SIDNEY — Retired teacher Michele K. Lott is seeking her first political office as a member of the Sidney City Schools Board of Education.
Lott, 1198 Marvin Gene Court, Sidney, received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Bowling Green State University and her Master of Science and Education Specialist Degree from the University of Dayton.
She is the mother of one daughter, Kristin Raterman Wiltz, and grandmother to grandsons Kaizen Wiltz and Quentin Wiltz and granddaughter Kaliyah Wiltz
Why are you running for Sidney City Schools Board of Education?
“Born and raised in Sidney and a graduate of SHS, I have 40 years of teaching experience with 31 of those in the Sidney City Schools. As a retired elementary teacher and citizen of Sidney, I want to guarantee that our school district continues to provide our students with the best of possible educational experiences. It is imperative for our community to offer an effective, strong, and healthy school system. To do this, I am willing to offer my time, energy, and expertise for this to occur.”
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve on the board?
“I believe I am a highly qualified candidate because of my educational background and teaching experience. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s degree in Administration & Curriculum and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. My teaching experience gives me a better insight and understanding of student learning. “
How do you address the concerns about the aging buildings in the district?
“As a board member, I would expect the superintendent and the treasurer to conduct an ongoing assessment of the infrastructure and a cost analysis in relation to how it fits in with the 5-year projection. I would like the board members, the superintendent, and the treasurer to do an on-site tour of the buildings to see first-hand the condition of the facilities. Safety must be a priority! It is the responsibility of the superintendent and treasurer to be aware of new funding from the state for capital improvements including current buildings and money for new construction.”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?
“As board members, we have to trust in our experienced superintendent and treasurer to keep us fully updated on our 5 year projection. There needs to be complete financial transparency from the adminstration to the stakeholders of the school district. We have to be good stewards of the money. As things happen, we have to be able to quickly reset our priorities.”
What are the strengths of the district?
“Our school district has a hard working dedicated staff, great students & parents, and a supportive community. Based on my experience, bringing the Preschool into our district and reconfiguring Kindergarten-Fourth grade was an educationally sound move. Our Academia team is outstanding! The music program is awesome! We can also be proud of our innovative programs such as the Workforce Academy and our Post-Secondary classwork which allows our students to receive college credits and even an Associate degree before graduation from high school. Also, our students have a variety of extracurricular opportunities from which to choose. “
What are the weaknesses of the district? How do you improve the weaknesses?
“Our district report card is disappointing and also somewhat misleading. In my opinion, we are better than the grade we received. Keep in mind the standards by which our students are assessed are set by the state. Nevertheless, we must work hard to improve instruction, technology, and learning. Teacher training must be ongoing. The changes that were implemented this school year should strengthen our foundation in the lower grades. As a board member, I would be open to new research based strategies that support teaching and learning. “
How can you improve communication with school district residents?
Board members should be visible and approachable throughout the district and its activities. I want employees, students, parents and community members to feel comfortable talking to me about their school concerns. Communication between the school district and the community is vital. As a board member, I will do my best to facilitate this two-way dialogue.
“Being a SHS graduate and a retired Sidney teacher, I would be honored to serve on the BOE. If my grandchildren resided here, I would be delighted for them to experience our school district. I believe in the Sidney City Schools!”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.