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.

Bellbrook School Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Vote for 2

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  • Heidi Anderson

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    Elizabeth Betz

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    David Carpenter

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    Karen Long

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    Kevin Price

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Biographical Information

What are the 3 biggest challenges facing the school district? How would you deal with them?

What makes you qualified to be on the school board and gives you an advantage over other candidates?

What is your position on state testing and graduation requirements?

What would you do to close the skills gap that employers say is hindering their ability to find workers?

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

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

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?

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?

What other information do you want voters to have about you?

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Experience *Served on bellbrook sugarcreek board of Education past 20 years, 15 as President or Vice-President *Classroom teacher 25 years *Involved in various non-profit boards 100 Women of Greene County making a Difference Bellbrook Education Foundation (BSEF) Farm to Table program with MVIFS organization
Education Bachelor of Education-OSU
Maintaining our excellent programs while at the same time balancing the budget, is the biggest issue we face now. We continue to look for ways to save money and not jeopardize the quality education the community expects and our students deserve.

Listening to the community is an issue high on my priority. I have been attending the superintendent's coffees to listen and learn the issues concerning to our residents.

I want to make sure that the district is affectively communicating information with the community. The district needs to proactively provide information on financing, programing, and activities in a variety of formats such as mailers, social media, community forums.
As an experienced board member I have a unique understanding of the responsibilities of this position.. I have attended many workshops and training with OSBA and I understand my responsibilities as a member of the school board. I have demonstrated my ability to be a quality team member. As a parent of children who were involved in special education and the gifted programs at Bellbrook schools and as a classroom teacher, I have a broad and valuable knowledge base. I understand the constraints of school funding and the burden it has on a community.
I have learned both as a teacher of 25 years and a school board member for 20 that State testing and evaluating districts doesn't tell the whole picture. Children learn in different ways and they test in different ways. One size doesn't fit all. I think there is value in setting standards for all to use as guidelines/framework for instruction but too much emphasis has been placed on statewide testing.
I am on the Business Advisory Council with the Greene County Educational Service Center. This group of superintendents, business managers and business leaders come together to discuss topics such as: Is College the only path?,what are the "In demand " jobs now, as well as discussing things like the Every Student Succeeds Act. We have solicited involvement of leaders from different businesses and industries in the area to gain a better understanding of what they are looking for and what schools can do to better prepare students for these jobs. We have talked with representatives from area colleges to understand better how we can better prepare the college bound students also. We need to do a better job of highlighting the courses and opportunities that the Greene County Career Center provides because college is not for everyone . Many of their graduates join the workforce with high paying jobs. Many continue to earn degrees while working.
I think the district has been very fiscally responsible when it comes to spending tax payers dollars. The district has always operated with a pretty lean budget yet still provides a high quality education. Funding in our district is so heavily reliant on property taxes with state funding to our district being so low, any increases has to come from the voters.

Our salery schedule is in line with other districts in the area. Many of our teachers have higher degrees and more years of experience therefore they are higher on the pay scale. Costs of materials continue to rise, health insurance has increased significantly, unfunded and underfunded mandates from the state have increased but revenue has not increased. I don't believe the district underspends nor overspends. We continue to look at ways to trim in order to balance the budget.
Safety for our students and staff is a high priority. We have a good working relationship with the City of Bellbrook Police and Fire Department s as well as the Sugarcreek Township Police and Fire Departments. We have a safety plan in place and we review it frequently. Our buildings are secure, we have strategically located surveilence cameras. Building staffs know the plan in case of emergency, and the staff and students have regular practice drills. Resource offerers cover all of our buildings. We have a tip line and investigate all tips and act appropriately as needed. This plan is frequently reviewed.
I think we do a good job of providing a range of courses that help our students be sucessful. We have added many advance placement classes in the past years. I do feel we need to promote the Green County Career Center more. As I said earlier a college prep track isn't for everyone.

There are always ways to improve. Professional developement is encouraged in our district. We provide several days throughout the year to keep abreast of the needs.

Teachers track the students progress and adjust accordingly. Professional development is encouraged and provided district wide several times a year. The currculum director works closely with teachers to support and to provide guidance when needed. She will be addressing the board to explain our scores on the State report card and how we will address the areas that we could improve in.

I am in favor of adding teachers when needed to keep our class size manageable. We have counselors in each building. We have resource officers to cover all buildings. We contract mental health therapists and social works with the Educational Service Center on an as need basis. We have found this to be most cost effective.

Different from urban school districts our parents are actively involved with their kids and supportive of the schools. This makes a huge difference in our students success.
I have lived in the Bellbrook Sugarcreek area for 30 years. I am a veteran teacher /25 years I have spent 29 years on the board, 15 of which I was President or Vice-president. I am a parent of one child who was in our special education program from prek-12 and two children who excelled at the opposite end of the spectrum attending k-12. Both graduated from college and have earned advanced degrees. Our son earned a full academic scholarship based on his course work he took and activities he participated in while in high school I believe the dedication of our teachers and staff is a huge part of the success of the district. I believe we have strong supportive parents who want the best education for their children. I teachers/district, parents ,and students working together is the best recipe for student success. I understand the financial strain high taxes have on a community. I would like to continue to serve on the board to help find resolution to issues we are facing.
Experience Completing my first term on the school board, but have served as a member or chair of numerous ministry boards, including the Greater Dayton Walk to Emmaus.
Education BS in Computer Science from Allegheny College (Meadville, PA) with minors in Mathematics and Chemistry. MBA course work at the University of Dayton.
The biggest challenges we face are associated with school funding and our Special Education program. We recently had a failed levy with a rather large amount of misinformation flying around. We need to help our community understand how a property tax works and why schools, police, fire and EMS have to go back to the community for a levy just to maintain the same level of service. We also need to help our taxpayers understand some sources of funds are earmarked for specific purposes and can’t be used elsewhere. For our Special Education department, our score dropped on the state report card and there is dissatisfaction from parents and teachers. The administration and board are actively addressing the community concerns.
I’m finishing my first term as a school board member, which has been a tremendous learning experience. Having experience on the board, but not TOO MUCH experience, is a big advantage. A good candidate isn’t someone who comes to the position with all the answers, but who is willing to learn and values the needs of our students, parents, teachers and community. I bring critical thinking skills to the position, which I believe is the key skill for success in this position.
There has been way too much emphasis on testing in the past and thankfully, the state has relaxed some of the testing requirements. Still, the amount of testing is excessive. Regarding graduation requirements, we have different requirements and options available to each class at the high school, with the most recent change impacting our current junior class. While some flexibility is important, the changing requirements can make it difficult for students and parents to navigate.
In Greene County, we are fortunate to have numerous career and high-tech options available to students at the Greene County Career Center. The GCCC is very progressive, even including aerospace engineering as one of their program offerings. College isn’t for everyone and not everyone wants to go to college. We have worked toward promoting the Career Center as an option, and we need to keep promoting it.
The short answer is “no”. Some funding and grants are earmarked for specific purposes. We also have numerous unfunded or under-funded mandates from the state. We don’t get choices on those. Are there areas where it would be nice to spend more? Yes. It would be good to provide busing to all students and reduce class sizes. Our current budget doesn’t allow us to do that, at least at this time.
Our schools regularly review the safety plan, meeting with local police and fire departments twice a year to review and update plans and drills. As a member of the Safety Committee, I’ve seen the thoroughness and care our first responders have put into our safety program and very much appreciate their work with us.
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek has a broad spectrum of classes to meet the needs of our students. We have excellent foundational instruction in our elementary grades – math, reading, writing, creative and critical thinking as well as specials in music, art, PE, library and STEM. At the upper grades, students have 15 Advanced Placement (AP) courses available, College Credit Plus opportunities, Career Center and a variety of extracurricular sports, music and arts programs.
We are fortunate to have an excellent Curriculum Director who is constantly on the lookout for opportunities.
The school has a good balance of resources in each area, though additional personnel in each area could be put to very good use!
I’m a 35-year resident of the district and work as an IT Director in the health care field. My wife of 37 years (Mary Ellen) is a teacher in the schools - and both of my children (Ben and Abby) went K-12 in Bellbrook schools and got a great education here. I’m thankful for the opportunities my children had and am committed to ensure our current students get a great education, too.

I believe a good leader is one who also serves, and here are some ways I serve: • School volunteer - 24 years • Blood donor - 40 years (15 gallons!) • Sinclair instructor - 8 years • Local Boy Scout leader - 15 years and Scoutmaster – 7 years • Mentor to 12 Eagle Scouts • Staff/director for adult leader training - 14 years • Chairman of the Greater Dayton Emmaus ministry - 2+ years
Experience 10 years as a Medical Social Worker at KH Network 2 years as a teacher with the Peace Corps in Moldova 18 months as a mental health counselor 4 years with WPAFB and Barksdale AFB as a therapist for individuals with autism April 2019, working with Strategies for Behavior Management as a therapist for individuals with autism
Education BA Wright State University MSW University of Cincinnati
1. Meeting the financial needs of the school district without exceeding community and family resources 2. The lowering of our Ohio school report card grades, overall in the district and in the special education program 3. Division in the community that has been focused on the school district

To help with these challenges our district faces, I will work as a team member with the other board members, along with the superintendent and treasurer, to review the budget and help make needed changes, review options to strengthen our programs and help facilitate more open communication with parents and community members.
With 2 children in the school district, I am in the schools, at school and community events and I am approachable. I am accessible to meet with parents and community members as well as seeing what strengths and challenges we have first-hand. The community needs a representative who they can talk to easily. Having worked with individuals with autism and special needs for the past 4 years I am experienced in working with parents and schools in the special education programs. I have been an advocate for parents with their special needs children and have also attended IEP meetings for my child. Our district needs someone who is experienced with special education. I served in the Peace Corps as a teacher and community development was a part of my service. This experience helped me see education in a new light and I have the utmost respect for our educators and school staff. I also was able to see the importance of community involvement and the need for community support for our schools.
With the graduation requirements changing several times in the past few years and with new changes coming for the class of 2021 this is difficult to answer as it isn’t clear yet what these changes will be. I like that the state is challenging students to work hard for graduation but also providing alternate options for students to meet graduation requirements outside of testing. Students learn and test differently and having many ways to ensure our students graduate is positive and necessary.
I am pleased that Bellbrook schools offers different, challenging classes and programs to help ready our students for the work force. Being a good employee isn’t only dependent on grades achieved in school but showing a sense of responsibility at work and being professional. This can be learned through skill building in school and through mentorship. A program offered is the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal which can be earned in high school and this helps with job skill readiness and counts towards a graduation requirement.
Reviewing the budget is a priority for our school district. As I meet with community members I am listening to their ideas about ways to work on the budget and will share this with the school board. Bellbrook is an amazing community with a quality school district, our school board along with the treasurer and superintendent, will work hard to balance the budget to meet the school needs without compromising our student’s education and programs.
As a mother of 2 children in the school district I feel my children are safe at school. The schools are locked, there are resource officers and a visible police presence at the schools and there are safety measurements taken within the classrooms. Safety is a priority and as a school board member and parent and I appreciate the ongoing evaluation the schools are doing to ensure safety for our students.
Bellbrook offers a wide curriculum to our students and we are fortunate that we team up with the Greene County Career Center. Each student has different interests and needs and our diverse curriculum allows students the ability to learn the academics they need as well as subjects that meet their interests.
Bellbrook is working on integrating project-based learning into the curriculum. Offering students a hands on way to explore subjects will increase interest and learning while providing experiences students can build on in the future. Offering different learning styles can increase student participation and meets the learning needs of more students.
As a social worker in the mental health field married to a police officer my initial response to this question is different than what it is now. After thinking this through I would prefer to see smaller class sizes by increasing the number of teachers. With more individualized teaching due to smaller class sizes, teachers have more time with each student. It is because of our children’s teachers we were able to offer supports to our son who had some challenges in learning. It is because of our children’s teachers we were provided extra support for the children when they lost 2 grandparents in less than a year and I have full trust that our children’s teachers work hard to keep all our children safe. Some days teachers spend more time with our children than we do, they know our children. I have yet to meet a teacher who stops at just teaching, they see, hear and know our children and help us provide the other supports our children need.
We chose to live in the Bellbrook community because of the school district and I don’t take being elected to the school board lightly. I am proud of our community and will work hard to be a representative for all community members.
Experience • Bellbrook resident since 2009 • My wife Joyce and I are parents of 6 children and all have attended the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Schools (BSS)System • Retired Air Force Lt Col with 29 years of service (pilot, Program Manager) • Taught Middle School and High School for 3 years • Air Force Research Lab subject matter expert for aircraft collision avoidance technology
Education BA in Education, English/Spanish Major, Math Minor
1) SAFETY: We must ensure we have a physically safe environment free from verbal harassment for our students, staff, teachers, and administration. I will keenly focus on this through close interaction with law enforcement and through my experience gained in military service.

2) FUNDING: BSS is facing a severe financial crisis. The school system historically has relied heavily onproperty levies due to the state’s failure to abide by the 1997 DeRolph decision. BSS receives approximately $2300 per student from the state while other districts receive up to $10,000. I will work to alleviate our community from this burden.

3) SPECIAL EDUCATION: I need to learn more about the concerns of parents whose children are in Special Education and what can be done to address any shortcomings. From the school board meetings I have attended it is clear this is a very hot topic in our community. I will say this issue has my ear and I will work to effect change where needed.
I have lived in several areas throughout the country and I have raised a very large family. These experiences have made me aware of what a wonderful school system BSS is while also leading me to recognize that the tax burden for our county and township is abnormally high compared to the rest of the country. I will use my diverse background to continue the excellence of the BSS system while looking for ways to make it even better while also working to alleviate our community from the excessively high property tax burden it faces due to the failure of the state to fund Ohio schools according to law.
I support meeting state requirements for graduation. However, I am somewhat concerned that there may be too much focus on teaching for test preparation versus giving teachers more reign and independence in how they approach educating our children. I will work to find a balance between state requirements/associated testing while not missing the big picture of ensuring our children are well-educated... versus being well-educated test takers.
I believe BSS prepares students very well for college, and students who choose to not attend college are academically sufficiently prepared to function in society. I feel there is not much extra BSS can or should do to close the SKILLS gap for future employers. Specific skills can be learned at college or at a trade school. One area though that employers face with today's work force is a lack of work ethic, e.g., a commitment to showing up on time, caring about the job, doing the job well, being respectful, etc. Participation in sports, band, Junior ROTC, etc., can help develop a work ethic in our children. I will strive to help develop a work ethic in our students by encouraging participation in these areas.
In general, I do not believe BSS overspends. Fundamentally, BSS faces an income issue, not a spending issue. Budget cuts cannot address the BSS fiscal issues in the long term. However, as with any organization a recurring review of the budget is in order and adjustments/cuts likely can and should be made. Regarding underspending, Special Education may require additional funding. I need to learn more about that possible need.
I believe the school district working in concert with our local law enforcement is adequately ensuring student safety. Some improvements, however, can likely be made. Since I am currently looking at things from the outside, I have some ideas on how safety can be improved but I also do not have perfect insight into what is already being done. If not already in place, a means to readily secure classroom doors from the inside is an imperative. A "See Something, Say Something" awareness program should also be implemented similar to what we see at subways, airports, etc. to help prevent violence in our schools.
BSS currently provides a wonderful curriculum that allows students to pursue a great variety of studies. I think BSS largely offers what is needed for our students. That said, I think more could be done to foster in our students a love of country, participation in our democratic processes, a commitment to physical fitness and health (diet, exercise, immunizations), a return to the basics (reading versus unlimited screen time, in-person socialization versus online/virtually, etc.,) in order to help prepare them to be the future leaders of our country. BSS should provide messaging that focuses on these themes. Students should also be encouraged to participate in Junior ROTC, Model UN, sports, etc., to develop foundational values and perspectives that will serve them and our country well throughout their lives.
I believe there should a major push to get students to read with the goal of a book versus a mobile device being the preferred turn to when they have free time.
I do not have enough information about the BSS school workforce (teacher/student ratios, number of counselors and their workloads, etc.) to answer this question knowledgeably. It is essential though that BSS first has a sufficient number of counselors and resource officers so that students have ready access for help. Teacher/student ratios can be addressed/adjusted (if necessary) once a sufficient number of counselors and resource officers is assured (and that number may already be sufficient).
I want the best for my community, and as a BSS School Board member I will do my part to make it so.