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.

Valley View School Board

Vote for 2

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  • Ben DeGroat

  • Tom Geglein

  • Tim Hewitt

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    Spencer Izor

  • Mike Jones

  • Candidate picture

    Mike Kilroy

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    Katrina Williams

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Biographical Information

What should the school district do regarding its aging school buildings – continue status quo? Attempt significant upgrades of existing buildings? Construct new buildings? Why, and how would you pay for it?

Do you believe the school board could do more to build unity in the community, given divides over recent issues? If so, how?

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?

Do you think the school district should put a tax levy on the ballot in the next two years to try to raise additional funds?

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?

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Experience - 33 Years Teacher & 7 Years Principal - New Lebanon Local Schools - Incumbent (12 Years) Valley View Board of Education - Chairperson Germantown Parks' Board - Member Germantown Personnel Board - President Valley View Youth Soccer - Member Germantown Lion's Club and Valley View Athletic and Band Boosters
Education Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from University of Dayton Master Degree in Supervision/Educational Administration from University of Dayton
Facilities is an area that is being addressed with the Board of Education and the community. Facilities was an issue when the District Strategic Plan was formulated. The Superintendent created a facilities committee, of which I am a member, in January, 2019. The goal of the committee was to present options to the Board and community to address the replacement/renovation of the present buildings. Whatever option is presented, must meet the needs of our students. State funding and a local bond level will be the source of funding for the facilities.
I believe that the community is unified in doing what is best for the community and the students of the district. The schools are the unifying part of the city, village and townships. It is important that communication is the most important aspect of letting the residents know that they are valued.
The school board needs to maintain and upgrade facilities and academics for the betterment of all students. Financial support for schools comes mainly from state and local sources. State funding has always been an unknown. The School Board needs to live within its means, but still offer the students a well-rounded education.
I believe that the school board has met the physical, academic and emotional needs of the student. The schools and staff are given the responsibility to meet the needs of the " whole child." The staff and community are working with Wright State University and the Ohio Department of Education to address the "whole child."
The school board has not been able to convince the voters that there is a need to improve the facilities. As you look at the neighboring school districts, you see the improvement of their facilities.
The School Board always needs to evaluate the curriculum to meet the needs of all students.
Remedial and intervention classes that would enable students to be successful.
With our current buildings, the Board is addressing safety in the best way possible. Preparation is of utmost importance, but it is not the only component. Physical changes and new procedures will add security for the students.
Local funding by property tax and/or income tax is the primary source of school revenue. If the state funding of schools is not addressed, the local taxpayer will continue to shoulder the financial burden of the district. The school board has made cuts, and reconfigured staff to save money. An operating levy in the near future will be necessary to keep from making more cuts.
I don't think that you can rank these in importance. When you increase the number of teachers, you affect class size. In today's society, schools have taken on more responsibilities in the lives of children and their family. The schools have to work with professionals and agencies to address individual and family needs.
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Experience I am an experienced education professional who has spent time as a teacher, professor, athletic administrator, coach and currently, development officer. My career has given me a great sense of how to cater to the educational needs of students. Thus far the most rewarding part of my career has been identifying and acquiring funding for students so that they have access to a quality education. Other experiences: Court Appointed Special Advocate for children and licensed foster/adoptive parent
Education B.S. Sport Management (University of Dayton, 2004) M.Ed., Educational Leadership (University of Dayton, 2008), J.D. (University of Dayton, 2012), Ph.D. Educational Leadership (Miami University, current).
Research studies continue to show the positive effect that new facilities can have upon student achievement and staff/teacher retention. Unfortunately, the renovation of our existing facilities would cost our community over 63 million dollars. The district has provided clear and convincing evidence that the most reasonable building project for our community would include a new PK-8 building, with plans to construct a new high school or 9-12 wing in the future. The estimated total project cost is approximately 38 million dollars with the local share only 17 million (27% of the project renovation costs). A new PK-8 building will provide additional growth space for our district, reduce class sizes for your youngest students and allow our newest building in the district to remain intact and in use until the community will support the construction of a new high school. I would support the re-purposing of our existing historical structures rather than their demolition.
It is vital that a school board continue to have open communication and productive dialogue with the members of the communities in which they serve. The board should continue to adopt feasible, common sense approaches to build unity, which include actively cultivating respectful, supportive relationships among students, teachers, parents and members of the community, emphasizing common purposes and ideals, and providing regular opportunities for service and cooperation. All of these approaches have the potential to lead to solutions that not only keep our students and teachers safe but also provides a learning environment that allows them to soar academically.
Unfortunately, our school district has been required to continuously overspend money to repair our deteriorating schools. This effort, while necessary, has forced our school leaders to make tough decisions. Our school district should never be faced with the choice of having to remove mold from classrooms or properly fund technology. Our students should have the same access to the most up to date information as their peers in similar districts. The overspending on facility repairs has also lead to a lack of funding in the expansion of our curriculum and course offerings, reduction of teachers and staff as well as pay-to-play fees skyrocketing.
Most recently, our district underwent the selection and hiring of new leadership. During his short tenure, our new superintendent, Mr. Ben Richard’s, has lead our district in a new direction. He works tirelessly to sow the divide in our community, reducing our budget by over a million dollars and providing common sense approaches to our deteriorating facilities, all while continuing to support our teachers and students.
In the past few years, our district has not been able to properly convey the importance of the passage of our bond and operating levies. The unconstitutional ways in which schools are funded in the state of Ohio is complex and difficult to navigate, but it is the school district’s responsibility to be transparent and make sure that every voter is informed of the investment they are being asked to make.
It will be important for our school district to continue to find ways to expand its curriculum and programming that specifically leads to high pupil achievement and readiness for college, career, or military service. For example, additional investment in the STEM program would not only raise the skill levels of those students entering the workforce but also lead to a higher number of students entering college majoring in science, technology, education, and mathematics. Additionally, humanities, social sciences, creative arts, and foreign languages deserve similar investments so that all of our students are career-oriented and well equipped for leadership positions. A broad model of education allows our students to be aware of more than one solution to any given problem due to having a wider educational lens.
Enable the school district to develop and provide high-quality professional development and support for teachers, and leadership development for principals and superintendents. Ongoing and intensive professional development can influence teacher’s classroom practices and significantly lead to increased student achievement.
The Valley View Local School District makes student safety and security a top priority. For example, all of the schools are monitored by video cameras, the school has a strict anti-bullying policy and agenda, volunteers must receive background checks, and visitors must all enter through the main office of each building. In addition to these typical safety and security measures, the school has invested in student safety by holistically supporting its students through the Whole Child Initiative and Community Drug Free Coalition. The Whole Child Initiative ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success. The partnership with the Valley View Community Drug Free Coalition provides education and support to our students and members of our community facing addiction and substance abuse.
For our students continued success and future achievement, it will be vital that our school district continue to ask the members of our two communities to invest in our young people. In a state in which we spend more per inmate then we do per student, I hope that our community will vote to support the youngest and most deserving in our community. Even prisons have air conditioning.
There is no easy answer to this scenario and no district should ever have to choose between the health and wellness of its students and class sizes. Unfortunately, due to continued failed levies, the Valley View School district is faced with choices like this every day. As our society continues to see the rates of depression, anxiety and suicide rates among our young people skyrocket, it is imperative that our district continue to invest in the services that can address our student’s concerns and ultimately lead to academic achievement. Programming provided through our partnerships with South Community, the Community Drug Free Coalition, and the Whole Child Initiative is vital to our student’s success. The choice to save child’s life must always outweigh an additional desk in a classroom.

Experience Worked with contract, scheduling, overseeing vendor contracts .
Education Miami University Business Admin.
Renovation! Valley View has structurally sound historic buildings. The district receives approx. $900,000 dollars each year from the PI (Permanent Improvement) tax money for this use. The board has deliberately allowed these dollars to be mismanaged when they contract with Shared Resource Center for treasurer services.
They have several years under their belt and have yet to accomplish a healing in our community. Hateful rhetoric abounds. For those who maybe curious about my “Hateful rhetoric abounds” comment go on the Valley View K12 website under board videos and watch the April, May and June board meetings to see how they view the public.
Valley View’s overspending has reduced the district Cash reserves which continues as we speak. The board allows under spending on maintenance/building upkeep in an attempt to sway the public we need new block buildings.
The board’s persistence with destroying the districts historical buildings! The board has criticized the public for wanting to know how our tax dollars are being spent by allowing the part time Shared Resource Center treasurer to either not honor public records request or procrastinate on responses. The board has allowed bulling to persist within our district when complaints have been brought to their attention.
A strong curriculum is a must in order that students may reach their potential.
Holding the superintendent responsible!
The district has put in some updates to security which in today’s society must be a priority.
The district has access to the county Education Service Center that has a staff especially designed for areas of counselors/social workers/mental-health therapists at a cost. The cost of paying the ESC vs having our own FULL TIME people where the district would pay FULL PAY BENEFITS AND RETIREMENT would be less. As an example, the district used a person for curriculum from the MCESC for 3 days a week which was not needed that much but instead of keeping that contract the district hired their own FULL TIME PERSON PAYING OVER $100,000 plus benefits and retirement. Costly, yes!
Experience local multimillion dollar business owner for over 25 years, has the skill and experience to turn around our school finances and mismanagement
Education BSEE electrical engineer Univ of Dayton
REVITILIZE our aging structurally sound historic buildings through renovation. We receive approx. 1 million dollars of PI fund money for this use. STOP WASTING IT ON NON FACILITY expenditures! LISTEN to the community who has voted 3 times over 10 years to not build new. LISTEN! And watch our community regain pride, step up, and donate much to help. I believe we can bring PRIDE back and synergistically increase our PI fund results!
The school board needs to begin being open and honest and quit playing word games. They need to listen to what the MAJORITY of voters has said for over 10 years instead of totally ignoring it.
VV BOE overspends in ALL areas. Busing, computers, TVs, ALL contracts are skewed and one sided - against VVLSD. They Underspend on building maintenance - all a ploy to try to destroy our historic sound buildings to try to erroneously force the community to build new cement block buildings.
Ignoring the voters of the community.
Education. Our ratings are awful. This BOE has a single minded plan: build new cement block buildings and the heck with the education.
We are not preparing our students for real life after high school.
Stop teachers from pushing their own political agenda. AS an example, our high school seniors were taught Bill Clinton was never impeached!
Improvements have been made the last few years, but only because of community members demanding it. More security should be added to each building.
Absolutely not. This BOE has proven time and again they are totally fiscally irresponsible and not capable of properly spending the tax money they already receive. Any more tax money is throwing good money after bad.
Being cognizant the quantity of each group we have today, I can state we already have too many of the non teacher positions, so this is an easy answer.
Experience I have 19 years of experience working in higher education at Sinclair Community College, with positions ranging from Intake Technician (front desk customer service) to Auxiliary Accounting Manager. My varied experience in multiple departments and divisions has given me a well-rounded view of education from many perspectives.I also have experience volunteering for organizations in our community, such as the CAMP food pantry, the Band of Brothers fundraiser, TCF of Valley View and Music Boosters.
Education I have an Associate of Liberal Arts degree from Sinclair Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Business Forensics from Franklin University and a Master of Accounting degree from Franklin University. I also have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License in the State of Ohio.
Twitter @KatrinaLynnW
Continuing the status quo is not a viable option, as our facilities need significant changes to be competitive with other schools and to be brought up to current standards. ADA compliance is a necessity, not only for students, but for staff, parents, and other community visitors. Environmental concerns, such as air conditioning, are also standard today, and should be provided to our students. The decision of whether to renovate or construct new should be carefully considered with the best interests of the students, parents and community in mind. This includes gathering feedback from constituents on what the wishes of the majority would be. Paying for facilities, whether new or renovation, should be achieved through a combination of state and community support, as that is the system currently in place in our state.
The division in our community over these issues seems to have been growing for quite some time. I believe the school board has a duty to try to bring everyone together and ensure that they are all heard and have their chance for input. The board should utilize training and resources available, such as through the OSBA, to learn best practices for building unity and achieving consensus. Only through compromise and working together will we be able to move forward and truly give our students the proper preparation for the future that they deserve.
Budgets are something that are continually evolving. They require constant revision and re-evaluation to determine which areas could be reduced and which need increased. There will always be areas that are under- or over- spent. However, if the budget is properly monitored and adjusted, then those changes should happen quickly so that the spending doesn't remain out of balance for long. It is the school board's responsibility to approve the overall budget, but the day to day adjustments are the responsibility of the superintendent and treasurer that the board employs. I also believe that people are our most valuable resource and we must remain competitive to retain talented administration, staff and teachers.
I believe the board made an excellent decision in hiring the current superintendent, Mr. Richards. A parent that I know from his previous district spoke very highly of him, and my interactions with him have all been positive. The current board members seem to have worked very well with the treasurer and Mr. Richards to implement cost reduction measures in order to keep the school district fiscally sound. Despite these cost reduction measures, the education of the students in our district has remained high-quality. The district, led by Mr. Richards, has maintained its quality and excellent reputation despite the divisive financial issues facing our community and the physical constraints of the current facilities.
The district has not been effective at bridging the gap between the opposing sides of the facilities and financial issues. My hope is that the district, and Mr. Richards, can help to lead the way in bringing the sides together to compromise and find a solution that is in the best interests of all parties, particularly the students.
I do believe we need to provide more education on topics that are not necessarily semester-long subjects. Some of these topics could include workshops on exploring post-high school options, personal financial management, credit scores and history and what they mean, costs of attending college and ways of paying for it, student loan information, and new or high-demand careers.
At a recent coffee talk, the superintendent mentioned the possibility of a mentorship program that would allow students to job shadow individuals in the fields they want to pursue. This would not only give them a look into what the field is truly like, it would allow them to build experience or even determine that a career field is not right for them. For undecided students, it could also allow them to explore the different career fields to find one that they enjoy.
I have seen many changes occurring that are intended to enhance the safety of the students in our district. However, my children have graduated, so I no longer see the daily security measures being taken, and therefore, do not have enough information to determine if there is anything else they should be doing. I do believe that the administration and staff place the utmost importance on the safety of the students.
I do not think anybody actually enjoys the thought of paying more in taxes. However, I also know that our facilities need major changes, and the funding for either renovation or new construction must have at least a component of local support through taxes. Our funding system is set up by the state, and without a local share, we are unable to obtain the state share of facilities funding. Therefore, I do believe that we need a levy.
I would hope that we could find a way to ensure that this is not an either/or proposition. We need to maintain appropriate class sizes in order for our students to get the best education possible, but we are also seeing an increasing need for assistance with non-academic issues in our community and children. Both approaches are necessary to ensuring that our students are prepared for whatever path they choose after they leave Valley View.