Voter Guide

The counties included in the voters guide for the Nov. 5, 2019 elections are: Montgomery, Warren, Miami, Greene, Clark, Champaign, and Butler.

NOTE: Not all communities have issues or candidates on the ballot. Guide does not include uncontested races.

Mad River School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Vote for 2

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  • Candidate picture

    Julie Denning

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    Youssef Elzein

  • Candidate picture

    Scott Huddle

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Biographical Information

Do you support or oppose the school district’s current Armed Response Team approach to dealing with a potential active shooter?

Are there any areas where you believe the school district currently underspends, or overspends?

What’s one thing the school district has done a very good job of the past few years?

What’s one thing the school district has not done well enough the past few years?

Are there any subjects or topics not currently being taught (or not taught broadly enough) that you would like to see expanded?

What other changes could be made that you think would improve students’ academic performance?

Is the school district doing enough to ensure student safety? If not, what else should they be doing?

If you had to choose between increasing the number of regular teachers, to lower class size, or increasing the number of counselors/social workers/mental-health therapists/school resource officers to deal with non-academic issues, which would you choose?

Experience 20 year resident of Riverside Member of the Riverside Jaycees for 28 years Member of the Riverside Planning Commission for 10 years Mad River Local Schools Board of Education Member for 8 years 2003 President of the Ohio Jaycees Chairperson of Jaycees for Kids for the past 15 years. Member of the Shaker Board/Hometown Holiday Committee 10 years Proud Step-Mother of 3 sons who are products of Mad River Schools and one Grandchild currently attending Mad River Schools
With the events that have taken place in the past several years and in just the past few months, I fully support keeping our students, staff and visitor's safe through our district's current safety plan and the Armed Response Team. The Armed Response Team approach was not taken lightly and a lot research and thought went into this and I feel we have a very thought out plan to help protect all who enter our buildings. We have taken a layered approach to our safety plan, this is only one layer of safety we have put into place. The Team had to go through rigorous screening and training. They continue to train throughout the year with our local law enforcement agencies. I wish we did not live in a world that this was necessary but the reality is that we do. I for one want to make sure that we have taken every precaution within our ability to keep our students safe. I hope we never have to use this team, but if we do they have the training they need to protect our students and staff.
The district remains financially sound and there has not been a levy required for many years. We as a board approves the annual budget every year based on the needs of the district, recommendations from our Superintendent and Treasurer. Our staff does an excellent job at using outside financial resources and grants when they are available. We have been able to add pre-school class rooms through outside monies, Mental health therapists to support our students at no cost to our taxpayers. Staff continues to look for additional funding so that we can continue providing a great education for our students and being good fiscal stewards for the taxpayers. I feel we have been able to control spending without it effecting the education of our students.
I believe that the communication has gotten much better, the district is using many forms of communication to get information out to families and our community. We have seen better attendance at events and the information is current. The district has been working to to provide wrap-around services for our students and families. These services focus on the social/emotional needs of our students and families. School counselors and therapists have partnered with groups and organizations that provide a wide range of services for our families. Everything from emergency food, clothing, student mentoring (Hope4Riverside & Wiz Kidz), and so much more. These services are at no cost the district or to our families. I think when we say we are a Mad River family each and every one of us mean just that we are one big family and our families and community is feeling the same way.
An area that has been challenging for the district is what we refer to as the transition years between 4th grade to 5th, 6th to 7th and then 8th to Freshman year. One of the ways we are starting to make this easier is with our curriculum. We have started Go Math and Wit & Wisdom and these curriculum's are being used district wide. With all grades teaching from the same curriculum with the same style this cuts down on students learning a new method each year or style of the teacher. Plus curriculum's like Wit & Wisdom incorporates not just reading but it exposes students to the world they read about different places and cultures, they learn how to talk and share what they read, they start at a younger age to learn to speak in front of others. This is a wraparound curriculum because it is not just reading but it has some history, story telling, writing and so much more built into it. I had the opportunity to observe a couple classes, I feel our students will benefit greatly.
On the Elementary and Middle School level I would like to see more time allotted for cursive handwriting. As I would with my grandson and other youth in the community I find they cannot sign their name as a signature. I would like to bring this back to the class room. When it comes to high school, our College Credit Plus program has had great success but I want us to continue to expand this program. last year we had 3 students graduate from Sinclair with an Associate Degree before they they received their High School Diploma and this was at no cost to the student or families. There were $220,000 of college credits earned that did not cost our students or families anything. I want to see the district continue to expand these opportunities.
Alignment of curriculum across all grades will create consistency and familiarity for students and help with the transition. This also allows teachers to better identify learning needs of students. Even though we are at the early stages of this curriculum the internal data is showing solid consistent, academic growth and progress for our students. The use of iPads within the schools that puts one in each students hands as we are able to keep this technology up to date this will help with the academic performance of each student. Making sure that parents know about the different ways to check on their students performance through the use of Progress Book, Class DoJo, or the Remind App, and other ways of communication with teachers before the report cards come out.
As stated before we have a layered approach to our safety plan so we are not relying on just one thing to protect our students, staff and visitors. We constantly reviewing our safety plan and are always looking for new layers to add to the plan. We just added a layer of monitoring social media websites thru the use of technology. I think we need to continue to be proactive with our safety plan and continue to look for the most up to day technology and systems that fit our district.
We have done a good job in finding other funding resources to help pay for additional counselor/therapists for our students and continue to look for additional partnerships in this area. I would lean toward more teachers. Even though our number of student vs number teacher ratio is good. I would like to ensure that class sizes stay at a manageable size. I also would want more teachers or teacher aids to allow for more one on one time for those students that need it. I feel this also allows staff to learn more about each individual student. Our student to teacher ratio is among some of the lowest in the area. We monitor this ratio on a regular basis throughout the year and are committed to keeping our lower teacher/student ratio.
Experience Registered professional engineer with more than 35 years of experience managing capital improvement programs in the public and private sectors. Served as Program Manager for multi-million-dollar, complex infrastructure projects in medium and large hub airports including Terminal and Ancillary Airport facilities, roadways, airfield pavement as well as electrical and fiber optics distribution networks.
Education Master Degree - Civil Engineering
I oppose the school district's current Armed Response.
Underspendig on healthy meals, summer activities/camps

Retaining good teachers.
Student Enrollment
restore Driver's Ed to the classroom and make it mandatory. Increase focus on Civics Education, American History to include the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
Provide a mentorship program that will include higher education professors and other professional from the surrounding community. This program can supplement parent engagement in the day to day child's education.
Yes I believe that the school district is ensuring student safety, I however favor that the district retain the services of off duty police officers rather than Arming teachers.
I choose increasing the number of counselors/social workers/mental-health therapists/school resource officers to deal with non-academic issues
Experience - Current School Board member - 33 yr. Dayton resident - Retired Air Force Officer - Auxiliary Officer w/ Ohio State Highway Patrol - Appointed to Governor DeWine's School Safety Task Force to represent Ohio's school districts. - Married, proud father of 3 children, all of whom are Mad River graduates! - Nominated to become President elect of the Ohio School Board Association in 2020 to represent each of Ohio's School districts. - Member of the Business Advisory Council - Stebbins High School
Education Bachelor's Degree in Nursing - College of Mount St. Joseph - Cincinnati, Ohio
The safety of our students, staff and visitor's is our first priority! I fully support the district's current safety plan. The plan was reviewed, evaluated and encouraged by then Montgomery County Sheriff, Phil Plummer, and the Riverside Chief of Police, Frank Robinson. Our safety plan is also supported by the current Montgomery County Sheriff. We will do what is necessary to deter anyone who would wish to do harm to those who attend our schools. Our Response teams trains on a monthly basis (which is significantly more frequent than most law enforcement agencies). They also train on a regular basis with our local law enforcement to gain familiarity between both groups. Sadly, we live in a day and age where we cannot take student safety for granted. The Board of Education will continue to monitor our safety plan and will seek feedback and recommendations from our local law enforcement agencies and community as the situation warrants.
The school district budget is set and approved annually by the Board of Education based the recommendation(s) of the district Superintendent, Administrators and Treasurer. Our district remains financially solid and there has not been a levy required for many years and based on the current forecast, we remain fiscally sound for the foreseeable future. The district continuously looks for ways to support our students using outside financial resources and grants as much as possible. We have added several mental health therapists to support our students at no cost to our taxpayers. Our facilities and school buses remain in excellent condition and we only make necessary expenditures for those costs, as necessary. One of the Board's primary responsibilities is to ensure the District remains fiscally viable and to be a good fiscal steward for the taxpayers of the district. I believe the board is meeting those objectives.
Over the past few years, the district has worked extremely hard to provide wrap-around services for our students and families to meet the social/emotional needs of our school community. Mad River was an early adopter in identifying the emotional needs of our students that can affect learning and we have made meeting those needs a priority. In order to accomplish this task, the district has developed partnerships with organizations such as: Hope 4 Riverside, local law enforcement agencies (Riverside PD, Montgomery County Sheriff's Department), WPAFB, the City of Riverside, and the Riverside Chamber of Commerce. In addition to meeting the emotional needs of our students, the district has been working very closely with local employers to ensure that Mad River graduates are prepared and skilled to meet the needs of the Miami Valley. Several of our High School students receive internships with local employers that pays up to $20/hr. which prepares them for the workforce upon graduation.
One of the more challenging areas facing Mad River Schools is developing curriculum that is consistent and flows coherently from Kindergarten thru High School. By creating consistency within the classroom, students will be well prepared for each successive grade level and will be familiar with the curriculum that results in an easier transition from grade to grade. The district is also working to improve the advanced mathematic courses at the Middle School and High School level. The goal is to create advance mathematics that are strategic and aligned with our STEM program.Additionally, our advanced mathematics are being aligned to meet the needs of our regional employers in the Miami Valley and prepare our students for the workforce demands.
Although, the program has been very successful, our goal is to continue to promote, broaden and expand the College Credit Plus program at the High School. Over the past 4 years, and average of 250 High School students have benefited by taking approved college credit courses at Stebbins High School. Over the same period, an average of 1,460 credit hours of college credit have been earned each year! These credit hours are accepted across all state universities in the state of Ohio. The course and classroom materials are provided at no cost to the student. Students have the ability to graduate from High school with 2 year Associates's degree, thereby saving themselves and their families from the added cost of higher education! Mad River Families have saved over $170,000 dollars in college credit thru this program Our High School students are taking advantage of this important benefit in greater numbers than any other school district in the Miami Valley!
As mentioned above, The district is currently working to align its curriculum across all grades from Kindergarten to High School. This will create learning familiarity for students and ease the transition from grade level to grade level and allow teachers to better identify the learning needs of each student. We are in the early stages of making these curriculum changes and the early internal measurements are showing solid, consistent, academic growth and progress for our students. These improvements should begin to be reflected on the state report cards once the curriculum is fully implemented. Additionally, the district is working to provide every student with personal computers (iPads) across the district. This initiative is also being phased in over an extended period of time. Providing students with these resources will support increased academic performance.
The district continues to work closely with officials to monitor social medial websites thru the use of technology. The district has partnered with other local school districts to monitor social media traffic This technology is designed to look for any potential areas of concern that need to be addressed proactively. If re-elected to this position, I will continue to play an active role on the Governor's School Safety Task Force committee.
Because our district has been proactive in finding alternative funding resources to pay for additional school counselors/therapists for our students, and our safety response team is supported by trained and volunteer staff, we don't currently require additional counselors or resource officers. Therefore, additional teaching staff (or teacher aides) would likely be the best resource to provide more 1:1 support for our student population. However, with that said, our classroom student/teacher ratio is among the some of the lowest ratios in the area. The district is able to afford this as a result of seeking alternate funding sources for the school programs, thereby allowing us to have a lower teacher/student ratio. The district monitors classroom size consistently throughout the year and especially at the beginning of the year.