Where they stand? School board district 3

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James Persinger grid

What is the most important thing you can do as a school board member to improve student achievement?

Push to rid the scholastic requirements of Common Core and the focus on testing and grades. A child’s educational achievement can’t be measured on a five-letter scale.

What are your concerns about the BCSC school system that need to be addressed within the next four years?

One of my biggest concerns are focused in the heavy use of standardized testing and the lack of education focused on preparing children to be able to be independent, successful adults.

What are the academic areas where BCSC schools could improve or expand current offerings?

The school system needs to have more classes available to teach common sense and every-day responsibilities, such as balancing a checkbook, creating and following a family budget, the ability to cook, clean, do laundry.

Polly Verbanic

Name: Polly Verbanic

Age: 55

City: Columbus

Occupation: Former associate director of admissions at DePauw University.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, DePauw University, 1983

Previous office held: BCSC school board, 2013-2016

Previous office sought: BCSC school board, 2012

Community Involvement: Bartholomew County Historical Society board officer, Literary Task Force member, BCSC High Ability Planning Committee member, First United Methodist Church member, Columbus Culture Club member, volunteer reader in BCSC schools, “The Story Lady” at Viewpoint Books. Former PTO president at Schmitt Elementary, former Bartholomew County Library Associate.

Family: Husband, Mark. Two children

James Persinger

Name: James Andrew Persinger

Age: 30

City: Columbus

Occupation: Manufacturing engineer at Faurecia

Education: Mechanical engineering, Ivy Tech-Columbus

Previous office held: None

Previous office sought: None

Community involvement: Parks and Recreation Department volunteer coach, volunteer and chaperone for children’s activities at school, United Way volunteer.

Family: Wife, Rebecca. Three children.

Polly Verbanic grid

What is the most important thing you can do as a school board member to improve student achievement?

Members must keep the focus on student achievement and growth; it must be what informs every decision we make. We must hire and maintain quality teachers, provide supporting facilities and tools, provide appropriate achievement measures, identify at-risk populations and support innovative remediation (like Book Buddies), perhaps assisting their parents, too.

What are your concerns about the BCSC school system that need to be addressed within the next four years?

Planning for and the management of enrollment growth, a potential transportation challenge with increased trains, recruiting and retaining talented teachers amidst a teacher shortage, ensuring the Employee Health Trust remains healthy. The concern that worries me most is the role of education in an increasingly polarized culture.

What are the academic areas where BCSC schools could improve or expand current offerings?

I’m excited about opportunities for early second language immersion, expanded vocational training and expanding pre-kindergarten education. I don’t think as a country we have “cracked the nut” on math instruction for the non-math minded. BCSC has fantastic math teachers that could add much to a national discussion on this topic.