Mason Public Schools Board Member 6 -Year Term

Mason school board

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  • Candidate picture

    Liz Evans

  • Candidate picture

    Mitch Perrault

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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 Raised in Lansing 4 year resident of Mason
Education Bachelors of Science in Family Community Services, Emphasis in Youth
Family Married for 11 years with 2 children. Oldest Child is 8 and in the 3rd grade at North Aurelius Elementary School. Youngest is 3 years old.
Professional Experience 12 years in the Child Welfare System. 6 years as a Juvenile Court Officer with the Ingham County Circuit Court.
Political Experience I currently have not held any political offices.
For the past four years I have been involved in the North Aurelius PTO, 2015 Strategic Planning Committee, 2015 Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the Yes2Mason! Committee, and current member of the 2016 School Study Committee. I believe that my involvement in these committees have given me a focus on the schools on a larger scale. I believe that my passion for the Mason Public Schools is evident through my work in the various committees in the community. I also, believe that my work as a social worker has helped me to be able to think critically, holistically, and with an open mind for the future of our schools.
My top 3 needs for Mason Schools are, healing the relationship between the community and school board, the overcrowding of our schools especially at the Elementary level, and making sure that our children have the ability to be competitive once leaving high school. Healing the relationship between the School Board and the community starts with open and fluid communication. Open and honest communication to and from the community is essential. As a member of the 2016 School Study Committee, I believe that there will be a great plan and focus from the committee that will address both overcrowding and the technology that will help our graduates to be competitive in the real world.
I do not believe that it would be fair to make a decision today about what would or would not be cut. I believe that budget cuts would have to be well thought out, well communicated and explained, and well interpreted by the community at the time that it would be necessary.
I do not believe that it would be a decision that would be made lightly but rather, a building closing would have to be a last resort with no other option. But, I believe that budgets would have to be well researched, well extracted and no other options left in order to close a building.
I believe that we have the best teachers for our students and they do a fantastic job of teaching our children with the resources that they have. I believe that our teachers could have more support with more updated technology in the classroom and buildings. I am satisfied with the education that my child is receiving in Mason Public Schools.
As a member of the 2015 Steering Committee and the 2016 School Study Committee, I believe that there is need for the community in Mason to give some extra attention to our buildings. Our staff have maintained our buildings the best that they can but there are many large scale improvements that are in need of our support.
I believe in our Superintendent and believe in his vision and care for the Mason Public Schools and the Mason Community.
I am not behind in any tax. I have been married for 11 years and therefore have no alimony or child support obligations.
Hometown Mason, Michigan
Education BS in Accounting & Computer Information Systems - Indiana University (Bloomington), 1998 Juris Doctorate - Michigan State University, 2004
Family Sheila (Wife) - married 16 years Zane (Son) - age 14 Drew (Son) - age 11
Professional Experience Auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Chicago, 1999 - 2000) Auditor, Ernst & Young (Chicago, 2000-2001) Clerk - Hon. Daniel A. Burress & Hon. David J. Reader (Howell, MI, 2002-2005) Attorney, Law Office of Mitchell J. Perrault, PLLC, 2005 - Present)
I am running for school board to ensure that our district needs are met in a financially responsible manner. I want to make sure that our children have what they need to be successful and develop in a quality learning environment. I want to make sure that the resources we have in our district are properly utilized and that our district administration, including the Board, are held accountable to the community for the decisions made. My training as an Auditor and an Attorney will allow me to put my skills to work analyzing the data, information and processes used to make these important decisions and to ethically scrutinize the decisions and work of others.
The three biggest issues facing our school district are 1) the current condition and use of our buildings/facilities; 2) the disconnect between the school administration and the community; and 3) the financially questionable decision making of our current School Board. All three of these issues are significant and need to be properly addressed by the Board. The biggest of the three, however, is the current condition of our buildings/facilities. This directly impacts the learning and educational environment of our students. The Facilities Audit must be reviewed and much of the items contained therein must be addressed.
Without having an in depth understanding of the current expenditures of the district, I am unwilling to identify specific areas in which to make cuts. There are specific areas in which I would be less inclined to agree to cuts, i.e., teacher's salaries. If budget cuts were necessary, as a district I would propose we addressed them by making small cuts over a broader range of areas trying to retain as much of the offerings and resources as possible while still providing a quality education to our youth.
We are not currently in need of closing a school building. We may, however, be in need of reopening the Harvey Education Center/Cedar Street as an Elementary School. With our student population where it is currently I am in favor of spending the money necessary to reopen Cedar as an Elementary School to reduce the stress and sizes of our elementary classrooms. I am not in favor of building a new $30M elementary school building.
We have a great school district. We have room for improvement though. To me room for improvement is potential that has not yet been obtained. I am not dissatisfied with the academic achievement of our district. However, I would like to see our teachers, administration and community encourage each individual student to work harder, remain committed and strive to reach their own potential.
No, see prior response above. Our facilities need to be brought up to par. We are in desperate need of updates to physical building structures and technology. We should be able to provide an environment where our students needs are met and they are comfortable, eager and ready to learn. Our teachers work hard to educate our students and our community is appreciative and proud of their efforts. The quality of our facilities should be improved to rise to the level of the quality of our teachers.
I believe our Superintendent has worked hard. However, I believe he has focused too much on the idea of building a new school building in Mason. I think his efforts are better utilized considering and formalizing plans to reopen Cedar Street as a school building, like it is intended to be used. I'd like to see him consider other possibilities for fulfilling the needs of our school district, like reopening Cedar Street as a school building.
Yes, absolutely.