(Editor’s note: At West Life’s Sept. 29 Candidates Forum for the seven Westlake Board of Education hopefuls running for three seats. Audience members were asked to submit written questions. Time limitations prevented most of the those questions from being asked, so West Life submitted six of the questions to the candidates and offered to publish each candidate’s unedited answers on West Life’s website.)
Candidate: Carol Winter
What is your first priority – the taxpayers or the students?
Yes, I am passionate about offering the best education possible for all Westlake students. I have a record as a board member of leading efforts to reach out to our community members – residents and business owners, parents and non-parents, retirees and private school families alike – to learn how they define “excellence” and what they want in an educational program for Westlake students.
Yet, Westlake community members desire this excellence “at an exceptional value.” My board leadership has also resulted in our district remaining in the bottom quarter for school taxes in the county and the district’s continued focus on finding cost savings in all aspects of our operations. Westlake’s bond rating puts the district in the top 4% of ALL Ohio school districts and the combination of the district’s high quality educational program and financial stability were cited as factors in American Greetings relocating their headquarters here in Westlake.
What is your opinion about merit pay for teachers and how would merit be determined?
, continue to attract the best and brightest teachers, and be fair to both the teachers and taxpayers. School districts that are in the process now of revamping their pay schedules to incorporate performance standards into determining pay, are looking at a combination of including teacher evaluation by principals and supervisors, test scores, input from parents and students. Determining the right weight to give each factor that will affect teacher pay, will require the board to research the current data on successful systems of merit pay and engage all stakeholders in the discussion.
Have you attended many school board meetings in recent months? Have you attended many school activities, such as band concerts, school plays, etc., in recent months?
One questioner said when she worked at a polling location in Parma two years ago, she noticed teachers leaving school to hold signs for the ballot issue. Would you agree to a plan where citizens could monitor political activity in the schools in the weeks leading up to a school levy vote?
What is your position on House Bill 136, which would create a limited number of scholarships for students to attend nonpublic schools, for which eligibility would be based on family income. (Scholarships would be funded by deducting amounts from the state education aid provided to the student’s public school district.)
000 per pupil.
What is the best attribute of the Westlake City Schools?