There are three candidates running for two board seats this year for the Jackson Local Board of Education including incumbents Scott R. Gindlesberger and Christopher V. Goff and challenger Clayton S. Conaway. Below are some details about each of the candidates.
Scott R. Gindlesberger
Scott and his wife have been residents of Jackson Township for 21 years. They have four children, three have already graduated from Jackson and one is still in High School. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Union and has a MBA from the University of Akron. He earned his CPA while working with Ernst & Young.
Gindlesberger has been involved with the township for a number of years and in a number of ways.
“I am completing my fourth term on the Board of Education,” he wrote. “During those terms, I have held the office of President and Vice President on several occasions. In addition, I have been an active member of the Superintendents Finance Committee for a number of years. Other community involvement includes: University of Mount Union Board of Trustees; Saint Michael’s Parish Finance Committee; various Chamber of Commerce committees.”
He is running for a fifth term because, “As the former Vice President for Business Affairs at the University of Mount Union and a former CPA with Ernst & Young, I believe I have a unique skill set to assist the district in making prudent financial decisions to assist with student success. With my children being in the schools, I hope to give back to the district that has done a fantastic job of educating our townships youth.”
Gindlesberger sees the following as the biggest challenges for the district:
- School safety
- Student Achievement
- Technology and Building Security
- School Funding and Financial Prudence
Christopher V. Goff
Christopher Goff and his wife have lived in Jackson Township for 25 years. They have three children who have all graduated Jackson Local Schools. His education includes Ohio Northern University, BS, Business Administration, Finance Major; University of Akron, MA, Political Science; and University of Akron School of Law, Juris Doctor.
Goff is the CEO and general counsel for Employers Health and an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Akron School of Law. This year completes his third term as a member of the board.
He has been involved with various organizations in the townships including Chairman, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce; Education Committee, Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Board of Directors; Health Foundation of Greater Massillon Board of Directors; University of Akron Foundation Board of Directors and the University of Akron School of Law Alumni Board of Directors.
Goff is running for another term because: “With twelve years of experience on the Jackson Local Board of Education, I have served as president and vice president for four years of my twelve years of service. The experience on the Board, as well as experience in leading a $300 million private-sector company as CEO & General Counsel, gives me a unique perspective from two vantage points; as a business leader and as a lawyer. Most suburban and urban Ohio school districts, including Jackson, routinely deal with complicated legal, labor, academic and student conduct issues that often require a professional board of education. As a seasoned business executive, lawyer and professor of law, I am well-positioned to provide advise and counsel to our Superintendent and Treasurer on matters affecting the District.”
He believes five of the most important issues facing Jackson Local Schools include:
- School Safety-there are three over-arching objectives that are critical to keeping our children safe; deter, detect and defend.
- College and Career Readiness-we need to prepare our students for one of three pursuits to success; workforce readiness, military entrance and/or a bachelor’s degree from a college or university.
- Graduation Pathways: the Ohio Legislature has enacted new law that provides academic and career technical mandates leading to graduation and develops criteria for “at risk” students with written notifications to parents/legal guardians.
- Student Mental Health-Stark County Schools, including Jackson, experienced a contagion of teen suicides two years ago. Jackson Local Schools has adopted numerous preventive and intervention support initiatives and continues to work with mental health professionals throughout Stark County to assist our students with everyday life issues that affect their wellbeing.
- School Funding-JLSD is one of forty districts that received less than 80 percent of its calculated state funding in FY 2018. In other words, JLSD only received 68 perent of what it should have received from the State of Ohio, which was a loss of $3,545,944 or $579/pupil. Therefore, JLSD had to make up the difference with local dollars which further compounds an already existing fiduciary duty to be good stewards of our local taxpayer’s contributions toward the education of our children.
Clayton S. Conaway
Clayton S. Conaway was born, raised and is a current resident of Jackson Township. He graduated from Jackson High School in 2016 and is currently attending The University of Akron pursuing a degree in political science. Conaway works for his family’s small business.
“I have volunteered for many local and national campaigns in the past,” Conaway said. “I’m familiar with many Jackson residents and local businesses. I’m also well acquainted with reaching out to folks in our community to get their perspective on issues we face at both the local and national level.”
Conaway said he is running to, “Bring a fresh perspective to the table. I am a recent graduate of Jackson High School, and I am aware of what it is like to be in the position of a student. We need leadership that is willing to take notice of the community's questions, concerns and ideas.”
His goal is to reach out to the community and produce solutions to issues parents and students face daily.
“We need to create an environment where students never have to question their safety on the school bus, in the classroom or anywhere else throughout Jackson Local Schools.”
Conaway said the biggest issues or challenges facing the district include a lack of communication and transparency has made many students and parents in the community feel left out and making sure the district is up to date with technology.
“We need a board member that is willing to reach out and take the time to speak with parents and students about the issues they face on a day to day basis. This can help students feel safer and allow us to provide a safer and healthier learning environment. It is also important to incorporate the latest technology in our classrooms in order to provide the best education possible.”