BEAVERCREEK — One incumbent, one former member, and a newcomer are seeking two spots on the Beavercreek school board.
Current member Gene Taylor, former board member Denny Morrison, and first-time board candidate Claire L. Chinske are on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Chinske is running because she has always volunteered — FIRST Lego League, Beavercreek Music Parent Association — and would like to “keep giving back to the community.”
“All children deserve access to a great education and I believe my background would be an asset on the school board in helping to continue providing a quality education in the most fiscally responsible way,” said Chinske, who has a degree in accounting and has worked as a Medicare auditor. “The school board should be well balanced, and having a parent, especially of young kids, would diversify the experience of the board.”
Improving communication, school funding, district growth, and bullying are the most important issues facing the board, Chinske said.
“It is difficult to find information on the district website, and I would like to see them streamline their platform to have one, easy to find place for both parents and the community to find information and school events,” she said. “School funding is very complicated and my background in accounting has been an asset in helping me understand the structure of levies and how that complicates the needs of the schools and community.”
Chinske said she feels the board needs to improve communication regarding the current fiscal needs of the schools so parents and the community can see examples of cost saving measures the district has taken, how they are using taxpayer money in a responsible way, and how the future growth of the community affects the school budget.
In regards to bullying, Chinske said she would like to see the district continue to focus on positive behavioral interventions and support but also review its character education program to ensure it is meeting current needs.
“All children deserve a positive, affirming environment to learn,” she said.
Morrison has served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, director of curriculum, director of business services, family and community engagement coordinator, board member and superintendent.
He is running once again for school board because he has “a vision for public education that combines the needs of children and the needs of the community.”
“I want to be a board member that embraces servant leadership, promotes labor peace, increases staff morale, is committed to the district receiving the highest academic rating possible, and is transparent,” Morrison said. “I want to ensure that we deliver an excellent education to all Beavercreek youngsters at a very low cost to the community.”
Finances, increasing enrollment, and staffing are the most important issues facing the board.
“The primary responsibility of a board member is to ensure that every child is challenged to excel and to achieve at his or her maximum potential, but we also have to be concerned about the cost to the community,” Morrison said. “Every year I was superintendent our revenues exceeded our expenditures.”
Morrison said increasing enrollment is nothing new.
“Our enrollment continues to increase as Beavercreek is a great place to live and to raise a family with an excellent school system,” he said. ” … that is why when I was superintendent the board and I purchased 90 acres of land where we could possibly build a school if needed.”
Regarding staffing, Morrison said during the last three years, more than 300,000 teachers have left the profession nationwide (not retired) and taken higher paying less stressful jobs in private industry.
“We need to make sure that we continue to attract, encourage, and maintain the best and brightest individuals to focus on taking care of our students,” he said. “I love children. I am deeply concerned for this community that has been so good to me.“
Taylor could not be reached.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.