2 school board hopefuls take questions

Victor Perez and Randall Schwartz, two of four candidates for Tiffin City Board of Education, answered questions Wednesday night during 2017 Candidates Night.

One question was whether the Tiffin City School District is using its buildings efficiently.

Perez said he thought the district has not been using space efficiently and it has been an issue for him.

“We are not using the space the best way we can,” he said.

Schwartz, an incumbent, disagreed.

“We had to move away from the neighborhood schools due to budget cuts and we had done the best we could at the time,” he said.

Questions also focused on curriculum and student academics. For example, candidates were asked what more can be done to prepare students for college, scholarships and grants?

Schwartz indicated the district has “great counselors” but there is “always room for improvement.”

“We are currently in the process of having the counselors follow students through their years to get to know the student and assist them better,” he said.

Perez talked about moving the district away from College Credit Plus courses and back to advanced placement courses.

“We can’t control the cost of college tuition, but we can increase opportunities for more sports that students can qualify for,” he said.

Perez discussed how he would approach serving on the board, including being more forthcoming about the possibility of a new school building and improvements at the high school. He also talked about being more tuned in to academics for students, rather than depending on athletics.

Schwartz said the district has been making “great strides” with the hiring of Superintendent Gary Barber. He talked about developing a long-term plan with a curriculum audit that was conducted.

“Nothing is going to change overnight, but we are making great strides,” he said.

In his final statement, Schwartz said the education of students is the board’s greatest responsibility.

“As a (current) member of the board, all decisions are made with the best intentions for students at heart,” he said. “That is what I feel I have done in each of my terms and I’m asking for support to continue to do just that.”

Perez said he wants to focus on meeting the needs of all students, especially those with behavioral issues.

“We need to make it better for all students, not to just get by,” he said.

There are five members on the board and three members are to be elected Nov. 7 ballot to serve four-year terms. Candidates Jeffrey Hoyda and Chris Widman did not attend the event.

Also not in attendance were Cynthia Suter, candidate for Hopewell-Loudon school board, and Joshua Messersmith, a candidate for Mohawk school board.