1. What made you want to run for school board?
I am Ann Meyer, current Chairman of the Fort Thomas Board of Education. My reason for running for reelection to the school board this year as well as in 2018, is the same. It is about learning and giving students the opportunities and advantages that I had as a graduate of Highlands High School, providing learning for a world of options.
I spent my entire life’s journey in education as a Family and Consumer Science teacher and then junior/senior counselor for 28 years, retiring from Highlands in 2015. I have a world of experiences at the school level which served me well during the last four years as I served on the school board. I believe that my experience helped me ask the right questions about education and the state of the district. Looking forward there is more for me to do and help our schools.
2. If you were elected, how could you help the district?
I am an educator and former counselor that looks through that lens when making decisions. The top priority is providing a quality education and being a destination school system for students and teachers, one that is valued and sought after, one that people stay to graduate or retire from. It took hard work and purposeful choices about learning to get us where we are today and to continue that tradition takes hard work. It is imperative that students are in class with direct instruction from quality teachers along with up-to-date technology as needed. We want to continually be improving and while celebrating our traditions, evaluating where education is taking us. Hiring and keeping quality teachers and staff with the plan to give raises to our teachers each year must be done. This is a priority to have our salary schedule on the top of Northern Kentucky. The need is to be intentional in all spending while supporting our schools. My experience as department chair while at Highlands and on the Board of Education budget committee facilitates the goals of our district.
3. What differences could you make to the community?
Teaching children has challenges. I am constantly looking at academic achievement and testing data. Are our children progressing, proficient in math and reading, is their rigor, are they being challenged are some of the issues that I worry about and investigate. We need to provide a quality education in a changing world-with up-to-date teaching skills, technology, getting students ready for many options, jobs that we may not exist now. We have state of the art facilities and can move onto to improving programs in those schools. Strong schools build strong communities, places people move to and stay viable. Leading the best K to 12 school in Kentucky makes a difference to community and those who join us.
4. Why do you think you should be elected?
I have a personal interest in preserving and improving our school system. and am the voice of a teacher in an independent school district. My grandchildren are currently in the middle and high school. I care about the educators in this district and the future of our schools, attracting and retaining the best and the brightest educators. We are in a time when less people are going into education so there are less applicants. We must work to provide the wages to get the best to come and as a current board chairman I am committed to evaluating and providing increased wages.
I support other things that can be done to make us a place to come and stay, such as enhanced professional development opportunities, scholarships for teachers, internship possibilities for students, and supporting student entrepreneurs. We are a small independent school system that allows us to dare to dream for new opportunities.
5. What is your vision for education in this community?
My vision is focused on opportunities for all students with a plan for their success. A culture that looks forward and nurtures our students educationally. A faculty of professional educators and a strong leadership team. Each of these strengths can be supported through our budget, but the more important support comes from high expectations and focus on individual students. I realize we have a commitment of excellence and provide the culture to support that commitment
I also have a vision to “grow our own” leaders by nourishing our faculty to stay and take leadership positions as well as to “grow our own” future educators through Intro to Education classes and shadowing opportunities. As a counselor I could always see those students who had a heart of a teacher so let’s teach and support them and then hire them when they get out of school. Make our graduates part of the community.
Providing activities, extra-curriculars, and opportunities to learn in the community are important. Not only are involved children more engaged in school, but they provide the places that children can “find their people”. Engaged children come to school, feel more a part of the school, and excel while being connected to the community.
Thank you for giving me the time to introduce myself and thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve the district the last four years. I am proud of our schools and our community for supporting our students. I am proud of my education that I received and the work that I did for our schools. I loved my time working for the Fort Thomas Independent Schools and serving on the school board. I look forward to continuing my journey, serving the next four years. I hope you will support me.