7 in hunt for 2 seats on board; candidates stress need for change


Read the full story here: 7 in hunt for 2 seats on board
The Nov. 6 election will be the climax of an increasingly fierce seven-person race for two seats on the Toledo Board of Education.

Unlike some other elections for the city's school board, this one moved into high gear with a former Toledo mayor unexpectedly entering the contest, mini-debate after debate, wrangling among the candidates, and one endorsed candidate dropping out after an indictment on six counts of child endangerment.

The Blade asked the candidates to answer questions about themselves and address some of the issues facing the 29,000-student school system. Many of the answers boiled down to one thing: The school system needs change, and each candidate believes he or she is the person who will make that happen.

No votes yet

Out of the seven candidates there are only two who should be running. The other five are a joke. I'm glad I don't have any children in TPS.

May I ask who your two would be?

For those of you interested, I have an extended version of my answers on my Web site. Sometimes it is hard to discuss the issues in 50 words or less.


My two choices are Cheryl Catlin and Chris Myers!!!

Give Peace a chance.

Do you have a choice? Also how did you like the debates?


From the comments above, it seems like some did not listen to the debate too well. We need much more on the TSB than just "balance," whatever that means. Ms Catlin has given more than lip service to the children in the Toledo school system. She has given of herself to try to help those children where there was no help. If you listen to her answer on why her own child is not in the Toledo public school system, you are listening to a mother who has sacrificed to try to educate her child, so he will have at least a fighting chance when he has to face this world we live in. I have read her statistics, I have seen her present her findings, I have talked to her. She is the only one running who impresses me as having a real vision of educating EVERY child.

I have been told that this young abductee's father is a judge. I do not want to use the name, in the event this information is erroneous. However, if this is the case, why has his name not been mentioned? In most news stories, the family is very m

The proof will be in the pudding when Sandy's candidate Lisa Sobecki's children are out of elementary school. Will she send her children to Leverette or Woodward? I think NOT!

Point Place parents do not "traditionally" send their children to public school after elementary. And I don't blame them. But don't demonize a parent for not sending their children to Glendale/Fulton, Robinson and Scott. All parents regardless of economic standing want a quality education for their children and not everyone can get into Old West End Academy or Grove Patterson. You might not get picked in the lottery. (LOL)

After a quality education at these two schools where do parents send their children for Junior High and High School?

At the debate today at McKinley Elementary, Ms. Sobecki stated tonight that she is going to send her children to Leverette and Woodward when they come of age. Now that is scary because if you will say that you will sacrifice your children to schools in either academic watch or academic emergency just to get on the school board, what else will you say and do.

The status quo really wants a seat on that board. Being endorsed by the unions will not bring changes to the Toledo Public School System. We need deep systemic changes. Good schools, equate good neighborhoods and good jobs.

We all have the right to educate our children in the best schools possible and in the schools that we pick as parents. Lisa Sobecki

A school board member needs to do two things:
1. monitor the district's finances
2. work with the four other members to provide governance to the organization (which includes things like selecting, reviewing and terminating a superintendent and treasurer, setting policies, oversight). They are like a mini-legislature. They are not there to operate the district. That's what they hired the superintendent to do.

Please tell me, what qualifications do any of these people have to monitor the district's finances? Has any of these people (with the exception of Jack Ford) ever served on or worked with a governing board or body of signficance (I'm not talking about a church committee or neighborhood non-profit board)?

The candidates' literature and what I've read in The Blade and other local papers simply touts personal experiences that have little to nothing to do with the governance of the district. When I've asked a couple of them personally about their experience in governance and finance, I get a blank stare, or a non-answer.

Having passion for the schools is important, but more importantly, I want someone who can look at the budget and understand what he or she is reading. I also want someone who can see the big picture and demand results for the greater good.

I don't want a cheerleader, a chronic malcontent, a (aspiring or experienced) politician, a muck raker, or a rubber stamp.

Is there someone who is actually qualified? Doesn't look like it to me.

TPSParent, I posted the position description below from Glass City Jungle. I have proposed a way to bring people to the table to help with fiscal oversight, because no one person can know everything, which is one of my inspirations for http://www.ideasfortps.com .


I have already demonstrated being a good community liaison and keeping the public informed by reporting meetings and helping establish citizen engagement through http://www.ideasfortps.com and http://www.tpssearch.com.

And my educational background will allow me to provide guidance, and evaluate policy and set good goals as well as effectively hire and evaluate employees of the board.


Position: Board of Education Member

Description: Employs, supervises and evaluates the district superintendent and treasurer; reviews and approves the school district budget and monetary expenditures, establishes policies to govern and give guidance by which the district will function; establishes district goals in conjunction with the district superintendent, oversees and evaluates district performance and acts as a school district liaison with community members.

Essential Functions (not in order of importance):

Thank you, purnhrt, for bringing up that the concern over where Ms. Catlin's child goes to school was introduced by Larry Sykes, which was meant to be another one of his insults. I was at that Board meeting, and his whole demeanor was one of disrespect. His children went to catholic schools. Thank you, Chris, for publishing the job description of a board member. No where did I see that there is a requirement for the candidates' children to attend a TPS school. As far as Lisa's statement as to where her children will attend Jr. High and High School, it is safe for her to say anything now, because her children will not be at that stage before the election. I think it is time to either give Cheryl some credit for making a right decision for her child; or drop this moot issue. It is time for us to focus on the important issues facing Toledo public schools; the candidates -- who they are, what they propose, and how sincere we think each one really is. Lisa Sobecki scares me, as I can see her as being more of the same.

I have been told that this young abductee's father is a judge. I do not want to use the name, in the event this information is erroneous. However, if this is the case, why has his name not been mentioned? In most news stories, the family is very m

Chris Myers and Lisa Sobecki. I think they will bring a balance to the board.

rescue me

I won't say. I don't want to specifically offend anyone.

Most of the comments prior to yours were posted before the debate.

My most obvious choice is Lisa. However, I have not been able to decide on the second seat vote. I really think they all have a lot to offer our students. I do enjoy the debates, it allows me to learn more about the electives. Last night I enjoyed seeing more personality of Ted Jobe and Mosley. I am not sure if they have a broad enough knowledge to give our district all its needs. I think Jack Ford has a lot of community connections. I am concerned about two candidates not sending their children to our school district. I think one needs to live, function, and participate in our school district to understand its needs.

I hope you realize I am not a bad person, we just have different point of views. I respect your time that you give advocating for studentsand children in our community. I know how time consuming it is and we would not do it if we did not care. We just handle issues differently. Diversity makes the world go around!

I see your points......

As a parent, I saw myself when my children were young and my wife and I made decisions for them, as the guardian of their future. I wanted to put my children in public school because I got a great public education and felt that it best prepared them for the diversity they would encounter in life.

However, as their "protector" I felt that my personal political aspirations or involvement should not color my decisions of what was in their best interests. My decisions were always to put that future above my politics.

I sent my daughter to Notre Dame after it became apparent to me that a TPS education even at Start was not going to be in her long term best interests. After all, we only have 13 years to get it right. I know that I was fortunate enough to make that decision and sacrifice, but as she approaches completion of her college education I know I did the right thing for her.

Sobecki has every right to take the approach she does. And many children regardless of what schools they attend will do great especially if they have strong parental support. At times I use to say that my children were succeeding despite the schools they attended.

If I had the means, I would not send my children to Leverette and Woodward. Except for some elementary schools, I would not send my child to any TPS school. If I had the means, I would want the best available and as parents we don't have the option of doing it over. On the other hand, there are many without the means so we must continue to advocate for change and a quality education for every child regardless of where they are educated.

As of today I am still unsure who I plan to vote for for school board. There are aspects to Mrs. Sobecki that quite frankly I both applaud and agree with. There are also other aspects to which I wonder does she truly understand what the problems are. I do think whole-heartedly that she should not have stated she would send her kids to Woodward. Even if this is the truth, based on the debates Monday (which I was at) many will say she is just saying this for the questions posed to the other candidates.

I will say that all the candidates seemed to have good points in the debate. But then again, they all could have said anything. The only candidate that I found myself scratching my head wondering about was Jack Ford. I very much so think he has no idea what he is talking about. He is a career politician ... and what is a politician without a position? The unfortunate side is I fear he will win a seat; if based on nothing else but name recognition.

I did find myself impressed with Mr. Ted Jobe. Let me say from the beginning I am a teacher within TPS. Now before I am slandered and whatever else could be think about let me say that I both agree and critique TPS. Things should be done different and new board members are needed. I thought Mr. Jobe (while comedic in his own right) laid the problems down. He did not hide from them. And how many board members in the history of Toledo Public Schools have actually taught in one of those buildings? 38 years (if I recall correctly) speaks for something.

Mr. Meyers, I must say that you presented your campaign and elaborated your positions very nicely. I think you have stated and brought forth points that need to be brought up.

Again, this is just a post from a dreaded "undecided" voter.

Seriously sit back and think about it.


Smilin' Jack will win one, even though he's totally worthless. You can take it to the bank. Guranteed.



"They keep talking about drafting a constitution for Iraq.Why don't we give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and we're not using it any more".


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

I do not believe you would offend anyone. However, it is nice to hear others perspectives.

Sandy, I don't know why you would be concerned about the two candidates not sending their children to TPS schools. One of them said it was a choice based on religion. Ms. Catlin certainly made a choice based on hard experience, looking at the facts; trying to get the Board and others to recognize the educational situation in Toledo and no one was interested, long before she decided to to run for a seat on the Board. Living in the Old West End for 35 years; attending military, catholic and public schools which has given her an insight into different systems; and wanting to give her child a fighting chance was her motivation. Should this subject her to criticism? In fact, it says that since her child is apparently in a "safe educational environment," why is she so dedicated to trying to upgrade the education in the public schools? Her wanting to do something to work with others toward making a change wasn't started from her child failing a test; it was started because she is a product of the Toledo school system, and her heart was hurting watching what was happening all around her. Since she could not get the TPS Board, Administration or those in other appropriate places to listen, she decided to try to get involved in the process. That's a plus on my board.

I have been told that this young abductee's father is a judge. I do not want to use the name, in the event this information is erroneous. However, if this is the case, why has his name not been mentioned? In most news stories, the family is very m

I totally agree with you Mr. Flagg. All children have obstacles bigger than you or I, regardless of the school they attend. However, if they are raised in a loving, caring and respected home with family morales and values, children know how to make the right choices. This is what I advocate in our schools, increase parent involvement! However, TPS has not found an effective way to do so. This is something, I feel, Lisa understands.

Lee well said! Cheryl really does look beyond herself. Watching her start with a problem in her community and seeing her realize that advocating for every child brings us all together with common goals has been very heartening!

Lisa may well be a fine person. However

for increased parent involvement long before you or Lisa came on the scene. Peter Silverman and I collaborated on the parent involvement policy. If you have not seen it, get a copy. This policy has not been implemented! In 2001 and again in 2003, we put a proposal together to implement the policy and get parents involved in all aspects from bake sales to decision making. We asked the district to partner with us. We would raise the funds and do the work. Sanders said no and his passive board went along with him. I truly believe they fear an army of parents as advocates for children!

This district pays lip service to parent involvement - then and now! TPS and their union leadership understands how things would change if there really were parents in the schools. Regardless of what they say they really don't want parent involvement unless they control it. We also understand that many of the current practices would not stand with active parents. We also understand the importance of the parent - teacher relationship. I always believed that the student was captain of the team and parents and teachers were the coaches and players (dual role).

I applaud Lisa for her involvement in her school - and you as well. But I don't believe Lisa understands the obstacles that will be faced and need to be overcome in our central city. We need more than a cheerleader as a board member.

So we probably agree to some extent on parent involvement - Don't know about the part regarding decision making. I don't agree with you regarding your selection of candidates as there is more to this than being an active parent in her school and the district!

Get a copy of the policy, read it and call me (I'm in the phone book). We can discuss what was done - a little history - and how we might go further with this concept.

How do I get a copy? I had heard Silverman was good as a BOE member, however, I was not as involved then. I do respect the facts and your knowledge you bring forth. I would love to learn somethings from you. I will attempt to get a copy of the policy.

I hit many road blocks at the BOE as well. I may be a cheerleader, but I receive no special treatment, as many think. You attended the policy meeting where I tried to hold the district more responsible and accountable for the lack of speech therapist and the students, who by law are to be provided speech. Nonetheless, the district is still short 6 therapist, which means @ 12 schools are not providing speech in accordance to the IEP. This is a Federal law. I get just as frustrated on issues as you too.

This whole thing about school unions endorsing candidates who will allegedly negotiate with them is a conflict of interest that we need to stop accepting.

The unions represent the teachers and administrators. We taxed citizens elect representatives to negotiate with these unions. If the candidates are in cahoots with the unions, then the system BREAKS.

The unions don't NEED representation on the TPS Board. WE TAXPAYERS DO. It's time to put a stop to this self-serving and insular nonsense.

You can get a copy through the BOE office. You get get it at TPS' web site if they really had a site with current information that was pertinent to teachers, parents, community, etc. - sorry but this is a real sore point with me after they spent money on a new web site design......

Or you can download it here - http://tpsinfo.com/documents/Parent_Involvement_Policy_IGBL.pdf at TPSINFO.COM where you find information, analysis and opinion from an informed, independent source with the actual source materials so you can form you own opinion.

I have been upset by ther lack of development of the web-site as well. It was suppose to be a communication tool between schools and home. However, I am not sure of the delays. Parents meet with the web design co. at parent congress and we all told them what our parents wanted. So far, none has been up and running as discussed. I hear your frustrations and understand......believe me. Thanks for the info.

I will be at DeVeaux tomorrow, I look forward to getting to know the canidates. I am at heart a "West End girl", so I look forward to seeing my old school as well.

Do you know why this policy has not been an outline for parent involvement in our schools?

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