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Candidates in their own words: Northern Local Schools Board

THORNVILLE – Seven candidates are seeking three open positions on the Northern Local School District Board of Education. They were asked to respond to the following two questions.

1. In 175 words or less, please explain what you believe are the two most important issues facing the Northern Local School District and how you would address them as a board member.

2. In 75 words or less, please explain why you believe voters should support you.

Jeffrey Baird
Did not respond.

Patrick Hogan

1. My name is Patrick Hogan and I believe in providing the best education for our students in a financially responsible manner. Academics and finances are our most important issues and my priorities, setting the foundation for everything else we do as a district.

I believe in strong local control and will continue to connect with parents, educators, staff, and community, seeking insight and input into our curriculum and direction of our District. I will continue to share what I learn, and support turning the best ideas on educating our students into action. I will continue to challenge State and Federal overreach into our District, seeking to minimize it, while promoting local control at every opportunity.

Our curriculum, safety programs, athletics, extra-curricular programs, buildings, grounds, transportation, and staff development benefit from a fiscally sound district. To support these, I will continue to carefully oversee and take responsibility for financial oversight, making sure we live within our means and fight for fair school funding at the State House.

2. With eight years on the Board, I contributed to many of Northern Local’s outstanding programs through engagement with parents, educators, and the community. I will apply my 25 years of leadership experience as an Army Officer and technology manager to Northern Local’s advantage. I am active with the Legion, Boy Scouts, youth sports, and church, all connecting me to our community. I care deeply about our District and ask for you vote on November 7th.

Christopher King
Did not respond.

Megan Miller

1. I believe academics and financial stability of a school district are the most important issues. Everything starts with finances. A strong district can provide for their students to help ensure they graduate with a competitive edge. It is extremely important that the budget is prioritized with academics being at the top to make certain that money is being spent for the best interest of our students and staff. In addition my goal would be to understand the needs of our teachers and administration so they can have the tools to provide a learning environment, the very best education for our students, and help prepare our graduates for a successful future.

2. I would be proud to represent the Northern Local School District and have the opportunity to focus on a quality education for current and future students. I would be receptive and responsive to parents, staff, students, and the community. Please vote for me on November 7.

Chuck Nichols

1. I believe in local control of the schools. I believe the board needs to be open and transparent. I have attended several meetings over the last three or four years and there is little to no public discussion among the board at the meetings. They vote on such things as “board notes” without the public knowing what is in those notes. They hold meetings they call “Working Sessions” without public notice. Again, I believe that transparency is needed.

I believe we need a curriculum that is age and grade appropriate. Curriculum based on the Common Core Standards doesn’t meet that test. The state mandated testing should be replaced with local evaluations. The state testing takes away from instruction by spending time preparing for and taking the tests. I believe teacher evaluations shouldn’t be based on how well kids do on state tests. We have good teachers, administrators, and staff, we should let them do their jobs. I believe in fiscal responsibility which should be a top priority of the board. I ask for your vote.

2. I am a Christian and my beliefs and values guide all that I do. With three kids in the schools we have a vested interest in the district. I have an Associates, Bachelors, and MBA degree. I am employed by the USAF as a civilian with over 15 years management experience. I believe in our schools and want the best for them and our kids. I will be accountable to the people of the district.

Kimberly Severance:

1. In my opinion there are several topics of importance that affect Northern Local School District, Leadership, Servitude, Ethics, and Integrity are a selected few. A school district depends heavily on all these criteria stemming across all areas of employment. Leadership begins at the top, with the Superintendent of schools, his or her Ethics and Integrity affects Administration, Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Transportation, Maintenance, Janitorial, Food Services, Substitute staff, parents, and ultimately our students. Remembering that we are here to Serve all students and parents of our district, and the greatest among us is to be servant to all. As a current Board Member, I honorably accepted the position and took an oath which enabled me to be a voice to the school district that I represent, Northern Local. I hope those of you who have contacted me, agree that I followed through and did, or tried, to do what was in the best interest of the parties involved and the district. However, one voice equals one vote and sometimes very little can be done other than being on record for what you feel is right.

2. It has been my honor to have had the past four years to serve you and I would be honored to be your representative for another term.

Aaron Wilson:

1. I grew up in Thornville until the sixth grade, and then moved to Newark and finished High school there in 1998. I am a father of five soon to be six next year, with three in school now. I have a bachelor’s of science in nursing from Ohio University. I am running for Northern Local School board, because I have the desire to be more involved in our community and more importantly our schools. I do not come into this election with agenda or an axe to grind. I understand though, that there are areas that need to be improved. I would like to focus on ensuring that our kids have the best technology and resources we can provide them, with enough resources so teachers are not borrowing tools for learning. This wastes time they could be teaching, rather than trying to create ways so everyone can use it. To ensure these resources are available in our classrooms, we need to practice wise fiscal policies that benefit our district without exceeding the set budget.

2. I work as a nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and I work as a factory worker in Hebron for Momentive. While I am busy father, my goals are to make this district better every time we make a decision, to ensure every kid has the same chance, and to provide students every resource they would need to succeed in school and beyond. I would appreciate your vote on November 7.

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