SIDNEY — Five candidates, which includes two incumbents and three newcomers, are seeking election to the two seats on the Sidney City School District’s Board of Education. Voters will go to the polls Nov. 2 to decide who will serve on the board for the next four years.
Seeking seats are incumbents LindaMeininger and Jason Schaffner and newcomers Zach Bosslet, Greg Dickman and Douglas Jackson.
The Sidney Daily News sent questions to each candidate. One candidate — in alphabetical order — will be profiled daily for the next five days in the newspaper.
Douglas A. Jackson, of Sidney, is a U.S. Army veteran. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University. He also holds a number of technical and professional degrees, certificates and licenses.
He is married and the father of four adult children. He has one grandson plus a granddaughter “on the way.” He is a proud Conservative. He was elected twice and is currently serving as precinct representative on the Shelby County Republican Party Central Committee. He is actively retired.
Why are you running for Sidney City Schools Board of Education?
“As a 22 year resident of Sidney, I can’t remember a time when the school system hasn’t complained for a lack of funds. I ask myself, why? I intend to do what I can to make Sidney City Schools more responsive to the wishes, wants, and needs of all students by providing the best education experience possible in preparing them for the future. And to also be a responsive conduit to the parents and community at large.”
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve on the board?
“My conservative values means I will always seek conservative solutions. This includes being a good steward with the education funds entrusted to us by the taxpayers and other revenue sources.”
How do you address the concerns about the aging buildings in the district?
“When the needs arise, I will always search for the most cost effective way to address such issues.”
Funding for the district is always a concern since state funding changes from year to year. How do you bring new money/funding to the district?
“According to Superintendent Humble’s recent statement on the District’s web page, the passage of the recent school levy ‘…will stabilize district finances for the foreseeable future.’ Any need for additional funding remains to be seen – and will be dealt with.”
What are the strengths of the district?
“Sidney is blessed with a stable and civic minded community and funding base. Although I am not certain of local affiliation, I believe our teachers are not beholden to the NEA and AFT national teachers unions and their leftist agendas.
What are the weaknesses of the district?
“I perceive a lack of parent involvement. I see very few in attendance at Board meetings. Communication between the schools, the school board, parents, and the populace at large, is obviously lacking. Part of the cause may be district residents are unaware of the myriad items that affect the education of our youth.”
How do you improve the weaknesses?
“Communication and education is the key.”
How can you improve communication with school district residents?
“Having attended a number of Board meetings in the recent past, I can only describe them as being quite boring. They seem to be 90% business meetings and 10% covering items that may be of interest to the school community.
“Since not everyone reads the Sidney Daily News in print or online, I would propose:
* Regularly scheduled ‘town hall’ type meetings.
* Email each parent with the Board meeting agenda each month.
* Follow up by emailing the minutes of each meeting.
* This correspondence should also include a summary of current and pending legislation, regulations, and mandates, and how they would or could impact the District’s schools and finances.”
Bullying is a topic of concern for parents of students in the school district. How do you feel the problem should be addressed and handled?
‘I have listened to frustrated parents addressing the School Board on numerous occasions – not only about bullying, but other topics as well.
“I would propose board members be responsible – on a rotating basis – to follow up on all such complaints brought to the Board’s attention. This would include a direct response to the interested party as applicable, along with the results reported at the next appropriate Board meeting.”
How do you think the district should be changed to improve its relationship with the community?
“Voting for school funding has been a difficult issue in recent years. Why? I believe the residents within the district do not feel they are getting value for their tax dollars. The School Board needs to demonstrate it is being a good steward of the available funding.”
“I believe leftist policies and agendas continue to creep into our schools. The adoption of the Common Core curriculum was a giant step in federalizing our schools. Because of nationalized testing, I believe ‘teaching to the test’ is not how students should be taught. I hope the next administration in Washington would consider eliminating the Department of Education entirely.
“By adopting their Resolution 20 recently, the Ohio Board of Education (OBOE) has demonstrated it is in favor of teaching our students Marxist inspired Critical Race Theory (CRT), the 1619 Project, etc. To his credit, Superintendent Humble told me there is no place for this in Sidney City Schools.
“In response to OBOE Resolution 20 and the national ‘discussion’ with regard to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and related issues, HB327 was introduced in the Ohio House this past May and is now in the State and Local Government Committee. This bill would prohibit the teaching on any and all “divisive concepts” in all Ohio schools. The public MUST be made aware as to how detrimental teaching these ‘theories’ are to our students.
“Parents need to know what their children are being taught. For teachers to provide parents a syllabus each semester, including reading lists, would be a step in the right direction.
“I would consider it a privilege to serve the people of this community if the voters choose to elect me to represent them at the Sidney City Schools Board of Education.”