Public Meeting Minutes: August 5, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Special Meeting of the Board of Education

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August 5, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Special Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

August 5, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Special Meeting of the Board of Education
I. Call to order - Board Meeting
Discussion:  Alan Dostal participated in the meeting through Google Hangout.
II. Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call
III. Executive Session and Dinner
Discussion:  The Board came out of executive session at 5:45 p.m.
III.A. Adjourn from Executive Session
IV. Board Candidate Interviews
Discussion:  Doug Willoughby said the board has a responsibility to taxpayers as well as the employees of the district. He said he wants to be on the board to set an example for his stepsons and grandkids. His father was also involved in politics/community service. Willoughby said he would rather listen than talk. However, if something is left out, he will bring it up for discussion. He said he is willing to respect people’s opinions even if they are not the same as his in order to do what is best for the district. When dealing with an upset patron, Willoughby said there is a chain of command to follow, but a person must listen to the complaint. The most important job of the board is dealing with the kids. He said the goal is to inspire students to graduate and reach their potential. Willoughby said there is nothing specific that he can think of that needs to be improved. However, something needs to be done to retain good teachers. If chosen to fill the spot, he said he will run for the position. If there are issues, hopefully the board takes time to research things because there is no need to rush decisions. The strengths of the district are the strong facilities and faculty and being able to adapt well to influx of ELL students. The biggest challenge is adapting the school system to a changing clientele. Willoughby is retired and said he can plan his schedule around meetings. Chris Lovici said he is very independent and not swayed by outside groups. He said he is willing to work with other board members to come to a compromise or reach a final answer. Once a decision is made, Lovici said a person needs to be committed. He said education is important to him. His mother served on board in the mid 70s to early 80s. Lovici said a person should be on the board to be a valuable team member and if a person isn’t willing to make this commitment, he or she shouldn’t be on the team. When dealing with a complaint, he would listen to the problem and evaluate the situation. Lovci said if he feels the issue merits it, he would bring it to the board. He said when dealing with these types of situations, a person must be careful not to pass judgment or make promises. The most important job of the board is to make decisions in the best interest of the students. He said a school board member should try to give every student a good foundation for success. Some areas that may need to be addressed in the future include: changing in technology and bubbles in population. He said there is always room for improvement, but he feels the district is moving in the right direction. Lovci said if appointed, he would run for the position. The greatest challenge is to provide opportunities to every student. The greatest strength of the district is its employees. He said people care in CPS. Lovci said transparency of the board is important. He said this is a service board and needs to be looked at as such. He said it is also important that in the end the board present a united front. Tim Pospisil said he would listen to public and employees input. He would also take in all data and assess what is the best course for the district and students. Pospisil said before he makes a decision, he wants to analyze everything. He said as an engineer if he doesn't have the data he needs, he will go and look for it. Pospisil said he wants to help shape the future of the next generation. He said a board must work as a team and take all the pieces and make the best decisions for the entire district. He added that differences must be put aside. When dealing with complaints, he said he would listen to their issues, and if he can answer, he will but if the issue is with another person, encourage them to approach that individual. He said it is also important to go through the chain of command. He said he would try to diffuse the call because people are often hostile in the beginning and to try to find out their real concern. The most important job of the board is to make sure the students get an education, and the teachers have skills to get it done to the best of their ability. Pospisil said it is important to develop skills of the staff as well as the students. He said there is always room for improvement. The big item, getting new facilities, is now started, so the board needs to see what is next. Pospisil said the board needs to look at how technology can be used to enhance education. This must be done in a controlled and safe environment. Budget is also something that will be a concern. He said the board may need to use money more creatively and get the most impact of more students. He said he would run for the position, and in order to be effective, a board member must serve more than one term. The biggest challenge will be the budget issues. He said there are a lot of rules and none of them are free. Growing enrollment and diversity of students is also a challenge. Pospisil said the district needs to use technology in a better way. He said the teachers need to peak kids’ interest in technology and make education a gadget they want. The greatest strength of the district is the strong board leadership and excellent administration. He said there is also good parental support of school, but this could become more of a challenge in the future. He said the district also has a very good staff. Doug Molczyk said he has been in public service for 26 years and has a desire to be a part of what is already going on in CPS. He said the school board is moving in the right direction. Molczyk said he is a strong believer in public service. All of his kids have gone through CPS, and he wants to be part of the board that steers the next few generations. As a person working in law enforcement, he knows the importance of working as a team. In the team environment, if a decision is made and you disagree, you need to follow through and don't voice concerns after a decision is made. When dealing with a complaint, it is important to listen, but a person also needs to realize there are two sides to every story. Molczyk said it is important to report back to the people to let them know what was found out. The most important job of the school board is steering the school system in the right direction and making fiscally sound decisions. Molczyk said it is important to determine what direction education needs to be going to fill the jobs that will be open. He said that the needs of the district will change, and he does have some ideas. Molczyk said he would like to expand foreign languages and bring it to the elementary level. He also said STEM is on a good track. He said he plans on running for the position and looks at it as a long-term commitment. The greatest challenge is budget concerns and how to make limited dollars spread to a quality education. The strengths of the district are Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz, tremendous administrators, and the board. Molczyk said he speaks his mind and doesn’t believe in being long winded. He said he has a tremendous love for city of Columbus and school system. Mike Jeffryes said he has lived in Columbus his entire life and is involved in a lot of different things. He became interested in serving on the board after becoming involved in the bond issue. He said after that he wanted to do more. Jeffryes said if a board member doesn’t agree with him, he will try to convince him or her to see his point, but if this cannot be done, he would be able to move forward. When dealing with a complaint, he will listen and be polite and respectful. He said if he doesn’t have an answer, he will find one out and call the person back. He said he does not mind negative conversations. Jeffryes said the board’s job is listening to what the organization needs. He said the school board’s job is to get the roadblocks out of the way and help everyone get on the path the board decides. He said he would like to keep young teachers here rather than having them move. He said they often don’t feel that the administration listens to them and they don’t have a say. Jeffryes said he is involved with many boards, but he would run for this position. The greatest challenge for the board is listening to everyone and making everyone happy. He said there are always two sides to every story. He said decisions must be made in the best possible environment for everyone. The district’s strength is the wide range of curriculum.
V. Board Vacancy
Discussion:  The board narrowed down the number of candidates through secret ballot. Doug Molczyk will be recommended for appointment, approval and sworn in as a member of the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education to fill the vacancy resulting in the resignation of past Board member Francis Kuehler at the August 17, 2015 Columbus Public Schools Board of Education Meeting. Alan Dostal did not vote because he wasn’t at the meeting.
VI. Adjourn
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