Groveport-Madison LSD Board of Educaton {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Three incumbents are among the five candidates seeking election to three seats on the Groveport Madison Board of Education Nov. 7.The incumbents are Nancy S. Gillespie, Libby Gray and Bryan Shoemaker. They face challenges from Patrick M. Niemann and Diana Fortner-Orum.Read more:Groveport Madison board race: Facilities, student achievement top candidates’ concerns
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Nancy S. Gillespie Information Services Specialist, Columbus Metropolitan Library-Whitehall

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    Libby Gray Tax Manager at Tosoh America, Inc. - Grove City

  • Patrick M. Niemann

  • Diana Fortner Orum

  • Bryan Shoemaker

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Biographical Information

Despite construction of a new high school, district officials say there are overcrowded classrooms at the elementary and middle schools. Treasurer John Walsh has indicated voters need to approve a renewal levy in 2019 in order to avoid a $7 million deficit in 2021. Would you support that renewal?

What are the major issues facing your school district, and what will you do about them if elected?

Why are you the best-qualified candidate for the school board?

What else would you like to say to voters in your school district?

Age 52
Education B.S. Hospitality Management- Hotel Administration, The Ohio State University
Experience GM Board of Education 2010-2017; OSBA Urban Schools Network; OSBA Student Achievement Liaison; GM Schools District Leadership Team; volunteer, Asbury Elementary; 17 years employment at Columbus Metropolitan Library
Family Married, 2 adult children
Religion Roman Catholic-St. John XXIII Catholic Community, Canal Winchester
We made a promise to the community to extend our 2014 operating levy for 5 years, and that promise can be kept. I support renewal levies when they are reasonable requests, provide for programming and services for the majority of students and after lots of discussion with families and community members about their expectations for use of such dollars. We go to the voters with confidence that the decisions we made for students and teachers have helped to stabilize our community’s property values, and that they will continue to support the children. Our passage of the bond issue in 2014 allowed us to enter into a partnership w/ OFCC to open buildings in segments: it’s our turn for state support for new schools and we should take advantage of the savings, so I am ready to begin researching the best configuration for our pre-k-8 students.
Old buildings don’t adequately serve our students/teachers-support smart decisions for our next phase building project so that our kids have appropriately sized classroom spaces, and join the rest of the board to engage in public discussions with stakeholder groups prior to going on the ballot. Open enrollment and community charter schools siphon $11.2 million from our district-promote our district’s opportunities and services for students to families in the district to keep them here & bring some back as we open new facilities. State report card negatively impacts our district’s profile in the community-have respectful conversations with our legislators to explain how unfunded mandates impact individual school districts, reminding them that the school funding mechanism relies too heavily on property taxes, leaving our children wanting for opportunities that wealthy districts take for granted, and that the performance index is directly tied to a district’s wealth

I am: Serious about equity and determined to work toward making sure our students have the right teachers and the right resources at their side throughout their educational experience; Concerned about opportunity for children in my neighborhood and refuse to believe that a family's zip code should determine what their public school is able to provide; Intellectually curious/lifelong learner who enjoys engaging with parents, children and staff to talk about what their challenges are and what excites them about school and their future; Respectful of the teaching profession and admire our teachers' ability to differentiate instruction, interpret data for growth and make learning relevant to students’ lives.

Our kids are worthy of an excellent education taught by professional staff who are committed to building relationships with families and teaching to strengths, and your board of education works tirelessly to that end by providing the tools and resources that are needed for 21st century learning. Thank you to our families and community members for supporting the children in their education. Please remember it takes everyone pulling together to create community. It has been the experience of a lifetime for me to work on the board for the benefit of our families, and I look forward to continuing the good work we have begun with our current administrative team.

Age 55
Education Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from The Ohio State University, Master's Degree in Taxation from Capital Law School
Experience I was elected four years ago to the school board and have served one term as President and two terms as Vice President. I have worked 30+ years in Accounting/Taxation in the public and private sector and work with million dollar budgets.
Family I have been married for 34 yrs. and have a daughter that graduated from Groveport Madison and is attending OSU.
Religion I currently attend Xenos Christian Fellowship, previous member of Groveport United Methodist Church.
Campaign email libbygray96@yahoo.com
Yes, despite the construction of the new high school, which will open in the fall of 2018, we still have issues with overcrowding in our elementary and middle schools. As you travel around our district you will see modular classrooms throughout the district housing classrooms, because there just is not the space for our students in the current buildings. We are currently in the process of evaluating the districts facility needs and are working on a 10 year facility plan, which we hope to have completed by March 2018. As far as the renewal levy in 2019, the renewal would be on the operating levy, which I support because it will allow the district to continue to have the programs that we are currently offering. The Groveport Madison school district has struggled financially for so many years and the district is currently financially stable and I do not want the district to return to the days of heavy cuts, our students deserve stability.
The major issues facing our district are the overcrowding of our schools and the state report card. The district has started the process of dealing with the overcrowding, with the construction project in process of a new high school, but we must now start to consider the needs of our Pre-K-8 students. Our current facilities are out dated, too small and costing the district millions of dollars in repairs. The district should seek community input on the needs and the configurations of new buildings to house Pre-K-8. The district is always striving to improve the ever changing state report card and we must continue to work in this area. I believe that we need to evaluate each score and determine what a realistic score is for Groveport Madison, and communicate this to the community. Districts are graded on areas that we have no control, for example if a student attends a two year college rather than four year in state college, we are dinged in the Prepared for Success area.
I have been on the board the past four years and every one of my votes I took into consideration the students, parents and the community. It may have not been the same opinion as the rest of the board, but I voted my conscious and I stand by each and every vote. Prior to declaring my candidacy, four years ago, I attended regular board meetings for at least one year to make sure if I ran for the board that I would have something to contribute. I believe that it is important to know what the board is currently working on and what is going on in the district. I believe by going through that process it allowed me to make that decision and know from the start the area in the district that I would be most influential. With my education and work experience, the financial concerns of the district was my major focus and I believe that we were able to turn the district's finances around in the last four years and I have been a positive addition to the current board.
I am so proud of Groveport Madison School District! We have come a long way in the past four years and I see so many good things happening and would love to continue to be a part of this process. I feel that the community is becoming stronger and the pride in the district is returning. While I am out canvassing in the district, I love talking to the children and asking about their school and what they are currently doing in class. The excitement that they have for their school and their teachers is so overwhelming, I wish that everyone could see their faces light up, because it's such a joy. I want to thank the community for giving me this opportunity the past four years and if re-elected, I will continue to vote for every student, parent and community member.
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