By James O’Keefe

In one week, Loveland residents once more have the opportunity to decide the fate of the operating levy. It is more than likely both levy proponents and opponents have already mentally cast their votes.

At the end of the day, I feel the one thing both sides can agree on is that this vote is about return on investment and trust. Based on my perspective having lived in different communities, and the experience my family has received from Loveland Schools, I will be supporting the operating levy on March 17.

James O’Keefe lives in Historic West Loveland

Since getting married, my wife and I have called Charlotte, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis home. During our time in Cincinnati (2000-2010, 2015 to present) we lived in Deer Park, Madeira, and now Loveland. Along the way, we learned so many valuable lessons about what drives and retains home value. The most consistent driver has always been the strength of the local school system. So when selecting where we wanted to live when returning to Cincinnati in 2015, we targeted Loveland for its walkability (we live in downtown) and the growing strength of Loveland Schools.

Even though we enrolled our children at Saint Columban, we knew from past experience that the best way to ensure our home value appreciated over time was to buy in a community that was committed to its schools. Supporting the levy has some selfish motive to it as I know over time it will strengthen our home value.

Our children are receiving a top-tier education both in the classroom and through the varied extra-curricular offerings that support their interests and build their confidence.

Now five years after moving, two of my children attend Loveland High School. Since day one, the leadership, administration, teachers, and staff have absolutely earned my trust. Our children are receiving a top-tier education both in the classroom and through the varied extra-curricular offerings that support their interests and build their confidence.

The teachers and coaches that lead them on a daily basis possess high character and demonstrate extreme ownership in student success. When I see what the schools have helped my children become, it gives me great confidence that the leadership in place knows exactly what they are doing and precisely where we need to go in the future.

I taught high school English for seven years.

I taught high school English for seven years. While the last time I was in the classroom was 16 years ago, I still retain some perspective on what it means to be in a classroom and what it takes to make schools successful. It is extremely hard work and requires highly intelligent and capable people. More important, it requires strong leadership at the top that will attract, guide and maintain the talent that will deliver on the vision.

To me, the Board of Education is asking a very simple question:  Do I trust them with my money to continue to drive positive results for our students? Based on what I have seen, my answer is an emphatic yes. When it comes to education and this operating levy, I don’t focus on what I am spending; I focus on what I am getting in return.

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