Newark Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Newark residents will choose among three candidates to fill two seats on the board of education.
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  • Michael Blowers

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    Daniel Crawford Front End Coordinator

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    Beverly Rogers Niccum Insurance Claim Representative

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Biographical Information

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?

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Age 32
Education Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Government, Minor Degrees in History and Public Administration (Ashford)
Experience Former Chairman of the Freedom School of Licking County Founding member of the 99% of Newark and East Central Ohio/Licking County Progressives Former 2nd Vice President of Licking County Democratic Club
Family Son: Austin (Born in 2006) Daughter: Madison (Born in 2008) Three siblings (Melissa, April, and Michael)
Inadequate Education: We must reduce testing to a bare minimum, we must empower our teachers to utilize their skills to actually teach these students, we ought to consider modifying the length of the school day and school year to maximize the learning experience, we must do whatever we can to combat against the negative impacts of misguided and mismanaged policies like Common Core.

Lack of Transparency: Given that the board only regularly meets once a month, is it too much to ask that they publish an unofficial draft of their minutes within days of each respective meeting? Transparency is essential for accountability, and our school district needs accountability right now if we want to correct our present course.

Poor line of communication between teachers and parents: What we need is a revolutionary approach to this partnership via a more democratic model which cultivates an experience of mutual learning and which encourages independent thinking.
I’m a father of two wonderful children, both of whom attend our public schools. I have tried as best as I can to be an active participant in their education, working with their teachers and their principal to craft an educational strategy which will work for them. Much of my involvement was an attempt to be a decent parent in line with the standards previously set by my own mother, but the bulk of my efforts to guide my children to success as best as I and their educators can is derived from a philosophy I hold near and dear that an adequate education is crucial to our collective success and that we must work together, proactively, to build a system which works for all of us. My fresh perspective inoculates me from being subservient to the status quo as I am running not to continue doing what has failed our children for so long but to think about and discuss a path forward with an open mind with the only objective being an adequate education to prepare the next generation.
I decided to run for office this year because I saw no one else stepping up to challenge the current system as it presently exists. For many who enter public life, the school board is seen as a stepping stone to higher office. It doesn’t pay a lot, but the political experience is valuable when you seek another local position. If you elect me I want you to know that I am devoted to the cause of fighting for a stronger educational system and will complete my term even if it means passing up another opportunity. I owe it to my children and yours to fight tirelessly for reforms which will work on their behalf. If you are content with the way things are going and feel that nothing needs to change, then I will understand if I don’t receive your vote. On the other hand, if you are tired of seeing our schools ranked poorly by the state – indicating a lack of quality in the education received by Newark’s future -, then I implore you to join this campaign and prepare to work together.
Education 1986 graduate of Lakewood High School, BA in economics from Otterbein College
Experience Newark Board of Education since 2010, President, C-TEC Board of Education (member since 2011)
Family 2 sons: Drew is a Junior at The Ohio State University, Kailus is a freshman at Newark High School
Campaign email Bevniccum@gmail.com
Twitter @BevNiccum
* Politics - What many call the attack on public education has a broad impact. Real or perceived, this "attack" affects school children. Attacking public education lowers teacher morale, erodes community trust in local school districts, and decreases student perception of the value of a high school diploma. It creates extra stress on children to perform on multiple high-stakes tests * Family Issues - Unfortunately, some children in our district face obstacles outside of school that can cause them to be distracted from learning in the classroom. It can be difficult to focus at school when your mind is on something at home. All families face short-term issues and some families encounter long-term problems. Just as it can be difficult as an adult to thrive during a crisis, a child may find it difficult to put their full effort towards school work. We address these issues through a continued focus on opportunities to provide for staff professional development and student engagement.
In my eight years on the Newark School Board, I have developed relationships that allow me to be a strong advocate for the district and the children of Newark. The district is in sound fiscal condition and is making great strides in student engagement activities. I have played a supporting role in the following initiatives: Suspension of pay to participate and transportation fees for our sports and fine arts programs; Expansion of the gifted program; Updated building technology; Bring Your Own Device; The dress code; Expansion of the Closing The Achievement Gap initiative,; Providing limited busing for the high school students
I want to thank the Newark Community for the tremendous support Newark City Schools receives from you. Our teachers and students are able to thrive because they feel supported by our local community. Our partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations make this a.... Great Time To Be A Cat! Many Thanks!
Voter's Guide