Source: Sherman Publications

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Incumbents campaign to keep seats
Cheryl McGinnis

October 31, 2012

Cheryl McGinnis, Clarkston resident for 28 years: married to Mark for 28 years; three children: Sarah 26, Natalee 24, and Patrick 21 all Clarkston High School graduates.

Employed at Contract Professionals Inc., as a Payroll and Billing Specialist in Accounting since 1997. Previously worked at General Dynamics Land System in International Marketing.

Parent co-chair of 1992 bond for what is now known as Springfield Plains Elementary.; Founding community members of The Clarkston Coalition for Youth, instrumental in bring the Search Institutes' Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth initiative to Clarkston; Served as District PTA Council President and CHS PTSA President for four years.

Currently, second round participant in application for Michigan Fellowship Leadership Program Fellowship out of MSU. It is a fellowship to provide leadership and skills to people in local and potentially local and federal governmental agencies.

Current Board of Education, second year as President in my fifth year of on the board. During my tenure on the board I have also served as Vice President and Secretary.

I have a passion for the community I live in. I have a passion for the kids. I have spent the majority of my married, adult life working for the betterment of my community and the betterment of the education provided for our kids. I would like to continue to bring to Clarkston to have innovative choices for our students that enrich their academic choices that add rigor and raise the bar. I have a desire to continue to "Make a Difference" in my community.

I see my role as parent/teacher of my own kids. I am their first educator and I embrace parents who the students in the district are theirs first. I am passionate about the education my kids get at home and the education my kids get in school.I feel I help present the fact that the schools and learning is a partnership between home and school. We have a good partnership in Clarkston and parent involvement. I am an advocate for my community as my first occupation. Secondly, my real life job in the accounting department at CPI brings me an understanding of the ever changing business environment progressive with technology. I successfully manage a multitude of accounts with the use of technology that 20 years was only seen in a cutting edge business environment. My daily work in an accounting environment brings the challenges of projections, analysis and budget into my everyday responsibilities. I also work in an environment that is constantly pushing the envelope to capture the cost benefits of greater efficiencies by using technology. My day-to-day work environment experiences enable me to understand what is minimally necessary of our graduating students from Clarkston Community Schools for them to be ready for the 21st Century workforce.

What do you hope to accomplish if voted onto the board? I 'd like to continue to be part of a board that set policies and allocates funds for the Superintendent to run the district that locally we feel is what we want to provide to our youngest citizenry. I think Clarkston has very acknowledged standards of what we want for our kids and they are good standards. I desire to continue to bring innovative programs and initiatives like Cultures of Thinking to Clarkston while continuing to offer a multitude of career tracks curriculums for all students. Not every child is going to graduate from Clarkston wanting to go to college and I want to make sure we have a diverse portfolio of classes and career tracks that every child who graduates from Clarkston High School has the opportunity that has the base line knowledge to explore what works for them.

Viewpoints on the following:

Budget cuts: They are not fun, however, we have an absolute need to have a balanced budget. This must be done by working in concert with the ACCORD process with our teacher's union and administration to balance the budget without making additional cuts that harm our kids teaching and learning in the classroom. We can not continue to cut our budget while we still have excess fund equity. The time to use our reserves for our kids is now! The money does not help educate our kids sitting in the bank.

The 2012 $20 million bond: I fully respect the voice of the voters. I understand not wanting to raise their taxes. I respect that very much. The administration is continuing to work and find in the budget and small amounts of money. Through the efforts of the administration, I look forward to continued dialogue and analysis of the district's capital and technology needs. I believe I had a dutifully responsiblilty if the taxpayers wanted to pay for what was necessary or not. I stand behind the choice letting the voters choose. It was a lot about time for some people. The need hasn't changed.

District transparency: I believe currently the district is meeting all obligations under current Transparency Reporting requirements. I support, with the Superintendent's recommendation to the Policy Committee a review of how and what kind of data can be provided to our citizens to increase our transparency beyond that dedicated by law.

State wide School of Choice: I believe as tax payers we should be front and center on the issue of what we feel is locally what we want to provide for our community and how we pay for our choices. We should continually have a voice on what we want for our district. Currently there is too much unknown to speculate on how this statewide choice would work to ensure locally taxed dollars and capital facilities are first utilized for the benefit of the communities' residents.

Charter Schools: I don't believe taxpayers dollars should fund for profit public school enterprises. What doesn't make sense is having an unlimited number go unregulated using taxpayers dollars in today's economy with limited checks and balances.