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Candidates in their own words: Walnut Township Schools

MILLERSPORT – Three candidates are seeking two seats on the Walnut Township Local Schools Board of Education.

Candidates were asked to respond to two questions:

1. In 175 words or less, please explain what you believe are the two most important issues facing Walnut Township Schools and how you would address them as a school board member.

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

Word limits were strictly enforced and none of these responses were edited.

Amy Amspaugh:

1. I feel that one of the two most important issues facing Walnut Township Schools are the number of students that participate in drug use or sale of drugs. I as a board member would always back the random testing of students, to try and help reduce the issue in our school system. The school needs to use every opportunity and resource possible to educate the young people of our community of the danger of alcohol & drug use, in addition to teaching them what they need to know for the future.

The second issue I feel that needs addressed is making students accountable for their actions & choices they make. The students that continue to break the same rules continually and permitted to continue disrupting class, robbing students of an education who want to be there to learn. I as a board member along with the other members, would hope to make a policy that is enforced by All staff of Walnut Township schools in making a better learning experience for all students.

2. I would like the chance to give back to Millersport schools where I attended and then graduated from in 1987. My grandma, father, and my children also attended and graduated from Millersport. I had the opportunity to work for Walnut Township schools from 2006 to 2016 as an educational aide. I feel I can contribute to the current board. I don’t expect to change all the problems, but would like to try making a difference.

Carol King:

1. The Walnut Township Local School District has many important issues to deal with in the next four years, the most important of which is financial responsibility. In the past year we have been able to get out of “Fiscal Caution” through many tough decisions. We now face the effects of the cuts that had to be made and the cost-saving decisions that were made. We must continue to monitor all spending within the district while providing the staff, programs, materials and supplies necessary to provide the best education possible for the students of our district.

The second important issue facing the district is communication. We must have open lanes of communication between the administration, staff, students, parents and the community as a whole. We need to focus on the many outstanding accomplishments of our students both academically and in the many extra-curricular activities in which our students excel.

2. I am a life-long resident of the Walnut Township School District and graduate of Millersport High School. After receiving a degree in Education from Ohio University, I returned to teach second grade in the district for thirty years. I have had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Education for the past twelve years. I look forward to using my experience as a student, teacher and board member to continue to serve my district.

Faye Whitaker

1. School districts face more challenges now than ever before: funding, testing, and constantly changing laws with unfunded mandates to name a few. Funding will always be the number one issue until the state takes responsibility and action to correct the unfair manner in which schools are funded. With high property values and minimal state funding, we must, unfortunately, rely on local funding to support our schools. It is imperative that the school spends money conservatively. Budgeting your tax dollars efficiently can be challenging. You must be willing and able to make some tough decisions.

The second issue is the state testing requirements which need to be changed immediately. However, if the state continues to insist on standardized testing, we must have a curriculum that teaches the student to pass the test. Far more importantly, we must prepare them for whatever path they choose after high school: college, technical school to learn a trade, military or the work force. Our job as educators and parents is to prepare them for life.

2. I have been an active member of this community for over 30 years. Owning a local business, the Olde Canal Restaurant, and serving twelve years on school board has given me the experience and leadership ability to be an effective, conscientious board member.

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