Three candidates are running for two seats on the Clinton-Massie school board. Below are the profiles they submitted upon the News Journal’s request.
My name is Mike Gorman. I was born and raised in a suburb of Cincinnati. I am married and have two sons. In 2013, we moved back from Memphis, Tenn. and settled in the Clinton-Massie District because of the excellent school district and our dream of living in a more rural area.We love the sense of community in this area. I have worked as a firefighter/paramedic for 13 years — currently, for the City of Hamilton. Currently I serve as the Referee Coordinator for Clinton-Massie SAY and participate in Clinton County Leadership Institute’s 33rd Leadership Clinton Class.
I believe strongly in education and giving back to the community. After becoming a firefighter/paramedic, I earned a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s in public administration. If elected to the Clinton-Massie School Board, I will have that same dedication to education and growth while serving our community. I plan to attend the Ohio School Boards Association Board Leadership Institute, at my own expense. There will be workshops taught by leading experts on topics such as student achievement, finance and school law, legislative issues, curriculum, and board development. This is a great opportunity to learn. Our children and our community need and deserve board members who are educated, trained, and committed. As a board member I will bring all three.
For the past three election cycles, I served as the Treasurer for the Clinton-Massie Levy Council and had the pleasure of working alongside community members and school administrators. While volunteering I learned about the school district and its finances and needs. I met and talked to people on both sides of the issue, heard concerns, and answered questions. At that time, I vowed to hold the school board and school administrators to a high standard when it comes to the use of our hard-earned money. That is one of the reasons I am running for school board. Even though we have passed the levy, there is still work to be done. We must be fiscally responsible in planning for the future, be transparent and better communicate with the members of our district. School board members should support all students and their activities, whether in the classroom, on a sports field, at a concert, or any of our extracurricular activities. We must support our teachers, bus drivers, aides, janitors, support staff, substitutes, and every school employee. It does indeed take a village!
I am running for the Clinton-Massie school board so that all taxpayers and parents can have a voice in how our schools operate. The school board shouldn’t be about who you know, how much money you make, or even how much land a family owns. The focus should be about what’s best for our children, the educators and, yes, even the taxpayers. When I read an article in the News Journal, dated January 21, 2019, there was a quote by a board member that really stood out to me, “Something that we’ve always looked for is an improvement in communication.” I couldn’t help but to reflect on my personal attempts to communicate with the board and even a high-level school administrator. It’s been the lack of response or reply that’s been my primary source of encouragement to run. There are simply too many unanswered questions for the board and administrators to continue ignoring voters.
Now comes the second reason, money … where’s it coming from and where is it going? As recently as last year, parents were threatened with possible reductions in busing, higher school fees, higher extracurricular fees, and reduction in staffing. Yet, after the recent tax levy passed, the board has hired in new staff at higher salaries, handed out bonuses (aka. retro-active “contract extensions”), capped extracurricular fees being paid by families, and once again hired a nurse for the elementary school (a position that was cut the year before to save money). What does not make sense is where did the extra money magically come from? What about future budgets? Why hasn’t the district developed a long term (7-year) plan…especially given the declining student enrollment? There are simply too many unanswered questions that need to be addressed.
Having studied Accounting a Murray State University, Engineering at University of Kentucky, and having worked nationally and internationally for several large tech companies, I believe I am well prepared to accept the challenge of becoming a board member for the Clinton-Massie School District. Wherever I’ve been and whatever work I’ve done, communication has always been a key factor for success.
Do I really want an elected office? The answer is no…but, I’m also one that believes that if you want change, accountability, and transparency you need to be willing to take action. That’s why I would appreciate your vote in the upcoming election!
KATHLEEN L. NORMAN
I have been serving on the Clinton-Massie school board since January, after being appointed to complete the final year of another board member’s four-year term. I am now running for the board for my own four-year term.
I have spent the past nine months educating myself on our school district and public schools in general, as well as the dos, don’ts and how-tos of boardsmanship. I currently serve on the finance and communications/curriculum/technology committees. In addition, I represent Clinton-Massie as the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) legislative liaison and as the board delegate to the OSBA Annual Meeting.
For basic bio info: my husband Tim and I moved to the district in 2001, settling in Chester Township. We have two kids: Jenna is a junior, involved in cheer, Falconettes, choir, musical theater and student council. Daniel is in sixth grade, plays soccer, is in the band and recently advanced from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
I have been involved with the school district since my daughter started kindergarten in 2008. Past/present involvement includes: Elementary School PTO (Communications), Leadership Clinton Youth (Advisor), Educational Foundation (Volunteer), Vocal Fund (Treasurer), High School Parents Advisory Board (Volunteer) and High School Musical (Ticket Manager/Publicity).
In addition, I also have/had the following local volunteer commitments: Girl Scouts of Western Ohio (Communications and Troop Leader), Clinton County Leadership Institute (Leadership Clinton graduate and programming chair), Murphy Theatre (stage manager) and Clinton-Massie branch of Wilmington Public Library (volunteer).
I am employed by Exela Technologies as a Proposal Manager/Writer. My entire professional career has been in communications-related positions, mostly as a writer, editor and/or project manager. I hold certifications related to project management and proposal management from the Project Management Institute and the Association for Proposal Management Professionals.
My biggest personal interest is history; and I love local stories. I love hearing stories about the time before Clinton-Massie was Clinton-Massie – back when it was Kingman, Harveysburg, Adams Township and Clarksville.
As a writer, I want to find ways to share the board’s and the school district’s story with the community. This is no small feat in a rural district with no “city center.” If elected, I will be focused on board communication and supporting the district in developing and implementing a communications plan that connects with students, staff, families and community members. And as a board member, I look forward to helping Clinton-Massie write a new chapter.
Visit my Facebook page, “Kathleen L. Norman – Clinton-Massie School Board” for more information.