The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

4 seeking 3 Lincolnview school board seats

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Four people – three incumbents and a former school administrator – are running for three seats on the Lincolnview school board.

The incumbents are Eric Germann, Mark Zielke and Lori Snyder and the lone challenger is Kelly Dye, who has ties to the Lincolnview Local Schools.

Germann works as a consultant in the cloud computing sector of the internet, helping businesses adopt new technology strategies.

Snyder is employed by the DeHayes Group and travels locations across the country to present strategies regarding their benefit package offerings. She is a licensed health care underwriter as well as a chartered health care consultant.

Zielke is employed by the Ohio Department of Transportation and serves as the Transportation Administrator for the Defiance County Highway Maintenance Garage.

Dye has 27 years of experience working n education including employment at the Marsh Foundation, Parkway Local Schools, New London Local Schools, and Lincolnview Local Schools. He also has experience working as a case manager at the Worth Center and as a Corrections Officer at the Allen County Jail.

In the interest of a better informed voting public, the VW independent submitted a set of questions to each of the four candidates. Their responses are listed below in alphabetical order.

Q: In your mind, what is the biggest issue currently facing Lincolnview Local Schools?

Dye: I feel that one of the biggest issues facing Lincolnview Schools is finding a way to deal with social issues and mental health challenges that students are facing. These issues need to be acknowledged and addressed, sometimes with on-going support, before a student can be ready to learn.

Germann: Stabilization of the state funding model for education is a big factor that affects not only Lincolnview, but schools around the state. In my three terms I’ve seen five different models implemented. These have had an impact on our district and stabilizing the funding model will allow us to more accurately forecast our financial position.

Then as we work through the five-year community planning process we announced in the October 27 meeting, we can do so in a fiscally prudent way. This dovetails nicely with the need to stay engaged with local economic development groups to expand the local revenue base without impact to existing taxpayers.

Snyder: Understanding how to help students from all situations meet their mental and physical needs. Obviously this would include students with learning challenges, but it also includes students who may not have the ideal circumstances at home. The school has to morph into a place where all situations can be addressed while that child is on our campus, and even off our campus at times, and that can be very challenging on many different levels.

Zielke: Many issues face our public school systems today, from societal issues to staffing concerns and from legislative issues and government oversight to buildings, grounds, and fleet maintenance. We as board members must be ready to process these issues and work with administration to find the best solution for Lincolnview Local Schools. The issues we deal with are many and each of them deserve our full attention and consideration.

Q: What is something you would like to see accomplished during the upcoming four-year term?

Dye: If elected, I would like to work to expand what is done as a district to meet the needs of all students. Concerning the state’s report card, we need to continue to grow and change with the times to be one of the top schools in the state. I also believe that teachers should be rewarded with a bonus when, as a district, we receive high marks on the state’s school report card.

Germann: I would like to see expansion of programs into other areas, such as a robotics club and the engineering program. These allow students to learn or compete with different skill sets than athletics. Not every student wants to attend college or leave for Vantage. This would provide job skills which could carry forward in to our local job market. I would also like to see strong community involvement in our strategic planning process so we can mesh the community wants and needs with the district’s wants and needs and move forward together where possible to address those needs.

Snyder: I would like to see the district continue to be on a good financial platform as we have been during my last two terms in office. Having a financially solvent district is a huge benefit to our community, students, teachers, and support staff. It also allows us to look at different projects, and I would like to see more members of the district become involved in the planning.

Zielke:

  • Proceed with building and groundwork. Expansion/renovation/ upgrade of our current facilities and explore opportunities of added facilities.
  • Grow and excel in academics and student achievement.
  • Enhance our tremendous staff by filling vacancies with the most qualified individuals.
  • Enjoy continued success of our incredible school District.

Q: What are your thoughts on the state’s school report card?

Dye: In the recent year with Covid-19, the state report card has not reflected a complete picture of our accomplishments. I feel that we need to measure and monitor individual students’ growth. This is necessary because we teach so much more than what is measured by the state assessment. We can use the state report Card as one way to evaluate our school district. We also need to recognize our accomplishments in all areas as our staff continues to do good work in meeting the needs of all students by helping them grown and learn to the best of each child’s abilities.

Germann: It has been challenging for the last two years to get accurate data. State testing is done in the spring and for the last two Covid years, because of the changes in the teaching model and getting children back on track, the data may be skewed. The report card provides data for us to analyze, but isn’t the end product. With the size of our student body, we may only have 2-3 students that meet a subgroup, yet that subgroup makes up an equal portion of the input data for the indicator. This skews the impact to that portion of the report card.

Our district provides an academically strong value and I consider it a “destination district”. Last year, we had a net gain of 144 students through open enrollment. People want their children to be here.

Snyder: I recognize that the school report card is a snapshot in time and have grown to appreciate the hard work that the teachers of Lincolnview Local Schools put in each and every day. Our administration also puts a lot of effort into the professional development for our teaching staff and has a great partnership for growth and excellence in the academic areas. This past school year the state testing was very unique as our district, along with the rest of the school districts in Ohio, were trying to educate students during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I was pleased to see that for all of the state tests that were given to the students of Lincolnview, they scored above the state averages in every category. That is a testament to our teachers and students of our fine school district and also the tremendous support that we receive from their parents.

Zielke: With due regard to the importance of our state’s school report card – I place more value on the student’s report cards have to say more than that of the state. If our administration and staff are doing things right – I trust it will be reflected by the success of each of our students. With our students success, we will enjoy the inherent success of the district.

Q: It’s fair to say each of you has experience that can benefit Lincolnview Local Schools. With that in mind, why should voters choose you?

Dye: I feel voters should be aware of what I can bring to the table. My educational background and actual work in the Lincolnview School District as an administrator for 14 years gives me knowledge and experience that can greatly benefit the Board of Education. I can offer a complete picture of what happens in our district day to day, along with thoughts on what or how plans will actually look in the classrooms and with staff that I know and have worked alongside.

I feel that I can bring that inside edge, “boots on the ground” type of input that will complement the rest of the board members and make us a stronger team as we can see the whole picture. I have lived in this school district for 20 years and raised my own children in the Lincolnview School System. I understand what the community values and supporting the school district is one of those values. I am committed to being a part of Lincolnview’s continued efforts to provide excellence in education.

Germann: I bring experience to the table and institutional knowledge, such as “Why did we make that decision seven years ago?” I bring a strong commitment to the job, having attended well over 75 training sessions on various topics. I’ve testified before the State Legislature and State Board of Education. Every year I’ve met with Federal elected officials to make the case for Congress to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as well as other education related topics.

From a leadership level, I’ve served on a number of our local board committees. I served as President of our local board for four years. I served a term on the Vantage Board of Education as the Lincolnview representative. I’ve been very active in training and leadership roles for the Ohio School Boards Association serving as president in 2016, leading an organization that serves 98 percent of districts in the state consisting of over 3500 local school board members.

In summary, 12 years, over 150 local meetings, a lifelong learner, leadership experience, legislative experience, and a passion to help my alma mater be the best it can be.

Snyder: This is my third term running for the board so I have eight years of board experience coming in to this election. I am a Lincolnview graduate, and I believe in what our district offers students/parents so strongly that one of the reasons my husband and I moved back to this area 17 years ago was so our children could attend here as well.

A school is a business. Due to my professional life I understand the challenges that face businesses, how to correct those challenges, and how to keep bringing new ideas to the business so growth continues to happen. I apply all of those same skills to the district as a board member.

Zielke: As a part of the Lincolnview Board of Education for the last four years I have worked hard for the district, our employees, our students, their parents. The constituents of our district deserve honest and transparent representation on the board and if elected I would continue to work for them and give them a voice.

POSTED: 10/29/21 at 11:33 pm. FILED UNDER: News