BYRON (WIFR) – Three Byron Board of Education members have announced that they will seek re-election in the April 9 election. President Doug Floski, Vice-President Kathi Gehrke and Building and Grounds Committee Chairman Matt Meyers will all seek second terms on the board.
“Four years ago, we ran for election on a platform of fiscal responsibility, restoring academic rigor and improving the district’s relationships with the community and with other taxing bodies,” Floski said. “We believe we have fulfilled those objectives and we would like the opportunity to continue working on the district’s behalf.”
Gehrke listed among the board’s record of accomplishments: passing a balanced budget, significantly reducing employee insurance costs, reducing legal fees by more than 30 percent, restoring “live Spanish,” general education aids and academically talented programming; increasing technical training for staff,, securing a $250,000 “Safe Routes to Schools” grant, and involving teachers and the community in hiring Supt. Dr. James Hammack.
In addition, the board has adopted a legitimate strategic planning process, imposed better cost controls and begun to study staffing needs based on declining enrollment. The board is currently in the process of seeking community input regarding the future of the old Middle School, and is preparing for the potentiality of negotiations with Exelon Nuclear during the upcoming property assessment process.
Meyers said the list of accomplishments was possible because the current board, which includes members Ed Clift, Carol Nauman, Bill Craig and John Hess, listen to the community and work well together.
“We believe a school board functions best when there is a team working together with a common vision,” Meyers said. “While Doug, Kathi and I come from markedly different backgrounds – Doug’s children are BHS grads, my grandchildren are students and Kathi’s children are just starting their academic careers – we share a common vision of achievement through rigor, strong staff support and extensive community involvement.”
While test scores rose slightly in the last year under the standards of the federally mandated “No Child Left Behind,” Floski, Gehrke and Meyers all said their goal was to work with principals and Dr. Hammack to bring test scores, particularly those at Byron High School, back to where they were during Byron’s most successful years.
“We have always had tremendous staff, committed parents and hardworking students,” Floski said. “Now, we also have a superintendent who is committed to rigor and knows how to improve student achievement. We are extremely optimistic about the future of Byron Schools. Kathi, Matt and I would like the opportunity to continue to be a part of this great district.”