Lake Shore Public Schools is the only district in the city this year with a contested race for seats on the board of education.
On Nov. 6, voters will select two out of three candidates to fill six-year terms.
The race includes incumbents Susan Jamieson and Kurt Ziegler. Norma Rusie is seeking her first term on the board of education.
Below are the candidates' profiles, listed in alphabetical order by their last names:
Susan D. Jamieson
Occupation: I have served on the Lake Shore B.O.E. for 12 years.
How long have you served on the Board of Education? I have four boys that have graduated from Lake Shore.
Do you have any children currently attending the district’s schools?
Biggest challenges facing Lake Shore? The biggest challenges facing not only Lake Shore but all Michigan Schools is funding. The state takes money away from the districts and at the same time requires mandates that are un-funded.
Top three goals if elected? Top three goals are: 1) to keep all of the programs we offer our students while keeping a balanced budget and maintaining our fund equity, 2) raise test scores. 3) I also would like to somehow get the media on the side of public education. The media is quick to throw out numbers and grades regarding MEAP and AYP (annual yearly progress) which is a part of NCLB. There are a lot of requirements and (flaws) concerning AYP that the general public is unaware of.
Occupation: Real estate agent and appraiser.
How long have you served on the Board of Education? This will be my first term.
Do you have any children currently attending the district’s schools? My daughters, Candice and Cassandra, graduated from Lake Shore High School.
Biggest challenges facing Lake Shore? I think the biggest challenge currently facing Lake Shore is the district's responsibility to provide safe environments, quality education and innovative programming for the student population while remaining fiscally responsible. The district's most recent budget is weak, and includes over $1.5 million dollars taken from the rainy day fund. I believe that the board members need to look for ways to save money while maintaining a high standard of excellence.
Top three goals if elected?
1) A strong school district helps maintain high property values for taxpayers. I will work to keep standards high and to ensure that Lake Shore is a district that enhances property values and makes it an appealing place to live.
2) With the ever-increasing rigors of standardized testing, and the addition of the Common Core standards to the curriculum, I will advocate for maximum teacher training and best use of the Professional Learning Communities to give students the most successful education possible.
3) As the State of Michigan continues to alter funding for public education, it is vital that the district spends each dollar allotted in the most advantageous way. I will look for cost effective measures that will not diminish the quality of education for each student. One potential funding source is out-of-county School of Choice. I do not support this program as an option for Lake Shore.
Kurt J. Ziegler
Occupation: I have lived here in the Lake Shore District for 53 years and I have been a Property maintenance supervisor in St. Clair Shores for over 28 years.
How long have you served on the Board of Education? I have served on the Lake Shore Board of Education for four years.
Do you have any children currently attending the district’s schools? I am married and have three boys who all graduated from Lake Shore, the last one in 2011.
Biggest challenges facing Lake Shore? The major challenge facing our school district is funding and the financial cuts from the State of Michigan.
Top three goals if elected? It is our job to maintain the high academic standards for our students by having the best Administrators, teachers, staff and learning tools available while maintaining a balanced budget. We are one of the few schools in Macomb County that is achieving this, without borrowing any money from the State of Michigan. We need to keep striving for higher academic achievement and programs to have our students prepared for college, trade schools and the work force. We need to keep our buildings, transportation and grounds updated, clean and secure so our students and staff have a safe environment for learning. While making this a great District to be a part of and learn in, it will ultimately keep our community appealing, strong and a great place to raise a family. This is all accomplished by the entire Board of Education working together finding solutions for our common goal, the success of our students.