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Incumbents campaign to keep seats


Joan Patterson



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October 31, 2012 - Joan Patterson, Clarkston resident for 26 years; married to Thomas Patterson, son Jeff age 19 now in college went to Clarkston Schools from preschool up to graduation. Clarkston resident for 26 years.

I worked at various computer/technical business; Electronic Data Systems, Saturn Corporation, General Motors as an Analyst, Consultant, and a Y2K Consultant. I also created and ran my own tennis business out of the Detroit Yacht Club as a Certified Tennis Pro and was Brother Tennis Coach for JV Boys team.

District/school involvement: Clarkston School Board member from 2004-present, Clarkston Area Youth Liasion, Coalition for Youth Liasion, PTO President Independence Elementary School, Parent Advisor Team member for schools, Clarkston Leadership Committee Member, Clarkston Community School Board Technology Liasion, Mentor for Middle, Junior and high school students, Pine Knob Early Reading Intervention Core Reading Volunteer, North Sashabaw Elementary School Volunteer

Community involvement: Optimist President (2012-2013), Optimist Director and Vice President, Deer Lake Farms Home Owners Association (vice president 1994, president 1995-1997), boy scout popcorn chairperson and merit badge counselor, member of: Friends of the Library, Academic Booster Club, and Band Booster Club, served on Military Service Academy Selection Committee for Congressman Dale Kildee.

My business and community background have allowed me to balance the need to live within budgets while satisfying the priorities of the school stakeholders. I research and analyze the topics presented to the Board and often ask questions considered "tough" by those with other agendas or who are unprepared. I thoughtfully make decisions that focused on student achievement and financial responsibility; both in the short and the long term period.

I am passionate about education. I believe that every child in the district should be provided an equal opportunity to acquire a great education. They should have a great education. The community has a lot of resources, a lot of great people and we have ways to provide it.

I agree there are a set of rules we need to agree uponthat will help us do the work we need to for the school district. It is very easy at the board meeting to say was everyone heard did we get everything on the agenda, was everyone respected and heard. People need different things to make a decision.

There is a lot of discussion on accountability. People need to know how I stand on issues because they have the right to vote me on and off the board. They also have the right to come up to me and ask why I voted a certain way and tell me something maybe I didn't know. It makes us a better and more healthy board and it connects us to the community. The communications is extremely important.

Viewpoints on the following:

Budget cuts: You want to keep them as far away from the kids as possible. You need to make sure you have a good budget process. I liked what we did two years ago with the finance committee. We started getting the reports we needed, started getting more comfortable with reports. I don't know why we stopped. I think we should relook at our budget process. With the budget we need to make sure our priorities are mirrored in our budget. We shouldn't have people surprised about our priorities and not see it in our budget. Make sure evaluating all programs and if it's not working to get rid of them.

The 2012 $20 bond million: We shouldn't have spent the money for the special election. I don't understand the push because we didn't do our homework to put it in front of the public. I didn't feel like we spent the time with our teachers, students, parents and community is this what we want. I love technology. I think it does play a part in student achievement but there are other things.

District transparency: The more people understand about the district, the better it is for us. I don't understand why we wouldn't provide information. Maybe the public has some solutions. You can't be part of the solution if you don't have the information.

State wide school of choice: I am not for it. One thing you are doing in a school district is understanding the needs of your students. You put programs in to allow that to happen.The idea of opening enrollment will improve education I don't know if that's true. To force all schools to do it, I don't know if it cost effective. All students need to be serviced I just don't know if it's cost effective. It is the tax payers money.

Charter schools: It all depends on the details. They have a place in an area where they aren't good schools or access to good schools. I have a problem if they are receiving tax payers money but aren't held to the same standards as public schools. There should be quality standards for the charter schools. I don't think we need them in Clarkston.

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