Archive for November, 2012

Highlights from 11/15/12 school board meeting

November 17, 2012

The levy failed … so what’s next?
Questioning every expense
Proud of our community
Athletic update
Extracurricular update
Here are some highlights from the November 15, 2012 school board meeting:

  • The district recognized veterans from the various armed services.  At individual schools this past week, dozens of veterans were honored.
  • The elementaries and Junior High School collected Troop Boxes to donate to veterans overseas through the Troop Box Ministry.  Diana Lawrence from Troop Box said that last year’s donations carried the group through 6 months!
  • We are financially on track to meet the goal of reducing at least 3% of non-personal services budget items.
  • Donations were accepted from Mr. & Mrs. Joe Kuethe (iPad with iTunes gift card to Milford High School teacher valued at $500) and Amanda Prus (motivational sign for display in equipment room in Milford High School Natatorium valued at $140).  Thank you for your generosity!

Moving forward

November 9, 2012

I’d like to thank the Milford community for your support of Milford schools.  While the levy’s failure is disappointing, I’m hopeful this will fuel our community to identify new ways of meeting our financial needs.

In the survey we ran last spring, respondents indicated they did not want further cuts to programs.  For that reason, we ran the levy – there was no possible way to keep what we had without additional funds.  With the levy’s failure, reductions must be made to avoid quickly eating our cash balance and requiring an even higher levy.  We are in the process of determining how much we need to reduce, based on various financial scenarios.

However, it’s often from dire circumstances that the most creative, innovative approaches arise.  We’ve spent too much energy, time and resources building up Milford’s education to where it rivals top districts in the state. We cannot let that go. We must find new, better ways, as we have been for the past four years … but now we have even more impetus, which hopefully will generate even more ideas.

There are already brand-new thoughts circulating – new ways to reduce but affect educational quality as little as possible. Know that district personnel are working our hardest to make that happen, and we will all push to keep our wonderful programs and services as strong as possible during this first round of reductions.

It will “take a village” to do this – please contact me with any questions/ideas you may have.  I’ve already received several great suggestions from community members, and hope for many more. By working together, we can retain our excellent schools and move forward from here.

In the meantime, know that I am conscious of everything the district is spending.  For instance, every November, the Ohio School Board Association has a statewide conference.  With hotel rooms, travel expense and meals, this quickly adds up to several hundred dollars per board member.

This year, because of the levy failure, I have pledged to absorb my own expenses.  I will also attend for only one day, believing the extra cost for a second (or third) day is not worth what I would get out of the conference, when that money could be better used in other places.

Obviously, this is a very small amount of money – but I use it as an example to show that as a board member, I am committed to saving whatever I can, and being responsible for public funds.

Once again, thank you for your support.  We will be holding listening sessions and ask that you please participate in helping us in whatever way you can.

Thank you for supporting Milford schools

November 5, 2012

Over the past two months, I’ve talked with hundreds of people in the Milford school district.  I’ve had conversations and answered questions about why this levy is needed; other ways to reduce spending; problems with school districts in Ohio and in the nation; specific issues here in Milford; and much, much more.

While each person has his or her own perceptions, needs and goals for our district and schools, one thing is very clear:  our district has a tremendous amount of passion about our schools, and we all agree we want to see our students succeed.

By reading this blog, that tells me you are one of those people who doesn’t simply vote the same way you always have; instead, you take the time to talk, listen and learn about the issues.  No matter how you’ve decided to vote on the levy, I appreciate the commitment and support you show to our district.  And whether the levy passes or fails on Tuesday, I as a school board member will work to make sure whatever funds we have are spent responsibly, and any cuts that are required have as little effect on our students and community as possible.

If you haven’t decided which way to vote yet, or think you might want a bit more information before going to the polls – feel free to get in touch.  You can reach me at or 513-831-0378.

Once again, thank you for your support of Milford schools.