To understand why I am running for school board, first one needs to know my journey. I am Ann Davis Meyer, life long resident of Fort Thomas, daughter of Donald and Mary Davis. My father was an educator and coach as his life’s work, eventually becoming a superintendent in Northern Kentucky. You could say that education was the family business, the subjects and ideas that were discussed around our dinner table were centered on school, education, learning, and what kind of people we wanted to be.
Some of you on my journey may know me as Ann Davis, class of 1974, sister of Ken Alexander, Jane Beyersdoerfer, or Sally Wright and wife of Frank Meyer. You may have joined me as we raised our Fort Thomas educated children, Amy Meyer Shaffer, Katie Meyer or Mitchell Meyer, working on committees and fund raisers. Some of you may know me as the teacher, department chair, and then counselor at Highlands High School from 1988 who retired in June of 2015 after serving on many school improvement and site - based budget committees. Those of you more recent in my journey know me as Fort Thomas Education Foundation Board member and Highlands Alumni Association Chair. Along the way, my grandchildren, students at Johnson Elementary, JP, Lyla, and Emma Claire Shaffer have climbed aboard and become another reason for my continued focus on the Fort Thomas Independent Schools. I want my grandchildren to get the quality education and foundation that my siblings, my children and I got in the Fort Thomas Independent schools. It may not look the same, but will provide learning for a world of options for them like it did for us.
I spent my entire life’s journey in education, graduating with my bachelors in Vocational Home Economics from University of Kentucky, my masters from Miami University and then my Rank I in Counseling from Xavier University. I was a Family and Consumer/Career and Technical Education teacher and then counselor for 28 years starting with Holmes High School and then retiring from Highlands. Like my father, I feel I have the heart of a teacher and have enjoyed the "family business": public education.
As a growing suburban independent school district with more local support of the budget than is provided by the state, Fort Thomas faces a number of challenges that require commitment and great leadership. I want to be on the school board because I value public education and care about our students, their parents as well as other community members. I care about the educators in this district and the future of our attracting and retaining the best and the brightest educators. I have a personal interest in preserving and improving our school system.
I am running for school board to bring the perspective of a life long teacher to the Board. This is not a decision I made lightly. When we had so much change in the central office in the 2017 school year I started going to working and school board meetings in September of that year and have continued to attend for the past year. I initially thought they might like the 28-year teacher perspective of our journey in Fort Thomas Independent Schools. We have not always been the award winning school district that we read about today. It took hard work and purposeful choices about learning to get us where we are today. I wanted to be the voice of a teacher in an independent school district. As my sign says, "It’s about learning."
There are changes in education coming from the Kentucky Department of Education in accountability, testing, and graduation requirements. As a counselor, I understand testing very well. While we need to work within that system, there are discussions and decisions that need to be made. I want to be part of what that looks like for a high performing independent district. Since I came in 1988, Kentucky has had multiple accountability systems that I have been a part of. In the early 1990s, when Highlands was viewed as “in decline” in a new accountability system, I chaired the committee to put the things in place we needed to improve and work in that system. All the changes we made were about learning and the culture of our school.
Since coming to Highlands, I have had a front row seat in the building of the middle school and the renovating of all sections of the high school, serving on decision making/design committees as well as scheduling and serving students in buildings under construction for years. As a member of the Education Foundation, I have been involved in projects and fundraising for our schools. The more immediate need is that of Johnson Elementary, but as we grow more decisions will have to be made. I look forward to being part of the team for the future of our facilities.
I am proud of our schools and our community for supporting our students. I am proud of my education that I received and the work that I did for our schools. I loved my time working for the Fort Thomas Independent Schools. I look forward to continuing on my journey, serving on the school board. I hope you will support me.