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Athens Area Schools School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

School board members serve a 4 year term.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Danielle Jacobs-Pfeifer

  • Dan Loew

  • Candidate picture

    Eric McClure

  • Joscelyn Minier

  • Jeffrey A. Penick

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Biographical Information

Why do you want to serve? What are your qualifications?

What has your experience been with public schools, and how would that influence your work on the board?

What are your priorities for the district? Why and how did you choose those?

Grade the superintendent's overall performance. Where is he or she performing well, and where can he or she improve?

How should districts evaluate teacher performance? Do you think teachers are doing a good job?

Do teachers receive adequate compensation, support and professional development to be successful in their jobs?

Do families and community members feel welcome and respected in their school?

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Professional Experience Binder Park Zoo (Guest Services, July-Sept. 2016); Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Government (Communications Dept. Internship, May 2014-March 2015); Mark Schauer for Governor 2014 Campaign (Internship, Sept.-Dec. 2013)
Political Experience Athens Area Schools Board of Education (Trustee, Jan. 2013-Present); Democratic Precinct Delegate (Athens Township Precinct #1, Aug. 2016-Present)
Family Drew McClure (father), JoLynn McClure (mother), Audry McClure (sister)
I am running for a second term on the Athens Area Schools Board of Education because I want to both continue the work that I have been a part of during the last four years, as well as begin to work on other problems that still face our school district. We've accomplished a great deal in the last four years as a school district, from selecting a new superintendent to lead our school district to emerging successfully from a deficit elimination plan. But there's still a great deal of work to be done. The two most important things that make me qualified to be a school board member for our community are my ability to listen to others and my commitment to actively seek out input from all voices.
I have lived in Athens for all 22 years of my life and I attended Athens Area Schools from developmental kindergarten through graduation. In that time, I have seen firsthand what makes our school district and our community great, as well as what we need to improve upon. I strongly believe that my status as a recent Athens alumnus and my commitment to remaining involved in our community, has allowed me to continue to have connections with students, parents and community members, as well as provide an opportunity for people of all ages to feel that they have a representative that truly does understand what's going on, wants to inform the public and does care about the opinions of other people.
Moving forward, I have two priorities for Athens Area Schools. First, we need to increase our communication, coordination and cooperation with community members, leaders and organizations. This is important because to see growth in both our school district and our community, we need to work together to develop partnerships, share resources, and positively promote each other. Second, we need to begin to establish short and long term goals and actually utilize them. Without clear goals and constant discussion of our progress towards these goals, there's no way of knowing where we want to lead our school district and our community. This is the critical foundation we must have moving forward.
Superintendent Joe Huepenbecker is currently in his second year as superintendent. After a year of observing his performance as both the junior/senior high school principal and superintendent, as well as the many other hats he must wear during the course of a year, I believe that we have a leader who truly does care for our students, teachers and school district and has a stake in our community. What truly needs to be improved upon, lies with the school board. We haven't done a good job of setting goals and expectations for our superintendent to meet. It is impossible for us to expect any more than 'day-to-day' maintenance, when that's the only true goal that we've set as a school board.
I continue to be discouraged that the process for evaluating teacher performance is decided by a group of politicians composed of no one with a background as a teacher. I understand the basis for relying upon student performance as an indicator to the performance of a teacher. However, the increasing importance of this factor and the fact that some students just naturally perform lower when it comes to tests and assessments, makes this a flawed process. There are so many other things that we should consider when asking ourselves: are our teachers doing a good job? Despite the decreasing resources and increasing requirements, our teachers continue to go above and beyond for our students.
So many school districts, including our own, meet the bare minimum when it comes to compensation and other resources that we provide our teachers with. The fact is that many school districts, including our own, are operating on the tightest budgets we've seen in decades. Despite this, our school board has committed itself to continue to have discussions with our teaching staff, especially when money becomes available in our budget. Personally, I would like to see us explore other avenues (grants, etc.) to attempt to obtain increased resources and opportunities for our teachers. This should be an ongoing effort, especially when it comes to resources and opportunities for an entire classroom.
I believe that Athens Area Schools has always strived to make our students, families, and community members feel welcome and respected. However, in recent years what has become acceptable within the greater society has been, at times, slow to become acceptable within our school district and our community. The new issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights has been an example of this. There is no easy way to approach it, but we have to commit our school district and our community to apply our welcoming and respectful attitude towards all people. Personally, I don't see how we can truly be a forward-looking and growing school district and community otherwise.
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Professional Experience 11 yrs as Realtor with Remax Perrett. Prior to that worked 8 yrs at Henkel Auto Group.
Political Experience None
Family Wife, Kristy, of 11 yrs. Our daughter, Teagan, will be 6 in Nov.
I want to serve the Athens School District because as a graduate in the class of '97, I felt thankful for the education I had and wanted to make sure that future generations have the same and improved opportunities that I did. This is important to me as my daugther just started Kindergarten at East Leroy Elementary. In my work experiences, I have helped families make tough descisions and help them through one of the most financially stressful situations they go through. I manage many aspects of financial management, planning and distribution of finances with my clients, my business and my personal/home life. I coordinate with other companies and title offices.
I have continued to support Athens even after graduation at sporting events, financially and staying connected with teachers and some of the students. I have seen and heard some of the joys, struggles and positive changes that a small school goes through and would want to help the school to continue to grow and make these positive changes.
1. Bring in more students to this school district to benefit the school, sports and community business as this system is strong academically, but often underrated in a lot of areas. 2. Work to bring some of the continuing changes of the technological world to our students to offer up to date opportunities in preparing them for future education. 3. Would work to further improve and maintain the buildings as this is a large area of need and concern.
I have had little direct contact and interaction with Superintendent Huepenbecker, so it woud not be a fair assessment to judge overall performance. I look forward to the opportunity to work with him and his strengths to improve the school district.
They should look not only at standardized test scores and overall student grades, but more at how a teacher balances the needs of each student individually. Our education system is trying to move toward a more individualized approach to the children's learning rate on each subject. If there were parent surveys handed out at the end of each simester to see where the teachers strengths/weaknesses are. Outliers can be taken out for a assessment of their performance. I think that it is easier in a smaller school to evaluate this accurately, where the teachers and the students can get the guidance necessary.
I feel that they are compensated as adquately as possible for the resources that are available to this community and would look to grow the school so that the teachers, too, could experience the growth financially. However, Michigan's teachers are compensated below the national average and this should be looked at and evaluated to determine areas of possible growth.
I feel that the majority of families within this community would tell you that they feel welcomed and respected in these schools. Athens has done well to accomodate and accept students from all walks of life while still holding strongly to our small community values.

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