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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Candidates run for School Board

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Dan Robbins

I want Clay Community Schools to be at the "TOP" of required Annual Performance Reports using the Indiana Educational Department guidelines. I also want us to be ready for the National Educational Program called "No Child Left Behind". This program calls for stricter rules in every aspect of our children's educational lives. We must be ready to show that we care for your kids.

I am your candidate for District 2 School Board.

I believe Clay Community Schools is at a "crossroads" in educational and developmental opportunities. In order to benefit from these, however, we need the help of everyone: parents, students, teachers and administrators.

In my two previous terms on the Clay Community School Board (1982-1990), I supported the consolidation of schools and the building of Northview High School, Clay City High School, a new Special Education wing at Forest Park Elementary and remodeling and building additions at East Side, Meridian, Staunton, Clay City, and Van Buren Elementary Schools.

I was also involved in overseeing the development of our school corporation's financial stability.

I am married to Jane Ann (McQueen) Robbins who is secretary at Forest Park Elementary. We have six children, 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Jane and I have lived in Brazil for more than 25 years and are active members of the First United Methodist Church. I am also a member of Centennial Lodge 541 and the Terre Haute Valley Scottish Rite.

I promise the patrons of District 2 that I will focus all my attention on your children's educational needs. In addition, I care about and will listen to parent concerns while working diligently to make Clay Community Schools one of the "best" school corporations in the state of Indiana.

Jim Guy

I would like to introduce myself to Clay County and the voters of District 2. My name is Jim Guy. I am running for School Board in this district.

I was born in Clay County to Barbara Ann Guy , and attended elementary, Junior and senior high school in Brazil. I graduated in 1974. After graduation, I went through four years of Apprenticeship school to become a Certified Electrician.

I am a member of Farm Bureau, and an assistant coach on the 8th grade boys basketball team at North Clay. I am also a trustee at the Terre Haute Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. Also, I am involved in Youth Basketball and CYL baseball.

I have a wife, Rebecca and four children. Three of them have graduated from the school corporation and one is currently attending. Shane, who graduated from ISU with a Masters degree; Courtney, who is a senior at ISU, Jordan and Cameron.

Some things I would like to see happen if I am elected to school board would be to continue to keep all elementary schools open from closure and consolidation, address the bullying in schools, and help seek out the best teachers and administrators available to push the students to learn to their best potential and aid them in their success. Not all students decide to go on to college. If that is the case, we need to be able to provide them with the best education possible in order for them to get the best job available.

We all need to help do our part in building the kids confidence to the level where they all enjoy being a part of school. The more students we get involved in different activities, the more parents and members of the community get involved. To be able to make the school corporation run smoothly, we all need to do our part to help support what is the main priority, education for the students.

Financial issues are always the tough part of a job, and the state plays a big part in how much we receive. Until the state has their feet firm on the ground again, it will have to be on a year-to-year basis to see what funding is available.

If elected, I would be available to help the parents and staff get the guidance they need to any questions or problems they may have. I want to help the parents and staff come up with the solutions they need to help their children and students receive the best education available.

I hope you will elect me to serve you, the students and staff of Clay Community Schools.

Steve Grigsby

Steve Grigsby has announced his candidacy for school board in district 4. He has served on the Clay Community School Board the last four years and is currently school board president, in the May election Grigsby is running unopposed.

I am a lifelong resident of Clay County and live in the Staunton area with my wife Debbie, and my son Matt and daughter Ashley, who both currently attend Indiana State University. We also have a daughter Holly who attended Indiana State University. All three of our children are graduates of Northview High School.

I attended Staunton Elementary and Staunton High School where I graduated in 1970. Debbie and I have been married for 33 years. Debbie attended Cory Elementary and Cory High School until 1968 when she came to Staunton and graduated in 1970. Her parents are Herman and Estelle Logsdon, who are retired dairy farmers from Cory. My parents are Dorothy Deakins Grigsby and the late Cleve Grigsby.

In 1974, I graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. In 1977, I received a Master's Degree in Social Studies Education from ISU. In 1979, I was accepted to the Educational Specialist Degree program in School Administration, In 1980, I completed all course requirements to receive my administrative license.

I started teaching as a social studies teacher at Brazil Junior High School, where I taught from 1975-80. During this time I was a basketball and football coach. From 1978-80, I was the assistant basketball coach at Brazil High School. From 1980-86, I served as the principal at Eminence High School. In 1986-87, I was an administrator in the School Town of Highland with responsibilities in curriculum and computers.

From 1987 to present I have served in Spencer Owen Community Schools. Seven of these years were in Central Office Administration. During this time 1Ialso addressed graduate students and administrative interns at Indiana State University in the areas of public school administration. Currently, I teach career classes at Owen Valley High School. I bring 29 years of teaching, coaching, and administrative experience to the school board.

Memberships include Indiana State Teachers Association, National Education Association, Indiana Farm Bureau and Posey Township Fire Department.

I was actively involved in the Northview Band and Winterguard when my daughter was a member.

Goals accomplished during the last four years as a board member include maintaining all the elementary schools and keeping the kids in their own communities, promoting fairness and parity in all our elementaries and secondary schools when it comes to academics and facilities, supported the need for all elementary kids and staff to have air conditioning in their schools. (All of the elementaries will be air conditioned this fall.), actively involved in the search that brought new leadership in the position of superintendent in Clay Community Schools, new leadership in the position of principal at Northview and North Clay and a new basketball, football and wrestling coach at Northview.

I promoted a strong liberal arts program with advances being made in education and computer technology, supported the construction of a New Alternative School and Weight Rooms at Clay City and Northview, supported all extracurricular programs to maintain quality programs, supported the purchase of new band uniforms at Clay City and Northview, supported local businesses by stating at public meetings that the school board and administration need to purchase materials, supplies, and equipment from local businesses, promoted equality and fairness for all staff members when it came to wages and benefits, promoted a school corporation newsletter to keep the community better informed about what is going on in our schools.

The most important goal I feel I have achieved was to use common sense and be objective and fair as to what is best for the kids, parents, staff and the community.

Goals I would like to accomplish during the next four years include keeping parents and community better informed on what is going on in our schools.

I believe the administration, teachers and board members all need to find ways to communicate better with the parents and community. We all have room for improvement in this area. When we have problems occur it can usually be traced back to a breakdown in communication.

I want to try to establish a program that will make kids feel better about school and want to attend school. All kids want acceptance and a feeling they are apart of their school. If we can do this, then the learning will fall in place, continue to support the extracurricular programs we have in place in our schools. Many kids are motivated and look forward to coming to school because of extracurricular programs. These programs also motivate many students to do well academically. Over 50 percent of our kids in middle and high school are involved in some type of extracurricular program. Numerous students have received scholarship monies for college due to extracurricular programs.

I want to continue to maintain all of our elementary schools and keep our elementary kids in their own communities. We don't want to bus them all over the county to a large elementary school, identify ways to keep our school corporation financially stable and free from unfunded liability due to lack of state funding and budget cuts.

Our school corporation has lost millions of dollars in revenue and state funding in the last few years, due to lack of state support. We need to develop a plan as to where we will be in the next two years when some of our major grants run out and the state continues to cut school funding. We cannot continue to reduce teachers.

I want to continue to focus on the learning process instead of new facilities, bricks, and mortar. I think sometimes we get too involved in facilities and building projects. We lose focus of the actual learning process which involves more about kids and why kids may or may not be doing well in school. We need to focus on programs that provide a foundation, stability and consistency for our kids.

I want to continue to support our certified and noncertified staff members. I have always tried to be fair as a board member to ail staff members in Clay Community Schools when it comes to wages and benefits. The board and administration needs to work very hard in the months ahead to get our teachers, administrators and our noncertified staff a new contract. Our administrators, teachers and noncertified staff have been most professional and patient about this matter. We also need to listen more to all levels of staff about what leads to occur to make our programs better for the kids and community

I want to identify better ways of working with our troubled youth. I understand as well as anyone the concerns that administrators, teachers, and staff are faced with in today's schools. I also understand that sometimes good kids make bad choices; that doesn't mean they are bad kids. We, as adults, need to help them through this process. These are our kids; they live in our community. We owe it to them to do everything we possibly can to help them.

The most important quality I feel I have as a board member is a common sense approach to problem situations and listening to the concerns of the parents, community, staff and taxpayers. I will always listen to your concerns.

Len Fischer

My name is Len Fischer and I am running for re-election to the 1st District seat on the School Board of Trustees of Clay County.

I have been on the board for the past eight years and have seen many changes take place in our school corporation over that period of time. We have two new schools (North Clay Middle School and Cumberland Alternative School). We have put air conditioning in the elementary schools, we have completed a major renovation project at Jackson Township Elementary, we have improved the overall learning environment in our schools, secured a CAPE Grant which provides funding in the amount of $5 million for literacy improvement, early intervention and alternative education, as well as countless other accomplishments.

I will not attempt to take credit for these things. Board members do not accomplish these types of things without the cooperation and hard work of the entire board along with the superintendent.

There are a number of reasons that I would like to return to the board for another term. Initially, I am committed to the education of the children of Clay County.

For the past eight years, every vote that I have made on the board was done so with the students of Clay Community Schools in mind.

I continually ask myself what is in the best interests of the students of this corporation. I have never cast a vote, missed a vote, or abstained from a vote for political reasons. Our school board should not be a political board. With very few exceptions I have been present at the board meetings for the past eight years casting votes, expressing opinions and concerns, and doing what is right for the long term health of our school corporation and our children and students.

The past two years have been particularly difficult in that the funding from the county and state has been delayed, and in some instances cut or eliminated. I have been present at all board meetings to assist our school corporation in making the very difficult decisions of where to cut funding.

Secondly, I run for the position because I believe very strongly in community service. I currently serve or have served on numerous not-for-profit boards in our community. I have participated in countless fundraisers, coached numerous athletic teams at the YMCA, participated in PTO activities, and participate in many volunteer activities that benefit the children of this community. As a School Board member, I have taken special care not to attempt to interfere with the day to day operations of the school corporation. The primary responsibility of a School Board member is to set policy, give direction and support to the superintendent and staff members, and to provide a safe and efficient place for our children to learn.

I have enjoyed my term on the Clay Community Schools Board of Trustees. There have been enjoyable times as well as difficult times serving on this board. I do it because I am dedicated to this community and to the continued effort to improve the educational opportunities at Clay Community Schools. As a board member I have always listened to patrons' concerns and acted in the best interest of the school corporation.

If re-elected, I pledge to continue to always act in the best interest of the children of this community.

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