Nine candidates are running for three available seats on the Blanchester Local Schools Board of Education in the Nov. 7 election.
The News Journal recently asked each candidate to answer these questions:
1. What is your name, age and occupation?
2. Why do you want to be a Blancheser School Board member?
3. What goals would you have if elected?
4. How have you been involved with Blanchester schools up until now (parent, volunteer, other)?
5. What is your opinion of how the Rick Hosler situation was handled by the current board and do you agree with how it was handled, or do you disagree, and why?
6. Do you wish to add something to your responses?
Below are their responses:
• I am 64 years old. I retired from Blanchester High School after 25 years of service. I have been retired for 3 years.
• I want to be a Blanchester school board member because I worked at Blanchester H.S. for 25 years and I want to keep excellent educators in our schools and do what is best for our students and school district.
• My main goal is the student education. We need to keep our educators here in the Blanchester school district and give them an environment that will make them happy to be a part of the “school family.” Our children are in their care most of the day and they are a large contributor to our children’s future and the future of our schools and community.
• I have been involved with Blanchester schools for 35 years. I was President of the Jefferson P.T.O., homeroom mother, volunteer, President of the Junior High P.T.O., H.S. Secretary for 18 years and H.S. Guidance Secretary for 7 years, O.A.P.S.E. Union #477 Secretary, G.A.A. Sponsor for 14 years (Christmas Formals & fundraisers), Jr. Class Sponsor for 9 years (Proms & fundraisers), I was on the original Board that started Youth football and Youth cheerleading 30 years ago. I was a co-cheerleading advisor for Youth football. I also did numerous fundraisers for P.T.O. and Youth football. Everything I have done has always been for the benefit of our children and I will continue to be involved in our Sports programs as a fan and supporter.
• I am very disappointed with the way the Rick Hosler situation was handled by our current Board. I attended numerous Board meetings and 4 of the 5 members totally ignored letters, petitions, and requests made by educators, students, parents, and concerned citizens.
• I believe that the Board’s duty is to do everything in their power to benefit the students and community. I also believe that you should be honest and fair and treat everyone that way that you would want them to treat you. A vote for me will be a vote for your child’s future in the Blanchester school district.
• 66, auto technician, fabricator, business owner.
• To contribute the school system and have a positive impact on any & all issues that effect the student body.
• To review previous decisions & actions re: staff, expenditures, and general operations.
• Parent, grandparent, alumni, have spoken to sr. class with annual BACC business, symposium approx. 10 years. Have participated in various scholarship programs. Have been Secretary of Alumni Board for 3 years & participated in organizing & putting alumni banquet, have participated in fundraisers for band boosters, have sponsored ladies varsity tennis 3 years.
• I think that the “situation” was not primarily handled by the board. It appears that the public support was totally ignored, decision & judgements were made as a result of misinformation, non-truths, poor judgement with wrong leadership, and because of those circumstances the school system lost a very good administrator, and a man shamed. I most certainly disagree with how it was handled, as to why, besides involvement I have had with the high school, I have come to know many members of the staff very well, and have had many conversations with and regarding Mr. Hosler. And as a result I have sorted through all info (good & bad) and have become very well acquainted with Mr. Hosler.
• In closing I would like to make a positive difference for all Blanchester school people, students, staff, and the general public.
• 61 years old. Self-Employed Farmer.
• To help maintain and continue the success this district has enjoyed for some time.
• We must keep moving our district forward in tech-advancements and use of the latest academic strategies.
• I am an alumni, volunteer, parent and current board member. I have continued to support the Blanchester FFA program and Blanchester Athletics.
• As a current board member we considered all facts presented to us from evaluations and an investigation from an independent third party. Our decision, as a board, was based off of the facts presented, policies, state law and what we felt was best for our district.
• Although there has been turmoil in our district this past year, we have maintained our focus on providing a quality education to the children of our community. It is my goal and the purpose of the board to ensure our district has the tools and personnel necessary to provide an outstanding educational experience. Blue Pride!
• A retired Blanchester teacher, and am 63 years old.
• They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I wholeheartedly agree. Since kids spend a significant portion of their waking hours at school, I feel it is critical to put those in charge of their care to be persons of good character, with a sound knowledge of their educational needs, and the willingness to do whatever it takes for them to be successful in our ever-changing society.
• I have experience and knowledge to assume such a role, as a member of the Blanchester Locals Schools Board of Education. I hold a Master’s degree from Wright State University in educational leadership. I received the Governor’s Educational Leadership award. I earned my National Board Teacher’s certification. I have served on various committees at the state level, including Ohio Achievement Test and Ohio Proficiency Test development committees. I am a summa cum laude Wilmington College graduate and a proud recipient of Chatfield College’s Distinguished Alumni Award. I have always set high goals for myself and have worked tirelessly to achieve them.
• My goals for helping make our district one that everyone will be proud to call their own are as follows: I will be involved in making informed decisions regarding curriculum and personnel, both of which are essential to the success of our students. I hope to create harmonious work environments whereas all staff members feel valued and are eager to serve our students. Such environments will encourage our students to continue to push themselves to make progress towards their goals. I will fully encourage and “I Can” policy whereas all students have the knowledge and confidence to achieve their dreams. It is my desire for graduating students to be adequately prepared for success in whatever career or work field they choose to pursue.
• Blanchester Local Schools have always held a special place in my heart. I taught here, my daughters Michelle (current BMS teacher) and Missy attended school here, and my husband Don served as a Board of Education member here for 12 years. Our schools may not have the same economic advantages as other, more affluent schools, but continue to rank at the top of many of Ohio’s mandated tests. I am extremely proud of being connected with such achievements.
• I am unable to form a judgment about how the Hostler situation was handled, because I wasn’t privy to the documentation of the incidents, or the conversations with all the individuals related to the incidents, which eventually led up to the nonrenewal of Mr. Hostler.
• If elected, it will be my mission to be in the know —- to gather information from credible sources, which will allow me to make informed decisions regarding board policies and procedures. I am saddened by the dissension that had been created by this situation. Our focus needs to return to the academic achievement of our students.
JACK D. LONG
• I would like the opportunity to work with and help unite our school board, administration, staff and the community. Our goal should be to give our students the tools and education needed to become productive adults in all aspects of life.
• My goal is to create unity throughout Blanchester schools and community as well as helping our students to become productive adults.
• I am a father of three children that graduated from Blanchester High School. My daughters are both school teachers and my son is a bus driver and I am very proud of all three. I worked for Blanchester Schools as a Custodian and Transportation supervisor. I started the Safety program for our school buses at the Elementary Level. I coached boys and girls in a variety of sports including basketball, track and volleyball. I have also volunteered at many sporting events.
• In fairness to all involved, I am unable to form an opinion, not knowing all the facts other than what was written in the newspaper. I do not want to base anything on hearsay. I do know that this situation became bad publicity for our school and community.
• I know this one thing, I love Blanchester Local Schools! My personal experience working for and working with Blanchester School has been good. My desire is that all associated with our school will be proud to say “I am a Wildcat”! Working together we can accomplish this goal.
• 73 years old and I am now retired.
• I pondered becoming a school board member while working, and decided that is what I wanted to try when I retired. Since this is the first voting term since retirement, I decided to “run the race”.
• It is my hope to see Blanchester Local School District return to community and school members working together to make it as it once was, one big happy family. It seems as of late you hear negative comments from the community regarding the school district, and I would like to be part of the change that makes people again proud and happy to be associated with the Blanchester Local School District.
• I have been involved in the schools since I moved from Cincinnati to Blanchester in 1978. I have watched four of my children grow, be an active part in the school and graduate as well as two of my grandchildren. I have also worked for the school as secretary to the superintendent for thirty years (6 different superintendents); was State Parent for the FHA Homemaker program for the high school; was president of the booster organization as well as many other various positions.
• As far as I am concerned, the past is the past. I would like to see everyone accountable for what they do from this day forward. Also, I plan to look to the future seeing that the children get the Best Education from the Best Teachers and Administration and I want everyone to know that Blanchester Local Schools is a Great Place to Learn!
• Vote Lois Wainscott November 7,2017.
• 46, 6th grade social studies teacher at Clinton-Massie Middle School for the last 16 years.
• I graduated from Blanchester H.S. in 1989, and have great admiration for the district. Over the last several years. I have witnessed a decline in the school board’s attention to the desires of the students and the community. There has been a lack of communication, respect, and dedication to those that they serve. I believe I can change this.
• I would like to bring back the transparency and loyalty that the school board should demonstrate towards the Blanchester students and the community. The school board’s main focus should be what is best for our students. Personal conflicts among adults employed/serving the district should never affect the students’ well-being.
• I graduated from BHS in 1989. Three of my children are also BHS graduates and my fourth child will graduate in 2022 from Blanchester. I have coached Blanchester SAY soccer teams and have attended numerous sporting events on behalf of my children.
• I do not believe that the situation regarding Rick Hosler was handled properly. Rarely does a school official receive the respect and admiration of both their students, staff and the community. But Mr. Hosler did. As an educator I understand the Ohio Teacher Evaluation system. Principals also have a set of standards for which they must be proficient. While teachers are evaluated by their principals, principals are evaluated by the Superintendent. In this situation I do not believe Mr. Hosler was evaluated fairly and the reasons surrounding his dismissal (resignation) were unfounded.
• As I previously stated, the job performance of teachers and principals is evaluated based on standards in Ohio. Superintendents in Ohio also are evaluated based on standards developed by the Ohio Department of Education. The School Board is responsible for evaluating the Superintendent’s performance. I question whether the Superintendent of Blanchester Schools was evaluated without bias. All of those associated with the Blanchester community must be made aware of these standards and then decide for themselves the answer to this question.
• 34 years old and I own and operate a small building and remodeling business here in Blanchester.
• I want to be a school board member because I have a deep passion for this town and community. I also have two small children (McKinley, 6 and McCoy, 4) that currently attend Putman Elementary. I have a strong interest in restoring the faith of the community back to the board of education.
• My goals as a potential board member are to move our schools and community into a positive direction and approach all issues with an open mind with the well-being of our kids being my first priority.
• I have been involved in Blanchester schools in many ways. I moved to Blanchester in the first grade and was a graduate of the class of 2001. In 2007 I started coaching high school football at Blanchester and did so until 2012. I have also volunteered my time to the band department to help build a custom stand for their equipment.
• I’m not going to dwell on the past decisions of the current board. The only way that we can become successful is to not only put our differences aside, but to become united for the greater cause. That greater cause is the success of our small children and young adults. That’s what I am focused on.
• Blanchester is my home. It is where my wife Mandy and I will raise our children. It is where I have been able to make a living to support my family doing what I love. I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to be one of this great communities school board members. This town has taken care of me over the years and now I would like the chance to return the favor. Blue Pride!
• 36, District Sales Manager, Agrigold Hybrids, 14 years
• Although the ‘fruit’ of this answer could be very complex, the ‘root’ is simple – Audrey, Claire, Jake Wilson and all their fellow students I’ve met through involvements are my complete motivation. Although the Blanchester educational system is excellent, there is always room for improvement. Previously elected Board Members have put Blanchester on a responsible path financially and I hope to continue that management approach. Within the confines of the budget, there are funds derived from the Government, as well as the Taxpayer. We must continue to live within our means financially but in the same context, plan for our future as well.
Continue the fiscal responsibility instilled by past board members. Our bond rating is excellent and as our five year forecast looks healthy, looking forward to continuing financial accountability. Increase communication between The Board and Staff in each building. I am an extremely accessible individual, looking forward to hearing the positives/negatives from the four schools and ways we can improve within each environment. Begin using Social Media to convey information to the community. With a simple ‘click’ of a button we can let our citizens know why and when certain funds are utilized: a culvert is being put in, work on the football field, welcoming a new teacher/administrator, etc. Many decisions school boards make are along the ‘Theory of Omission’; context, details, & reasons are often left out of reach to the public. A simple picture, video or text entry could be viewed throughout our community, in turn diffusing miscommunication and speculation. Because emotional and personal agendas have no place in this arena, I will strive to make every decision objective and well informed. A united community perspective must be maintained. Support a liaison approach with the Community. Their feedback will always be welcomed and honored. Communication is a two-way street, more of it will lead to continual improvements.
• Father of Blanchester students Audrey Wilson (4th Grade), Claire Wilson (2nd Grade) and Jake Wilson (Pre-K). Junior Achievement Business Consultant via Volunteering at Putman Elementary. Blanchester School Levy Committee, Member. Blanchester Class of ’99 Alumni Council, Member. Blanchester FFA Head Coach, Meats Judging team, two seasons. Attend majority of Blanchester School Board meetings; 4th generation Blanchester citizen.
• With all due respect to the News Journal and their readers, how can one expect an individual to make an informed decision without all the facts? In regard to personnel issues, the acting board is not legally permitted to impart details concerning the matters of their employees. Without all of the information, there is no way I can give a fair and objective answer. As I respect Mr. Hosler, I look forward to working with him should I be elected.
• Through past experiences on multiple boards, organizational involvements, and offices held, I feel exceptionally prepared to serve the Blanchester Community on the Board. Current business, financial, and management experience along with strong work ethic have all prepared me for this position.