Haslett Public Schools Board Member 6 -Year Term {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Haslett school board

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  • Greg Bird

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    Tim Griffin

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    Tammy Lemmer

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    Molly Polverento

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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.

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Hometown Adrian, MI
Education Graduate of Adrian High School, Adrian,MI; Human Services: Social Work degree Siena Heights (College) University; Master's Degrees in Social Work & Public Health, University of Michigan.
Family Married 22 years to Wife, Angela; Son, Josh (7th Grade); Daughter, Madeline (4th Grade).
Professional Experience Stay-At-Home Dad; Jan. 2004-present. Foster Care Caseworker and Clinical Therapist; Lutheran Social Services of Michigan 1999-2003
Political Experience None
I've been actively involved with our Schools since my son started Kindergarten. I have volunteered in both my children's classrooms, worked Book Fairs, Testing Days, etc. I'm starting my 5th year as the Mileage Club Coordinator for Ralya School. I am also a Substitute Teacher for the district. I'm running for School Board because I want to take my knowledge of, and experience with, the schools to the next level. As a Substitute Teacher, I have a "front line" opportunity to witness what Teachers, Staff and Principals encounter on a daily basis. I would take these observations and interactions with me to the Board to help them maintain the high educational standards for which Haslett is known
--Maintain and/or enhance the salary rate for new teachers to attract the most qualified and enthusiatic applicants to ensure the highest quality education that Haslett Schools currently produces.

--Work to ensure our current teachers and staff receive a wage increase that is appropriate for all the hard work, dedication, and caring nature they put forth toward the academics for our children.

--There are School Improvement Plans in place for each school building. I'd like to work to ensure those are achieved. Plus there are other projects, some smaller; some larger, that could be initiated. Funding those could be a blend between private and school funding.
With a closely monitored budget and fiscal responsibility, budget cuts should be able to be avoided. Before anything is sacrificed, I would want to look at everything in the budget carefully. Every area would be on the table for budget reduction.
I would not support closing a school building. Haslett has one K-1 and two 2-5 grades Elementary buildings; one Middle School and one High School. Closing any one of these buildings would place an extreme burden on the district as well as the families in the community.
Haslett has consistently excelled in Academics throughout the entire district. Families choose Haslett for their school of choice especially for the high quality education they receive. Our teacher are amazing and their dedication to maintaining this higher quality education is beyond compare. As a Substitute Teacher, I have been able to witness first-hand the numerous ways our teachers, staff and administrator care about their students. They work hard to involve each student in a positive education experience thus giving the best opportunities to succeed. They are the reason Haslett is an "A+" School District!
I am very satisfied with our current facilities. The District works hard to keep improving areas throughout the school buildings and grounds. I believe Haslett still has plenty of opportunity to further improve our facilities in several areas, some smaller; some larger projects.
Our new Superintendent assumed the position July 1st of this year. (He was previously our Financial Director.) With only a few months in the position, it's too early in his leadership to accurately assess his Superintendent performance, but so far he appears to be doing a good job. Given more time, I'm confident he will lead Haslett School to the best of his ability.
These do not apply to me as I do not have any such obligations.
Hometown Rouses Point, NY
Education BA in Government from St Lawrence University, Canton, NY
Family Spouse Jeff, Son Nick, Daughter Katie
Professional Experience I have always worked in the nonprofit sector, with an emphasis on youth and families. After several years out of state working as a professional Girl Scout, I joined the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, serving as a Program Manager focused on prevention education and addressing needs of underserved populations, including people with disabilities. I recently worked with the Coordinated School Health & Safety Unit at the Michigan Department of Education on a safe and supportive schools initiative. Currently I work for the Tri-County Office on Aging promoting community collaboration and engagement.
Political Experience Currently completing 1st term on Haslett Board of Education
I have a long history of service to Haslett Public Schools and the wider community as a classroom and field trip volunteer, member and officer of the PTO, Choir, and Athletic Boosters, and as a School Board member. I am currently the Secretary of the Board, while also serving as Secretary to the Ingham School Officers Association with Ingham ISD. I am a Past President and current PR Chair for the Haslett-Okemos Rotary Club, active volunteer and educator at my place of worship and former Girl Scout leader. I want to continue my service to the District Board because I am a strong supporter of public education and I contribute unique personal and professional expertise and leadership.
With a new Superintendent and newly revised Board Policy Manual, Haslett is in a period of transition. Stability is my top priority. With at least two new members joining the Board in January, and three of the last four members elected two years ago being new as well, I provide experienced leadership for the district. Other issues include teacher and administrator evaluation and the continuous flow of new mandates from the legislature. I am familiar with the expectations, and have participated in conversations with teachers and administrators about how to integrate the new processes and documentation into the existing practices of the District.
Fortunately, Haslett's financial position is improving, and the district has added to the fund balance ("savings") the last few years. If circumstances changed and an unanticipated expense or shortfall were to occur, the priority would be to limit impact on the classroom. There is not a lot of flexibility, with 85% of the budget going to salary and benefits to support our amazing personnel. The first cut would be the elimination of the scheduled fund balance allocations.
No I would not. The district has a good configuration of students across the five buildings.
Haslett is a top performing district in the county and in the state. Annual yearly progress is being met, and the district is working to decrease any gaps in achievement across lower and higher achieving students. Haslett was an early adopter of the Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model of intervention, with the goal of meeting the unique needs of every student, making sure the approach to educating all students is equitable and fair.
The district is fortunate to receive strong support from the community, reflecting an understanding of the importance of maintaining safe and energy efficient facilities. The buildings and grounds are in good shape, with any issues being largely cosmetic. Long term planning helps with the overall needs in addressing structural assets such as roofs, and boilers/HVAC systems, while making improvements to safety and security with upgraded phone systems and cameras.
Haslett’s long-time Superintendent retired in June 2016. New Superintendent Steve Cook is a dedicated, experienced administrator with an integral knowledge of the district and its priorities, having served as Finance Director. Upon the start of his new position he immediately created a communication plan for keeping staff and Board up to speed on progress towards the district’s academic and administrative goals. I am confident that he is the right leader for the district.
Hometown Decatur, IL
Education B.A., University of Illinois (1996) M.S.Ed., Illinois State University (1999)
Family Husband and 3 children (ages 9,7, and 2)
Professional Experience Worked in and with public health agencies for the past 16 years. I have experience in project evaluation, project management, policy development and analysis, and grant writing. My current job focused on building relationships between primary care physicians and public health professionals to develop educational and scholarly projects.
Political Experience I currently serve in an appointed position on the Ingham County Board of Health. I have not served previously in elected office.
I am running for school board because I want to do all that I can to make sure Haslett Schools remain among the best in the area. My kids will be part of these schools for the next 16 years, so I have a personal interest in the success of our schools. I have experience managing projects supported with state and federal funding and how varied funding and reporting requirements can impact project administration and implementation. I have worked on public health projects which have overlapped with school activities, such as the Healthy School Action Tool, so have some background in education policy. I also worked as a lobbyist and have experience in policy development and advocacy.
My top priority is the recruitment and retention of excellent educators and administrators. As the job market for teachers becomes more competitive, we will need to make sure we remain an attractive option for educators. This will include not only compensation, but providing our educators with opportunities to be innovators and leaders in our district. Another issue of importance is the communication between the district and our parents. I have heard concerns on this issue from other parents and will do what I can to encourage improvements and any necessary changes in policy. Finally, our school calendar is an important issue, especially with added days and time this year.
I would look first to those parts of our budget which are not necessary to our everyday operations or which could be delayed until better financial times. Investments in such things as building improvements or technology could possibly be delayed or spread out to minimize the impact on a given fiscal year. I would also work with the administration to identify any additional (grant) funding which may be available and which could support district activities.
No. Our district does not have excess capacity and we need the buildings we currently have to serve our community.
Yes, I believe we are doing very well academically in Haslett. Our schools have consistently performed well on standardized tests and rank highly in comparison with schools locally and statewide. The recent announcement that one of our schools, Ralya Elementary, was only one of 13 Michigan schools to be awarded the U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Award as an Exemplary High Performing School is just one example of our schools being recognized for their outstanding work.
The recent renovations to the High School Performing Arts Center have been a wonderful upgrade for our facilities, both to the benefit of our students and our community. However, we seem to be at capacity in our elementary classrooms and have not had the resources to either reconfigure or add space to any of our elementary buildings.
Yes, but our superintendent is new and has only been in his role for 3 months, so it is too early to really assess his performance.
Yes, I am current in all such obligations.