SIDNEY — Richard L. “Chip” Hix II is one of three incumbents seeking re-election to the Sidney City Schools Board of Education. He is completing his first term as a board member. Six candidates are seeking three seats on the board of education.
Hix, 768 E. Parkwood St., Sidney, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Ohio State University. He is employed as a line lead at Norcold.
He and his wife, Eileen, are the parents of two children, Emily, a 2013 Sidney High School graduate, and Alex, a 2015 SHS graduate.
Why are you running for Sidney City Schools Board of Education?
“I believe that we have seen considerable improvement in the district in the last four years and I wish to continue in the current direction that we are heading. Since my kids have now both graduated from the district, I want to continue being involved in the positive direction that we are headed.”
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve on the board?
“It’s all about the kids – I want the students at Sidney City Schools to have the best education, and learning environment that we can provide. I am interested in improving the school system and the community in which we live. My daughter is now a preschool intervention specialist at Northmont, my son is currently finishing the requirements for his school treasurer license, and my wife has been involved with local youth for 20-plus years. Our family values kids and wants them to have the best opportunities that we can provide.”
How do you address the concerns about the aging buildings in the district?
“The maintenance department does an awesome job of maintaining our current facilities, but the truth of the matter is we will only be able to band-aid our current elementary buildings for so long. At some point in the not too distant future, Sidney will need to seek a bond issue to address our elementary situation.”
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??
“Our current 5-year forecast shows the district going into deficit spending within the next couple of years, cuts have already been made and will continue as needed as we must maintain a balanced budget. The board voted on the necessity of placing an operating levy on the ballot at the board meeting on Oct. 21. Operating costs increase and the district continues to receive unfunded mandates from the state and federal government. Our current dollars can only go so far, and cuts can only be made so deep before the level of education is negatively affected.”
What are the strengths of the district?
“Meeting the needs of all students is one of the districts biggest strengths, our school system strives to offer the programs that fit our diverse student population best. This is evident when looking at our Workforce Academy program, Opportunity School, Academia, our award winning music programs, Mock Trial, FFA, just to name a few. Sitting on the board and hearing student success stories is one of my biggest joys. When looking around the district, our student pride and success is very notable.”
What are the weaknesses of the district? How do you improve the weaknesses?
“Funding, maintaining a balanced budget while fighting ever-increasing costs, and our aging buildings are our biggest weaknesses. We improve our weaknesses by looking outside the box for the best solutions and showing voters that the district is being operated responsibly. The board is responsible for hiring the superintendent and treasurer, we currently have excellent leaders in these two positions, working daily to do what is best for the district.”
How can you improve communication with school district residents?
“Our board meetings are open to the public and public participation at each meeting is encouraged. I feel the district is doing well with the usage of social media outlets, if you follow the district on Facebook and Twitter you get a pretty good feel for what is happening in our schools. Each of our board members can be contacted with information available on the school website.”
“I feel that our current board has made some tough decisions, made smart decisions, and is working to continually improve our school district. I would be honored to be re-elected to the board and would constantly have the best interests of the students in mind.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.