding becomes more of a challenge for districts, we must ensure that money is invested in areas that have a direct impact on our students, as well as with those individuals that are in direct contact with our students, on a daily basis. Educating our youth is more than the academics they learn in the classroom-it is modeling active listening & showing respect to all stakeholders. It involves engaging everyone in our community & welcoming them in our buildings.
I believe that teachers and support staff have given all they can give at this point. I would look to top administrators for concessions and examine ways to bring additional funds to the district via grants and other forms of aid.
In our district, a building was recently closed and grade levels redistributed. At this point, with our enrollment, I don’t see that any of our current buildings could be closed.
Our teachers are always looking for innovative ways to engage our learners and I believe the academic achievement in our district is always improving. The schools in Ovid-Elsie have consistently earned recognition over the past few years for programs developed and implemented by our teachers. What we must continue to do however, is assign teachers to grade levels and content areas they know the best. To assign teachers to grade levels never taught before, even with a major or minor in the content area, is not in the best interest of our students or district. Working on reducing class size so students can have more direct interaction with the teacher is a must as well.
Many of our facilities – classrooms, labs, parking lots, security, technology, etc.- have been updated recently as a result of a bond. Improvements continue to occur as funds are available; however we must work to ensure that they are maintained. In addition, the concession stand area and bathrooms at the football field could be updated as well as additional lighting on some of the playing fields. The parking & drop-off/pick-up areas at the elementary buildings are in need of additional work - more space and less congestion.
I am not completely satisfied with the superintendent’s performance. I realize the superintendent is in charge of the district, however, the teachers & support staff impact the student’s education & lives on a daily basis. In addition, decisions have been made by the current board, in support of the current superintendent, that have raised questions among community members. I feel these decisions are detrimental to the district from a community relations/financial standpoint. Questions & discussions must happen in order to ensure that students continue to be placed first when decisions are made regarding administrative compensation/staffing/class size/curriculum/supplies/materials.
Yes, I am current in all taxes and have no alimony or child support obligations.
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Home address 6233 Welter Road
Hometown St. Johns
Education M.S., M.Ed., Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Family Married to Rob Rulison; son Mason (16 years) and son Ryder (11 years)
Professional Experience Autism Consultant: Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education; MSU; GVSU Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START); Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS); Clinton Eaton Ingham (CEI) Community Mental Health (CMH); private consulting
Political Experience Ovid Elsie School Board 2009-2016; lobbied with advocacy and corporate parties in passing autism insurance legislation.
I have been an Ovid Elsie school board member since 2009, and president since 2010. The board has forged a strong collaborative relationship with administration and each other accomplishing our highest level of academic achievement ever, receiving recognition at the national and state levels while maintaining a 20%+ general fund cash balance. This has been challenging with statewide and district declining enrollment impacting revenue. We have minimized layoffs and offered recalls to those who were temporarily laid off. The goal: do what is best for ALL students at OE through a global perspective and long term decision making. I have a strong passion to continue moving OE forward.
1. Staying solvent in continued enrollment decline with its impact on revenue per pupil. The district already has done a number of creative initiatives to address this and continues to seek out ways to reduce costs and maintain an excellent education. 2. Our community has been greatly impacted by the economic hit our state endured over the past 10 years. Assuring the academic needs of students continue to be met while recognizing the challenging situations families in the district face. 3. Being proactive in getting new students to the district while finding innovative ways to deliver education. This is happening now, i.e. our relationship with LCC and dual credit and enrollment.
This is a real issue our district has continued to face and manage. Our collaborative goal has historically been excellence for ALL students at Ovid Elsie, and that would continue. We have already sacrificed and made some very difficult decisions in this area, all without effecting the classroom. Mainly, we have absorbed (not laid off) many positions throughout the district including two recent administrative positions. We work with our administration to find ways to reduce costs by consolidating services and offering new programs and opportunities that generate revenue to the district. Our administrators and staff have been very creative in collaborating on viable solutions.
This is a reality for many schools. In fact, Ovid Elsie closed a building (North Elementary) this past year which housed our pre-school and alternative education programs. Due to declining enrollment we had space in our elementary schools and were able to reconfigure our elementary schools to house the programs previously at North and save significant maintenance costs. This is not a first option, but it's a real option when the goal is to provide an excellent education to all students at the district. Those dollars help enhance educational opportunities and remain in the classroom rather than being absorbed by an unneeded building. It was a strategic, long-term, sustainability decision.
I am extremely satisfied and proud of the academic achievements of our district. Together with administration, OE has accomplished many academic honors and awards over the past 7 years, including just receiving the 2016 District of District of Distinction Award, a national award to honor districts leading the way with new ideas that work. OE has also been recognized in the past 2 years by US National News and World Report Best High School Rankings, Argus Press, Leonard Elementary "A" School by the Mackinac Center, Bridge Magazine Academic State Championship, Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Award School (3 years), MDE Leonard Elementary Beating the Odds School (2010-11), and others.
Yes, very satisfied. OE was able to pass a bond for facility improvements spanning the 2014-2016 timeframe. We were able to enhance our infrastructure in safety, security, maintenance, and technology systems which were in significant need. This was a great collaboration by the community and school and has improved the infrastructure and learning environment for all students at the district. The bond deliverables were implemented under budget, allowing for further enhancements to classrooms, maximizing bond dollars. We strive to have pleasant, welcoming, and safe buildings conducive to learning.
We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Ryan Cunningham as our superintendent. He has been the catalyst of many innovative ideas moving the district forward. He is in the community, involved with students, has children at the school, and is a systems thinker with a broad perspective and background in curriculum development. One primary function of the board is overseeing the superintendent's performance, where he has annually been evaluated and rated "highly effective" by consensus, exceeding his goals including leading OE's strategic planning from 2012-2016. He has received state and national recognition including a nomination and runner up for Region Superintendent of the Year by MASB.
Yes, current on all tax obligations. Alimony and child support obligations do not apply.
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