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Homer Community Schools School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

School board members serve a 6 year term.

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  • Candidate picture

    Dawn Masternak

  • Candidate picture

    Gary Tompkins

  • Johnna Vanderford

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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?

Professional Experience Former Assistant Manager of a Flight School, Former Eckford Township Planning Commission member and Zoning Board of Appeals member, current School Improvement member for both the Elementary and District levels, Parent Involvement Committee member, and Substitute Teacher at Homer Schools.
Family Married with two children
I want to serve on the Homer Community School Board as I am a mother of two young Trojans; a second grader and a fourth grader. As a parent, I want the very best education I can give my children, and to the community's children. I have been involved in the school for a number of years. I have seen the good, bad and the ugly of working in a school. I am currently a member of the School Improvement teams (SIP) for the Elementary and the District. I am a Substitute Teacher in the district as well. I served as a member of the Eckford Township Planning Commission for 9 years. My time with the Planning Commission taught me how to make some tough decisions for the greater good of the township.
After working behind the scenes at Homer Schools for a number of years, I have witnessed the many challenges public schools face. I have been a member of the Homer Elementary SIP team and Parent Involvement Committee for 5 years and a member of the Homer District SIP team for 4 years. I have a somewhat unique experience that current board members lack. Recently, I became a Substitute Teacher which has really opened my eyes to the challenges teachers face every day. I have seen the impact of various budget cuts in the classrooms, bus routes and other key areas of the school. I've witnessed first hand as a SIP member and a substitute teacher how vital each and every penny spent is.
My first priority for the district is to aid in the superintendent search. If one is chosen before I begin serving, I would make it a priority to sit down with the new superintendent and find out what plan he/she has to keep our district on track. Another priority for our district is the need for more support staff. Teachers are overwhelmed with meeting the state requirements for education. They squeeze each and every minute of every day to the max in order to meet the needs of all students. With the help of more support staff, the teachers could better target each child's strengths and weaknesses leading to better scores and better education for all students as they advance grade levels.
Having lost our superintendent this summer, we need to move quickly to replace him. Mr. Wright did a tremendous job in his one year as superintendent. He was very easy to speak to both as a parent and as a school improvement team member. He made some great decisions with the budget he had to work with. I was sad to see him leave. Currently, Scott Salow is doing a great job keeping the school moving forward. He has once again stepped up and taken on a difficult task. His dedication to our school has shown time and time again. I am very thankful to have him in our district. I hope our next superintendent has as much love for Homer Schools. We need a strong leader to keep us moving forward.
My work as a sub has been an education for me. I see the hard work teachers put in every day. Each class is a unique group of individuals that learn in different ways. Teachers need to be flexible to meet the needs of their own students. Comparing one class to the next by using tests isn't necessarily the best way. One class may have a different set of challenges than another class. Students may get through an entire lesson and another class enters with the same teacher and end up with a different result. We all learn differently and that is why I believe assessments should be made flexible as well. It should be based on students' past performance and should show growth throughout the year.
A teacher's job is not a typical 9-5 job. Many believe teachers have it easy with summers off. Teachers bring work home almost everyday and many have young families that they are raising as well. Teachers work hard and receive far less compensation then they deserve. They educate our children with limited resources and shrinking budgets. Our children rely on their love and support to help them succeed in the classroom. We need to support our teachers 100%. The state has a responsibility to send more tax dollars to the schools to increase budgets. We could then provide adequate support staff to meet the various needs of the students and provide more professional development for the teachers.
Last year, Homer Schools was in a major transition with a new superintendent and a new elementary principal. Many changes were made with policies and procedures that were once overlooked. Updates and corrections were made to ensure the safety of students and to protect teachers valuable time. Luckily, parents quickly recognized the need for the changes and respected the decisions for the greater good of the students. Parent surveys were given recently during conferences. I am confident that the results will show a positive attitude toward feeling welcome and respected despite the changes. Administrators and teachers work hard to ensure parents are included in their child's education.
Professional Experience 1) Self-Employed in Cost/Finance (2012-Present). 2) Corporate Cost Manager for Hi-Lex Controls Inc. (2007-2012). 3) Corporate Program Manager for Hi-Lex Controls. Inc. (2005-2007). 4) Cost Estimator & Sr. Cost Estimator for Hi-Lex Controls Inc. (1996-2005)
Political Experience 1) Currently serve on the Homer Community Schools Board of Education for the past 16 years (2000-Present). 2) Past 13 years as President of the board (2003-Present). 3) Past President of the Calhoun Area School Board Members Association (2005). 4) Certified Board Member in State of Michigan through the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB).
Family 1) Age: 44 2) Wife- Mindy 3) Children: a. Lauren Tompkins: Age 23 b. Rachel Tompkins: Age 22 c. Gary Tompkins III: Age 20 d. Chip Tompkins: Age 3
I want to serve to continue all of the progress Homer Community Schools has made over the last 16 in which I have served on the board of education. I have a true passion for children and understand the importance of a quality education is for their future.

I have served the last 16 years on the Homer Board of Education and have served as its President the last 13 years. Additionally I am a Certified Board Member in State of Michigan through the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). My experience is financial oversight and leadership best qualifies me to continue to serve.
I have served the last 16 years on the Homer Board of Education and have served as its President the last 13 years. Additionally I am a Certified Board Member in State of Michigan through the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). My experience would greatly influence my work on the board as I will continue to work diligently to keep Homer Community Schools a top notch educational institution and look for ways to build upon our successes while equally addressing areas in need of improvement.
My priorities for the district are as follows: 1.) Address the areas that were below state average on the M-STEP test. 2.) Ensure that we continue to be a Destination District for all our students both in-district and school of choice. 3.) Promote our community as a place to live, raise a family and a place to educate your children.

I chose those priorities based on my years of experience on the board of education.
Our Current Superintendent is an interim with the possibility to becoming a permanent replacement. At this point the interim is learning the details and in's and out's of the position and determining if the position is a good fit. The interim is performing well and changed the culture and environment in a positive manner. At this point it is premature to state what can be improved upon until an evaluation is conducted.
Using the Danielson model that has been approved, it is a research based evaluation tool that provides an objective assessment of the teacher with in-class observations which is a benefit to both the district and the teacher. Overall I believe that teachers are doing a good job in an ever changing and challenging educational environment. The constant changing in testing and requirements make it difficult to focus on improving in the areas needed. If the requirements/test model could be stabilized, a more detailed focus could be put on areas needing improvement.
As it relates to Homer Community Schools, I believe that teachers receive adequate compensation, support and PD to be successful. We as a board always strive to be fair and try diligently to see that teachers are provided with the necessary tools, education, support and compensation to make them feel appreciated and armed to tackle the challenges everyone is facing.
Families and community members feel very welcome and respected at Homer Community Schools. Just walking through the hallways at conference time or anytime during the day the smiles you see from the children to the parents provide a clear indication that they fee positive about Homer Community Schools. Additionally our very positive school of choice numbers also provides a clear indication of how families feel about Homer Community Schools as a Destination District.
Home address Homer MI
Professional Experience Banking, Customer Service, Masters In Business Administration
Political Experience Limited to the Board of Education
Family Three children Mason age 27 is a State Farm Agent, Brianna age 18 is attending community college, Davey age 12 is a 6th grader
I want to serve as a way to give back to my community, I grew up here and have lived here all of my life. I like to be involved in the school and to try and make a difference in today's challenging times. I have a strong business and financial background as well as being a parent and being involved in the community.
Public schools are facing challenging times both financially and with issues facing our kids today, having worked with the board for the past six months I still have a lot to learn, however I feel I bring a different perspective to the table and with all of us working together we can make decisions that will positively impact the school and the students.
Finances and meeting the growing needs of the children with the limited funds that we have is the biggest need and priority, making sure we have a safe environment that is also positive, encouraging and uplifting. Some of these kids have very challenging home lives it is important for them to feel save and secure when they are at school. The children are the bottom line they are the reason that we all do what we do.
Scott is doing a great job as Interim Superintendent, he has changed the atmosphere to a positive uplifting and encouraging one, along with his staff.
Teachers have a very challenging job, I think there is too much emphasis on the ever changing state mandated test scores, however there needs to be an accurate interpretation of the teachers performance. I think we have a great staff and I think the superintendent will do a fair evaluation of the job that they are doing.
I think teachers could always have more support it would be great if every teacher could have an assistant in every class, however that is not reality, class room size plays a role in the what they are able to accomplish along with how many kids in the class need some special attention, it is definitely a challenge.
I hope so, I think Scott does a great job at making people feel welcome and respected along with our administration staff in the central office. Tom and Duane also do a great job.

Homer Strong, All IN!!

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