Saturday, May 14, 2011

Six Questions for Jim Rearic

Jim Rearic is running for one of three seats in Region I, which represents Bethel, Burrell, Cadogan, Ford City, Ford Cliff, Manor, Manorville, North Buffalo and West Kittanning.  This is part five.  We've heard from Dr. Lobby  and Larry Robb from Region I, Amy Lhote and Chris Choncek from Region II and Stan Berdell from Region III.  We look forward to reading the responses to the same six questions from the other candidates.

1- Since there seems to be quite a bit of negativity within the district, what do you feel is going right with ASD at this time?

I think our teachers are doing the best they can given the turmoil within the district. I also think the administration does what they have to do right now and that is provide answers that support the current board majority. Otherwise keep digging, if you get my point.

2- What are your ideas to improve student performance?

I am not an educator. So I will not pretend that I know what is missing. I do think that if you have transparency and trust between the board, the administration and the teachers, they will come forward with what it will take to raise the bar with respect to student performance. I also believe that the current board majority does not think that we need to improve student performance. They actually find it acceptable. I guess the key word to drive performance change is TRUST.

3- What is your biggest concern with ASD?

Our financial situation. The recent board majority has handcuffed this district with some severe future budgetary issues. They have borrowed money before actually needing it, factored in one time gains, with no answers to future budgets. There is an old saying from the cartoon Pop Eye: "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today". Not, in my opinion, financially responsible.

4- What is your perspective of the referendum question that has been placed on the ballot?

This could be the most absurd thing I have seen in the time I have been on the board. I have been accused of wanting this and saying that by a couple of other board members. I will tell you in my own words: that if I want something (forget the what) and it cost this (forget this) and I was trying to justify it through a referendum, I would not, repeat NOT, do an end around and try to confuse voters that if you do this, you will get that. I would at least have the respect for the voter that they can form their own opinion and I do not need to scare them into anything and would put down what I or the future board majority want to know the answer too. This is crazy.

5- What do you feel is the primary job of a school board?

A school board is like any other board. They oversee the actions and direction of the administration, period. To micro manage people to the point that they cannot do what we pay them for is just another example of this current board majority wasting tax dollars. Look at all of the people that left or were driven away?

6- What attributes, talents and abilities will you bring to our district?

First is experience. I have now been on the board for almost 4 years. I have a better feel for what goes on and how it operates. I just do not agree that this style of operation has to continue any further. As far as other attributes, talents and abilities: I feel I have proven experience in leading people, managing money, working with people, promoting growth, adjusting and dealing with change. To me this is the biggest. It is ok to change your mind and you should not be condemned for it for life. Like it or not things change. If someone really wants to look at something that is factual and consistent; What board member has the most tenure with in this district and then ask yourself, are we better off both from a financial and more importantly educationally stand point:? I say NO!