SIDNEY — Incumbent Mandi Croft is seeking her second term on the Sidney City Schools Board of Education on the Tuesday, Nov. 5, ballott.
Croft, 213 S. Wagner Ave., Sidney, is the program coordinator for Big Bothters Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Arts in an Individualized Program focusing on Art and Marketing with a minor in English and Secondary English Education Certification.
She and her husband, Dan, have three sons, Hunter, who is a junior at Sidney High School, and twins Logan and Mason, who are in the fourth grade at Northwood Intermediate School.
Why are you running for Sidney City Schools Board of Education?
“I am running for school board because I want to be a part of the district in a way that allows me to help facilitate change, maintain impactful programs, and to be a voice and liaison between the community and the district. As a current board member, I have been able to use a culmination of my work and volunteer experiences to contribute a unique point of view, and I am proud to have been a part of the district in this way.”
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve on the board?
”What I bring to the board is a person who has been a student, a teacher, a parent, and now a current board member for the district. I have learned a lot in those roles which has provided me with experience and perspective. Additionally, my experience as a CASA volunteer and an employee and volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters has given me additional insight into the needs of the families in our district and an ability to contribute in a positive way.”
How do you address the concerns about the aging buildings in the district?
“I think for right now we are doing absolutely the best that we can do maintaining the older buildings that we have. We will need to do that as long as we can, but a new building or buildings will inevitably be something that we need one day.”
Funding for the district is always concern since state funding changes from year to year. How do you bring new money/funding to the district and address the projected 5-year forecast for the district?
“There will always be a need for money. That’s life. Recognizing that we each have to do what we can right in this very moment, while creatively looking for alternative sources of money and better ways to do things, are always a must. Grants, federal programming, and making use of whatever available money from the state is essential. It is a never ending process. I am proud of all that we have done in the last year to make significant impacts in our financial narrative.”
What are the strengths of the district?
“The strengths of our district lie within each and every person who works, goes to school, or lives in our district. We have amazing people in the district and community.”
What are the weaknesses of the district? How do you improve the weaknesses?
“One of our weaknesses lie in how quickly people think the worst and react based on that initial thought. Sometimes we need to make sure to stop to hear another side of the story. This is something that is everywhere, especially with social media, so it isn’t unique to us. I learned through a lot of trial and error that you have to listen more to everyone involved. In doing that, solutions can usually be found. I think there are always going to be things we have to work through, but through communication and understanding, solutions can be found. “
How can you improve communication with school district residents?
“Over the last year communication has gotten better, but there is always room for improvement. I can see how it might seem that administration and the schools don’t hear what is needed, but if a complaint is heard, there are usually people working to find a solution that works. We need an easier way for those issues to get to the right people with a good follow up system. Maybe a parent version of what we use to track maintenance issues? Everything comes down to communication, so whatever we can do to make it better is always a must.”
“It has been an honor to be on the board. I hope that my being on the board has made an impact in a positive way, and I would love the opportunity to do it for another term.”
Reach the writer at 927-538-4822.