COVENTRY TWP.  There are two open seats on the Coventry School Board, which voters will be deciding on this November.

Current board member Vicki Tavenier is seeking re-election as other current board member, Jeff Skaggs, has decided not to run again.

Candidates also running are Kathy Finefrock and Dan Fouser.

DAN FOUSER

Why are you running?

I believe I can bring a career of experience to the Coventry Board of Education. I care about students and their futures. My neighbors here in Coventry have heard about my background in education and have asked me if I would run for the Board of Education. Since living here for the past 20 years, I feel that it is time for me to give back to my community. I have taught in the public school classroom for 34 years. I have team taught various levels of science classes. I have taught accelerated science classes. I also have taught inclusive classes for students with all learning needs. I have worked side by side with the intervention specialist by sharing my notes, tutoring, and using insight to educate all of the students. Teaching also happens on the athletic field. Coaching is teaching. I have coached high school football, basketball and track. The student/athlete needs to learn and understand the concepts of the game he/she is trying to compete in to be successful. I have worked on writing educational grants from the state for my science classes. The hands-on lab approach brings the student closer to the academic discipline rather than just memorizing material. The physics applied to a curveball to make it curve is easier to show than it is to explain. The same could be said of the osmosis of a substance through a membrane or the reaction between an acid and a base. In my career, I have worked with many administrators. Each administrator is looking for the same final outcome. That outcome is to try to give each student the pieces necessary to learn how to learn. That one skill will be drawn on for the rest of their lives. This way, they may build a future by achieving goals and experience happiness. I have seen true teamwork among teachers, intervention specialists, guidance counselors, custodians, principals, secretaries and superintendents all coming together to reach a goal. That goal is to make each student reach their potential. The Coventry Schools are there to try to make that happen. I know that I can make a difference if I am elected to this position. Just as it takes a community to raise a child, it also takes a “School” to teach a well-rounded student.

Involvement with the schools

With the Coventry Local Schools, I see an opportunity to: A) get the school system to be more transparent and do a better job of communication of the facts of fiscal responsibility and open enrollment with the community. Right now, positive strides are being taken to make a change in the Fiscal Emergency status but it needs to continue. B) share my ideas from more than 30 years of teaching and positive life experiences. We all should stay focused to following the rules and laws of the Ohio Department of Education; and C) work hard to make the Coventry Local Schools an educational institution that the students, parents and community shall be proud of.

One area to focus on

My top priority would be to be an active member of the Board of Education. I will study situations that arise and help in making prudent decisions to remedy the issue. The first priority is the fiscal responsibility of the school to the taxpaying community. Some efforts have been made to resolve the issue by curtailing some of the expenditures. The second priority is the open enrollment policy. This doors open policy should have been prudently entered. If it is to continue, each year the policy should be evaluated for cost-effective budgeting. I also believe the Board of Education members should have interest in the school activities. The students' involvement in clubs, organizations and athletics are important. The schools should foster well rounded students. After teaching in the public school system for over 30 years, I have seen a lot of changes in education. I will be an active part in any changes in the Coventry Schools. Let us all go forward from today to better horizons of the future. We all are learning every day whether as students or adults. Let us all make the Coventry Local Schools a place the kids want to attend and graduate.

KATHY FINEFROCK

Why are you running

I think I can help improve the situation at Coventry Schools, and I care about the students and the education they are receiving. I believe that I can bring a new perspective to the school board as they face many challenges. I don’t have all the answers, but I think creatively and will have an open mind on the issues. I will work with the other members of the board to initiate positive change.

Involvement with the schools

I have been interested and engaged in Coventry Schools' special levies and elections for the last seven years. I regularly attend school board meetings and have closely followed the reports from the State Commission. I began attending the Fiscal Commission meetings when we fell into Fiscal Emergency almost four years ago. I have listened to the briefings on the five-year forecasts and the state auditor reports. Further, I have talked to many of the school board members as well as our past and present treasurers. I have also heard presentations on our schools’ report cards for several years, and feel I have an understanding of the major problems facing our school system.

One area to focus on

If elected, I feel that I must focus on two areas that are both critical to Coventry Schools and the community: educational effectiveness and fiscal solvency.

Coventry student's test scores have been trending downward over the years. Currently, the state of Ohio ranks us "moderate D/F." It is imperative that we investigate the reasons behind this and install a plan of action to reverse it in the future. Our children deserve better. We need to determine how we can improve successful outcomes for our students and become competitive with other districts. The kids in Coventry need a school system that prepares them for their future endeavors whether it is a college education, trade school, job market, military service, etc. They should be made aware of all opportunities available to them prior to graduation.

Fiscal responsibility needs to be addressed. We were in fiscal watch for 19 years and now fiscal emergency for nearly four years. This is an enormous problem that needs our attention. In conjunction, we need to monitor the spending throughout the entire school system, looking at all expenditures closely and setting priorities. I believe that our excessive open enrollment impacts our financial instability. We must address this issue and determine how we can balance it to best serve the residents of Coventry. Finally, residents are paying taxes on nine school levies, two of which are emergency renewals. We need to find a way to eliminate these continual renewal levies.

VICKI TAVENIER

Why are your running

I have been fortunate to see many improvements in our district over the last eight years especially in our facilities. There is still work to be done and goals to be met though. I look forward to continuing to work with our superintendent to offer our students the best opportunities to be successful in the classroom and in life. I also want to continue to be a voice for our students, staff, parents and community.

Involvement with the schools

Our daughters have attended Coventry since kindergarten and currently, our youngest is a freshman at the high school. I have had the privilege of being involved in our schools from the beginning as a PTA mom and have developed great relationships with our administration and staff.

One area to focus on

At this point, I am worried about the future of our district because of our current board members. I want to speak up for our students and community to keep Coventry Schools moving forward. If re-elected, I will be the only board member with a student attending Coventry Schools.