Editor’s note: The Herald will take a break from the candidate information for the week of the Pumpkin Show, but will run the remaining candidate information the following week.
ASHVILLE — There are four candidates vying for three seats on Teays Valley’s School Board.
Bill Clay, Roxanne Davis, Karen Karshner and Bill McGowan are all running in the race with voting taking place on Nov. 5. Both Karshner and McGowan are incumbents.
Clay, 36, is a customer programming scheduling leader and has a political science degree from Columbus State.
Davis, 56, studied agricultural economics and business management attending both SUNY Morrisville and Cornell University and is currently the office manager at Oliver-Cheek Funeral Home in Ashville.
Karshner, 67, is a retired classroom teacher has a bachelor’s degree in education from Capital University and a master degree in reading education from the University of Dayton.
McGowan, 66, is a director of facility services and safety.
All four candidates responded to the Circleville Herald’s candidate questionnaire and below are their full responses edited only to fix spelling and grammar errors and for style. The responses are unedited for content.
Candidate Bill Clay
Describe what is motivating you to seek office? My primary motivation for running for this office is making sure the needs of the students are met in the ever changing environment that is public education. There are a lot of requirements placed on teachers that get passed down to the students. I believe that we, as a district, need to ensure our students are not adversely affected. Their success will be our success as a community.
What makes you feel like you’re the best candidate for the position? I believe what sets me apart is my role as a young father with children in the school district and my passion for the students at Teays Valley. I attended Teays Valley from kindergarten through 12th grade and therefore know the quality and standards for which we should be striving.
I have talked to staff and faculty from other neighboring school districts and built relationships with many of the teachers and administration at Teays Valley, so I am well aware of our current struggles and what other local areas are facing so I can help us avoid those same issues. I am in my fourth year of leading the TVHS FCA organization along with my wife. Through serving in this role I get to interact with high school students and their parents.
As a father with two children currently in elementary school, I interact with their classmates and parents where we share insight. From those perspectives I feel I have a much clearer vision of the daily concerns of the students and parents than others may have, as well as the areas in which our district excels.
Articulate your thoughts on the three biggest issues you deem most important and why? The first issue I see with our district, and with many school districts, is the limited ability for teachers to focus on their students’ education. In recent years, there has been a shift from parents helping kids with homework and studying with them for important tests to now the responsibility rests solely with the teachers.
The second issue is the growth within our district, both residentially and commercially. We have an opportunity to positively position ourselves for the future with taxes and outside funds, but we have to make sure doing so does not affect us negatively in the short term. The financial stability and use of resources we currently have should be a primary focus.
The third issue is that our decisions as a school board reflect the moral standards of our community. Many school districts around the country are quick to make decisions out of fear. I want to make sure we make timely decisions, but ones that are rooted in community standards. Our community is strong and will support the school district as long as their best interest is kept in mind.
Do you have any additional comments or message to relay to the public? As stated before, I have a tremendous respect for our faculty and staff as well as this school district as a whole. After college my wife and I moved just out of the district. However, as soon as we found out we were expecting our first child, we knew we wanted to move back in the Teays Valley district so our children could experience a superior education.
I am blessed to get to serve our high school students as an advisor for the TVHS FCA. Seeing the passion of these students to influence the high school and surrounding community in a positive way has inspired me to do the same. I would be honored to have your vote and promise to be a voice for the parents, students and staff on the Teays Valley School Board of Education.
Candidate Roxanne Davis
Describe what is motivating you to seek office? I have been encouraged and approached by many people the last several years to run for the Board of Education. I have been very involved throughout the last 22 years in many different local groups and activities while raising our boys. I have volunteered in the community and have listened to many people’s opinions and concerns. I want to continue to serve our community, and make sure that we are all doing the best we can for our kids. Our boys are both on their own with their own careers, and I feel like the time is right to be involved at a different level at Teays Valley.
What makes you feel like you’re the best candidate for the position? I’m a good candidate for the Teays Valley Board of Education, because I have been very involved in many positive things in our district. I was a founding member of the Teays Valley Educational Foundation, which has provided 10s of thousands of dollars of classroom grants and scholarships for students at Teays Valley to go onto college. I have served as President and Treasurer of PTOs and Booster Clubs.
I have always actively supported the activities or sports my boys were involved in by helping with fundraisers, functions or feeding the team, while at many times taking an active role in leading these activities. I have always made it a point to attend events and listen to other parents and members of our community in order to understand the issues that we face so we may better tackle them. At the end of the day, I am running for Teays Valley Board of Education to be a voice for our community and to make our school district better for everyone.
Articulate your thoughts on three issues you deem most important and why?
1. Growth in the District and managing it with common sense and economic strategies.
2. Common sense curriculum and maintaining the values of our District.
3. I will be a Dedicated, Dependable “All In” Team Player for Teays Valley as a whole and always have a Viking Heart.
Do you have any additional comments or message to relay to the public? I have been a Scioto Township resident for 30 years, having moved here from upstate New York in 1989 after transferring with my job in Ag. Finance and getting married to Larry W. Davis. Proud mom of Grant Davis, TV Class of 2011 and Neal, TV Class of 2016.
I am proud to be involved and to have recently served on the Leadership Committee for the new Pickaway County Agriculture and Event Center (Fairgrounds). I have been a 27-year active member of the Presbyterian Church in Circleville, having served as Elder, Deacon and Trustee and Pres. Women Treas. for many years. I am currently the organizational 4-H Advisor of Scioto Sassafras and have been involved with the club for 17 years. I also serve on the Advisory Board for Pickaway County Community Foundation. Overall, I’m going to be an active and visible member of the school board, who will listen, learn, and work hard on behalf of the people in our district.
Incumbent Karen Karshner
Describe What is Motivating You to Seek Office? I want to continue my service to the Teays Valley School District. I love the students, staff and our district. It was very good to me when I taught there for 32 of my 36 years that I was a classroom teacher. My children were also graduates of the district. I want to give back to our district with further service to it. 1 believe in what Teays Valley is offering our students in their education, and I want to keep working for the continued growth of our students. I want those students to have the same successes and opportunities that my children were able to experience while at Teays Valley. I feel I can do this with my re-election to the Teays Valley Board of Education.
What Makes You Feel Like You’re the Best Candidate for the Position? I believe in public education and am proud of the successes our district has had. Because of my past teaching experience, I can bring an understanding and educational perspective to the school board. I know first-hand what our students need to be successful. As a current member of the Board of Education, I have an understanding of state laws and board policies that govern school districts and school boards.
Articulate Your Thoughts on the Three Issues You Deem Most Important and Why? 1. I think it is very important that our district remain fiscally responsible to our taxpayers. We can continue to do this by staying focused on our five-year capital spending plan. Through this five-year plan, we are able to prepare for the 2019/2020-2024 school year in the areas of curriculum, technology, maintenance and transportation.
2. The administration and the board of education need to continue planning for the future increase in our student population, which will be critical in the next few years. It is important that we start discussing long range plans to deal with the growth within our district.
3. Many changes and improvements have been made for the safety of our students. Our students’ safety must continue to be our top priority. Our students’ safety must include and address mental health education. We are blessed in our district to have guidance counselors in each building and access to social workers in those buildings. The welfare of our students and their education must be constantly addressed so that we educate our students to be productive, successful community members once they graduate from Teays Valley High School.
Do You Have Any Additional Comments to Relay to the Public? I am asking that the Teays Valley community re-elect me and allow me to continue serving our district. I am asking that you allow me to use my years of teaching experience to bring an awareness of the challenges facing our educators and our school district. My eight years as a board of education member and 36 years as a classroom teacher, help me bring a realistic balance to the board of education.
Incumbent Bill McGowan
Describe what is motivating you to seek office? After 20 years on the Teays Valley Board of Education and 18 years on the Eastland Fairfield Career Center’s board, I still get excited when I see students pursuing their dreams. The excitement in their eyes on the first day of school and the joy when they graduate are things that made me want to continue. It has been an honor serving the public and I would like the privilege to do this four more years. I would like to continue my work on the boards so we can offer as many diverse opportunities as possible to see all of our students achieve their dreams.
What makes you feel like you are the best candidate for this position? I have a drive and a sincere dedication to see our students grow and become successful adults. I want to continue to be able to provide opportunities for them that will enhance that goal coming to fruition.
Articulate your thoughts on the three issues you deem most important and why: I am sad to say it, but I feel that safety has become our number one issue in schools. We have made sure our buildings are secure and access is very limited throughout the day. Recently a wall was constructed that provides protection for our high school students that travel between the two buildings on the high school campus. All of buildings now have a guidance counselor to work with students and provide help, if needed. We have a safety resource officer and are looking at the possibility of adding more if the funding is available. There are security cameras in all of the buildings. Safety drills are conducted throughout the year.
Education which should be our number one priority is still our main objective, but it is very difficult to learn if you don’t feel safe. The continuing improvement plan is an integral tool in our education process. Administrators, staff, and parents meet to work on this every year. It identifies areas that are working and what isn’t working. It is used to assign goals and objectives. it identifies who is responsible for making sure that these are achieved.
Growth in our district continues to be a concern. We continue to work with P3 and other community leaders to ensure that the district is getting the best possible tax deals that we can negotiate. Northern Pickaway County is experiencing tremendous development in commercial and industrial businesses. New housing developments are being built or in the plans to be built. We need to monitor this growth so we can plan for new schools when the need arises.
Do you have any additional comments or message to relay to the public? I want to continue the success we have developed in our district.