Statement of Purpose:
We live in difficult times, facing challenges imposed on us by state government and the global economy. In response to these challenges, Loveland City Schools needs a school board member that knows this district and the community and students it serves. My name is Michele Pettit, I am running for school board, and I ask you to join me in this endeavor.
I have lived in Loveland for 23 years, and I am the proud mother of two children, Randi, age 24, and C.J., age 16. Both of my kids have gone through the Loveland Schools curriculum. For most of their childhood, I was a single mother, raising them while working for Loveland Schools as a custodian, bus driver, and eventually as a student monitor. In my duties as a monitor I was passionate about being an advocate for LHS students and their needs. As much as I loved working for the District these last sixteen years, I have recently retired so that I can stay at home with my first grandchild. In addition to working for the District, I have also been very active in the extra-curricular activities that our students have enjoyed. For the last ten years I have been an active volunteer with the athletic boosters at numerous sporting events. Despite my busy schedule, I found the time to coach soccer for eight years as well.
Why I am Running:
As a Loveland parent and resident, I am well aware of the importance that our schools have for all of us, not just those of us with children walking the hallways. The performance of our students and teachers reflect not only on our schools, but on our community as well. Our community is blessed to have an outstanding team that provides for our students. Our support staff are often the first ones to interact with our students on a daily basis as they drive them to the corridors of learning every morning, and they are the ones who maintain our buildings. Without them, we would have nothing. Our teachers are the faces our students see, and they are often the mentors and influential role models that inspire our kids. Together, our staff and faculty are a team, and they work hard. We all have something to gain from our District’s performance - for some of us it is more than others. However, we all have a lot to lose if our schools are not as good as they can be. There are two issues that I believe resonate the most, and they both involve the budget allocated for our fine District. They are both equally important, and worthy of the full attention of our community.
Technology: We live in a society that relies on technology. There is no denying that we live in a world where the engine of change is technology. No matter the career path our students elect to pursue, they will be tasked to master present technology and future developments. Are they prepared to tackle the high-tech jobs in the job market today? Will they be prepared to contest competitively for these same jobs years in the future? We currently offer many great courses to our students to train them for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow. However, we can do more. I propose that we follow the lead of other local schools and partner with technology companies. This will ensure that our students have access to the latest equipment and software, and would be of little or no expense to the taxpayer. In addition, this would allow our students to train as prospective employers for companies that are in the industries of tomorrow. The time to act is now, and we as a community have an obligation to our children to ensure they are prepared for the workplace of tomorrow, and not the one of yesterday.
Fiscal matters: We spend less than other local districts, but we are seeing similar if not better results in terms of performance. However, we can still achieve better results with our current spending. It does not matter how much money we spend, but how we spend what we have. I believe we need to reevaluate what the most important programs should be. Additionally, I believe that most of our funds are being misallocated away from where it matters – the classroom. We are blessed that many of our graduates choose to start teaching careers in the very classrooms in which they learned, and many of our staff members have been at the chalkboard for decades. However, we can and must do more to entice new teachers to settle down in our community. Yet due to budgetary constraints, we have had to increase class size, which places a greater challenge on our educators. In order to alleviate this, I propose that we hire teaching assistants to help our teachers in their jobs. This can be done with a minimal budgetary impact.
My Plans When I Am a Board Member:
When I am a member of the Loveland City School Board, I intend to bring my experience as a mother and a parent of Loveland students to my duties. For most of the lives of my children, I was a single parent working 2-3 jobs. Needless to say, I know the importance of budgeting and prioritizing and making do with available resources. I am prepared to bring this to the School Board. I believe that we need to place more emphasis on our special needs/ intervention programs. As a parent, I know the importance of this. My daughter Randi was in a special needs program for part of her childhood, and the guidance and help she received served her well enough, and she went on to graduate college.
Our schools currently receive respectable scores from the new state report card. But we are a great community, and we should not settle for anything less than the best. Reevaluating the allocation of our current funding is a start. Electing a mother that has worked in the district and lived here is another start as well. I am prepared and really looking forward to working with the administrative team to improve on our current performance. However, despite my plans and intentions, I cannot do this alone. We are a community, and I humbly ask you for your support. Will you help me in my effort to serve our children and our community? If you say yes, vote for me, Michele Pettit, for Loveland School Board.
Thank you for your support.