Saturday, October 4, 2014

Get to Know the Candidates: A Q&A w/ John Weyer, Fort Thomas Board of Education

John Weyer is running for election to the Fort Thomas Board of Education/Provided
This November, three members of the Fort Thomas Board of Education are up for re-election. In addition to the incumbents, there are two challengers running for seats on the Board. As part of FTM's efforts to keep you, the Fort Thomas electorate, informed and prepared for the upcoming elections, the Q&A below is part of an ongoing series, "Get to Know the Candidates." Each participant is asked an identical set of questions.

Challenger John Weyer is a life-long resident of Fort Thomas and a graduate of Highlands High School. John and his wife Tonya, also an HHS grad, have three children currently attending Fort Thomas schools, along with another who has already graduated from Highlands. Weyer has been involved in FTIS athletics, serving as Ruth Moyer soccer coordinator, Ruth Moyer boosters basketball coach, as well as serving on the HMS Site-Based Decision Making Council in years past. Weyer is also the President of the Fort Thomas Swim Club.

FTM: What is your connection to Fort Thomas Schools and the Fort Thomas community at large?

My wife Tonya and I are both life-long residents of Fort Thomas and graduates of Highlands High School.  I graduated in 1984 and Tonya in 1987.  We reside at 46 Fischer Lane with our four children.  Jenna (HHS class of '12), Justin ('15), Abby, ('17) and Adam ('20) have attended Fort Thomas Schools since kindergarten. 

I was an active parent while my children attended Ruth Moyer Elementary.  I volunteered as the Ruth Moyer soccer coordinator, a Ruth Moyer boosters basketball coach, a lunchroom volunteer, and a Junior Achievement presenter.  I was a member of the Highlands Middle School SBDM council for three years and served on the Local Planning Committee for facilities in 2011. Currently, I am a member of the Highlands Athletic Boosters, serving as President for the last two school years.

Outside of the school system I have stayed busy as well.  I was a board member and registrar for the Campbell County North Soccer club for many years.  I am finishing up my ninth year as a board member of the Fort Thomas Swim Club.  I have been the President of this organization for the last seven years.

Why are you seeking a seat on the Fort Thomas Board of Education?

There are so many great reasons to call the city of Fort Thomas home.  At the very top of that list is the school system.  I value the education that I received, and I am most grateful that my children are benefiting from that same exceptional educational experience.  My passion for education and my respect for our school system has driven me to be seek election to the board. 

What would be your first order of business to bring before the Board, if elected? 

I do not have a "first order of business" or an agenda for seeking election to the school board.   Even with all the positive things going on within the district, there will always be challenges and

hurdles to overcome.  I am interested in working with the other members of the board to find the best solutions for the students of our district.  I will use the experience I have attained from working as a pharmacy manager to give input and work toward consensus to solve the problems the students, faculty, and administration are facing.

What, in your opinion, should the district do to address the continued challenge of obtaining funding and other support from the state and federal governments?

Our district has done a wonderful job of overcoming the funding inequities between districts in our state.  We need to keep the issue in the forefront.  We need to continue to work with our local state representatives to get changes in the current formula.  The recent announcement of the funding for Ruth Moyer Elementary is a direct result of the influence our local politicians can have.  We should be most grateful to State Senator Katie Stine and her work to reward districts like Fort Thomas Independent that raise local funds to fight the state shortfalls.

What do you see as the District's top priority(ies) now and moving forward over the next four years and beyond?

With the promise of funding for a renovated/new Ruth Moyer just being announced, the focus will now need to turn to Johnson Elementary.  It is extremely important that all of our buildings facilitate a great learning environment.  With the help of the Fort Thomas Education Foundation and their fundraising efforts, the board has been able to complete many projects,  but there is still work to be done.  I look forward to seeing the work begin on the Ruth Moyer campus and then focusing on a fiscal plan for a new Johnson Elementary.

Another area of concern is school safety.  Our student population has grown by several hundred over the last few years.  With the increase number of students comes logistical problems.  Student drop-off and pick-up, especially at the elementary level, is very challenging.  We have made changes and adapted with relative success.  The district must continue to be creative to ensure that every child is in a safe environment from the time they arrive at school until they are home. 

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