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Valpo residents voice ideas about schools

Updated: May 24, 2013 6:22AM



VALPARAISO — Residents had their say about this year’s school board appointment interviews, and they focused on board transparency, reclaiming the school’s reputation as the best and looking to education’s future.

Valparaiso is one of the few school corporations in the state that have an appointed board and residents told the council at Monday’s meeting what they believe is important.

One resident and teacher wanted to know how the new board member would conduct the search for a new superintendent differently, given that there have been three superintendents in about five years, the current one a temporary situation.

Former Principal Steve Cronk said when he taught in Valparaiso, “We were open and very public” and “We talked about being the best.”

Everyone worked together on the board, administration and teachers, but now Valparaiso doesn’t have the respect around the state anymore, he said.

Debbie Fray said she left teaching because of the lack of respect

Richard Wheeler wanted residents to be able to ask question after hearing the candidates instead of having to submit them beforehand and wanted board members that will let Indianapolis know that we’re not happy with education being funded by sales taxes because of a property tax cap.

Teacher’s union president Juanagene Nietert said she wanted someone who understands education and is “willing to go down and talk to state legislators.”

Landon Davison, a Valparaiso High School Senior and President of the high school’s Student Education Association, wanted to see students used as a resource instead of a novelty when they speak up.

The City Council will choose new school board members by the end of June. The process begins with people applying by noon on May 31.

The council will choose five candidates to interview, which will take place before the June 10 council meeting and then again involving the public before the June 24 meeting.



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