August 06, 2014 - After carefully weighing all the pros and cons, Mike Schweig decided to cast his name into the pool of candidates running for Oxford School Board.
Schweig (click for larger version)
"I think I bring some expertise to the table, obviously as an educator, but also as a community member and a parent," Schweig said. "I feel like I could be a strong contributing member to the school board."
Schweig spent 30 years in education, as teacher and administrator, 15 of those years were right here in Oxford as principal of Oxford High School and Bridges High School/ Crossroads for Youth, as well as athletic director for Oxford Middle School.
"I think I'm pretty well known in the district over the last 15 years to students, parents and community members. From that aspect I think people at least know who I am," he added. "I (have) a wide variety of experiences and I hope to apply that to being a school board member."
Schweig said the best education he received in school administration is what he called his "early training," where he spent three summers as a custodian at his old high school, while going to college.
"I think that put me in tune with a lot of what goes on in schools and how you need to look at things in terms of all employees contributing to the benefit of students and seeing how they can (contribute,) he said. "That actually, I think has served me the best, in working in administration."
What are some highlights?
As for highlights of the district, Schweig has been proud of Oxford's "strong financial position."
"That's very important that the district has been able to attract increased enrollment and actually improve the financial standing through fund equity," he noted.
With four possible new members on the board, Schweig sees great opportunity for the board to take a "fresh look" at the programs that are in place and really determine their value.
"I think we need to as a board look at what programs have been successful and are doing well and then make a decision, if they've served their purpose or we want to continue supporting those," he added. "More importantly what programs do we need to shore up or implement new ideas?"
Policies, procedures and practices are another thing he said need further evaluation. However, that evaluation needs to be more than just administration.
"From a broad perspective (from both) the community and the parents I think we can get an excellent idea on where we need to go and where the district needs to go," he said.
What are his concerns?
Schweig believes morale, not only in the district but the community, needs to be brought up because he doesn't think the district uses community input enough except when it's to ask for more money through bonds.
"(The) Oxford school district and the Oxford community were built on grandparents, great grandparents and parents. I know people in the community whose families no longer have kids in the district but have (a) deep and strong interest (in) how the schools operate and a pride in their community," he explained. "I think we need to tap that resource more often other than when millages come up. That's when we contact people who don't have kids in the district or senior citizens."
As far as programs on an individual basis, Schweig said there are some he would like more information on, such as the sister schools in China.
"How are the schools we're running in China doing? We haven't really heard much about that, so I don't know," he said. "I think the global initiative is very much needed and we've done a great job on that as a district, but in some sense I think we've left behind our core values of what made Oxford Community - Oxford."
Overall Schweig said he's "excited to get involved" and is hopeful to be a contributing member to both the district and the school board.
"I think this is a great opportunity and I'm glad to see there is a lot of interest from candidates and (that) there are nine candidates running. It shows that it's important to people," he added. "I feel once the election results come through there will be a strong school board and a group that can move forward and make Oxford the best it can possibly be."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.