Election 2017: Technology, test scores, focus of Trotwood School board candidates

Three Trotwood-Madison School Board members are running in the November election along with two others to fill three seats on the board.

Incumbents Denise Moore, Myra Bozeman and Deborah Daniel are running again. Other candidates include Toni Perry Gillispie and Norman Scearce.

We asked all five candidates what their priorities would be if elected. Here’s a look at some of their responses:

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Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges facing the school district? How would you deal with them?

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Myra K. Bozeman: 1. Figuring out the actual problems in the district: Our district has room for improvement. Examining the data and developing a plan to take the district in the right direction can be difficult based on the number of problems that could potentially hinder student learning.

2. Low standardized test scores: Students are meeting their growth goals but are not meeting the required achievement levels.

3. Poverty: Trotwood has a large percentage of students who live in poverty. Poverty is linked to reduced academic achievement. Trotwood needs to continue to examine their data to determine where the underlying problems are hiding. We can aid our students in being successful and reach both growth and achievement levels on the standardized tests, by increasing intervention strategies for the 4-12 grades. The district has provided an increased number of interventions for the Early Learning Center through the 3rd grade. Based on these changes, the district has seen considerable progress.

Myra Bozeman, candidate Trotwood School Board 2017 (Staff Writer)

Deborah L. Daniel: Two main issues facing the T-M City School district are academic performance and student mobility. Both issues are interlinked, as the fluidity of families in and out of the district impacts the overall learning environment in our classrooms. Research indicates that stable and consistent school settings support higher achievement levels. When families move often, especially during the school year, it disrupts the learning progression of students with access to and mastery of the Ohio Learning Standards.

Toni Perry Gillispie: The three biggest challenges facing the school district are technology, transportation and teachers. These three issues are not just a problem for Trotwood, but all school districts.

First, technology must be in the classroom with trained teachers on the best technology for the classroom of today. We need to seek out the best practices for technology use and training (for parents as well).

Toni Perry Gillispie, candidate Trotwood School Board 2017 (Staff Writer)

Second, the issue of finding great drivers who deliver our students to and from the district must be addressed. The pipeline for driver recruitment, training and retention can only be helped by partnerships and the establishment of programs throughout the community. Finally, our teachers are the face of the district. They are the ones who are social workers, trainers and sometimes the parent and role model for students. We have to build a better relationship with the teachers the board and the city.

Teacher retention must be analyzed and addressed. We need and want the best to be in this role in Trotwood. We need to strengthen our relationship with Teach for America, University of Dayton Urban Teachers Institute and other colleges/universities who produce the teachers.. Overall, my leadership and experience will enhance what is already happening and what I can help bring to the district in the future.

Denise Moore, candidate Trotwood School Board 2017 (Staff Writer)

Denise Moore: Testing remains another huge challenge that school districts face. We now find our teachers teaching to the ever changing tests that are handed down by the state. This has created many issues with student deficiencies in core content areas. Our students now have less time for learning new subject matter given the enormous amount of time spent on testing and test prep.

Additionally, with the focus on reading and math scores, our students lose history, world languages, exploratory classes, the arts, and other programs. Parent engagement is critical to the overall success of children. When parents, families, are involved with schools, all children benefit. A lack of parent engagement helps foster failing schools. Consequently, leading to the question of who is at fault (teachers or parents).

Research regarding the effects of family involvement on educational outcomes has shown that parent involvement makes a difference in children’s academic achievement. School funding means less funding means smaller staffs, fewer resources and a lower number of services for students.

Norman Scearce, candidate Trotwood School Board 2017 (Staff Writer)

Norman Scearce: The district only offers part time preschool. I would address this proposing the board make the necessary sacrifices to offer all day preschool. Kindergarten age restrictions. I would address this by proposing the district current policy be amended to allow for children who’s birthday falls within 60 days of a schools start date be allowed early enrollment with needing the The gifted evaluation.

Q: What makes you qualified to be on the school board and gives you an advantage over other candidates?

Myra K. Bozeman: I was appointed to the Trotwood Madison School Board in August 2017. Out of six applicants, five people were interviewed and I was chosen unanimously. Since I am currently on the school board, I have an advantage over the other two candidates who are not incumbents.

Currently, I am fully engaged on the policy and finance committees and I am slated to complete several training sessions that will aid me in doing the best job for the district. I am a T-M graduate and have been a professor at Sinclair College for the past 20+ years.

I have an understanding of curriculum and educational policy. My parents are still residents of Trotwood. My oldest son is a graduate of Trotwood and is currently a senior at the University of Cincinnati. My youngest son attends Trotwood-Madison middle school. I am married and have been a homeowner in Trotwood for the past 24 years. Not only do I have the experience and educational backing to do the job, I am fully vested in the Trotwood community.

Deborah Daniel, candidate Trotwood School Board 2017 (Staff Writer)

Deborah L. Daniel: I have been living in the Trotwood community over 50 years now. I am the current vice president of Trotwood-Madison School Board. I graduated from T-M along with my brothers and my two sons. My sons have both graduated from college and are current teachers.

As a current TMBOE member, my role of influence for our students is to advocate for the appropriate standards and academic testing. This includes advocating for the overall mental, academic, social, emotional, and physical developmental needs of our students. My job of being an active TMBOE member is very important to me and something I want to continue.

Toni Perry Gillispie: I am qualified to be on the board of education because: 1. I have experience as a listener and a thinker. My previous roles as community volunteer on boards and actual work experience in a public school system has given me the ability to make sound decisions that will benefit the families (students).

2. I have previously worked on the policy and financial committees of a public school system. This knowledge will help me as I learn and progress with the Trotwood district. The board establishes policy and this is one of my strengths.

3. I am a stakeholder in Trotwood. I own a home in Trotwood and want the district (students) to advance and be an asset to the city. 4. I am trained in community economic development. I have worked with the community and for the community for 20 years.

Denise Moore: What makes me qualified to be on the board and give me the advantage over other candidates is that I am able to work with my peers to establish a clear vision and goals for our district. I am also very vocal regarding the protections and provisions of our children.

I am a strong leader and believe in accountability for the board, superintendent, administrators, teachers, and staff. My experience as an incumbent, community advocate, marketing executive and previous business owner, has afforded me the skill sets and opportunity to be able to measure and assess data, communicate information clearly, understand budgets, assess external opportunities for our district, design/create solution based initiatives, and advocate at the local, state and national level for public education for the success of our students.

Norman Scearce: I am currently engaged in the life of the schools in a way the current board members are not. I represent the vast majority of young parents with children in the district.

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