Residence: Powder Springs
Profession: work for a general contractor as a project superintendent
Previous political experience: none
Education: Completed two years at Brenau College
Family: Karen, wife; sons Russ and Kevin
Do you believe the revised Strategic Plan will be an improvement over the existing plan?
How will it result in greater student learning? I have not seen the revised plan. Student learning is what our job is all about. Everything that we do must focus on student learning, whatever it takes to make it happen and to make it successful is the most important issue.
How will you vote on the charter-schools constitutional amendment in November?
I believe that charter-schools should be under the control of the local school boards. The state should not be involved.
How would you fix the budget?
I would look very closely at the details of the budget to see if any unnecessary spending could be cut. I will work to get more funding back from the state.
Would you support Teach For America if it did not require cutting current staff? What if it did require cutting current staff?
I am not totally opposed to the concept of Teach For America, but I do not think that it is the best solution for our district at this time. We have plenty of qualified teachers in our schools, and we have qualified teachers seeking employment. We need to fill any vacancy from our own resources.
Without seeing a project list, do you support putting SPLOST 4 to voters? If so, when?
I cannot advocate putting SPLOST 4 forward for a vote without knowing what is in it. Items of critical need only should be included. The list should be clear, concise and workable.
If SPLOST 4 is approved, should the management be done in house or by outside contractors?
It should be done by the most qualified and by the most cost effective management team.
Should the board bid out legal services? If so, how often?
I think we should be getting a fair and competitive deal. Right now Cobb is paying one of the lowest fees for legal services of other area school boards and we are under no obligation for any specific contracted time. There should be an annual review to insure we are getting our money’s worth.
Should high school schedules (block, traditional) be decided by the principal, the superintendent or the board?
Currently, each principal makes that choice. How to deal with transient students, should receive some consideration. The principals need to collaborate and work as a team to determine what is best for Cobb County students.
Do you favor a school start date between Aug 1 and Aug 15; between Aug 16 to Aug 30; or after Labor Day? Or do you favor year round schools?
I favor a start date between Aug 1 and Aug 15. This affords students and teachers breaks at regular intervals in order to renew and refresh for optimum performance.
Does CCSD have too many administrators?
Since I am not currently on the board, I’m not sure of the exact numbers of administrators. However, I do believe that when the district must let teachers go, it needs to look at a proportionate amount of administrators to let go as well.
Does the board spend enough time discussing academic issues in public?
The board must rely heavily on the Superintendent and staff administrators to insure that we have the best approach to teaching our students. Maybe more information about this should be shared in the public meetings.
Should the superintendent cut back on schools spending teacher-development money to attend conferences?
Conferences can be very beneficial, but in tough economic times it is important to choose wisely who needs to go and who will benefit the most from attending. Any conference attended must benefit the district in helping us do our job better and more cost effectively.
Do you favor changing the senior tax exemption? If so, how?
Do you promise not to vote for a tax increase during this term, if elected?
What is the biggest problem you want to solve, if elected, and how would you do it?
Under performing schools need improvement. The board needs to work in unity and within budget constraints in order to maintain and/or exceed a high level of student achievement in all of our schools - especially the underperforming ones. We need to provide incentives so that some of our best teachers are interested in teaching and serving students in these schools.