By Nancy Edwards
Ideas on budget cuts, funding, state standards, curriculum and more were discussed in a question-and answer-session during a forum for candidates running for election for the Hamilton Southeastern School Board Oct. 9 at Hamilton Southeastern High School.
Candidates from District 3, including incumbent, Katrina Hockemeyer, along with candidates seeking election for the first time, Michelle Fullhart and Matt Stolle, opened the discussion by addressing their experience, background and reasons for why they should be elected. Ron Wilson, seeking reelection for District 4, also attended the forum.
Wilson currently serves as vice president of the HSE School Board. A member of the board for four years, he has also served on the 2004 HSE redistricting committee, is a former S.P.O.R.T.S board member and served as city councilman in Illinois.
Hockemeyer has eight years’ experience on HSE’s school board. Hockemeyer has served on various committees, currently including the Superintendent Search Committee, as well as past experience on the Legislative Liaison for the Board and Policy Committee.
Stolle’s experience includes his current position as vice president for Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management division. In addition, he has been involved with numerous non-profit boards and committees.
Fullhart’s hands-on experience includes 11 years of teaching first and second grades at Fall Creek and New Britton elementary schools. She has served as a pilot teacher for HSE, using iPads with a second-grade class, and also served as co-president for Brooks School Elementary’s PTO. Fullhart is a certified trainer for Ascend Math, a web-based math education company.
The first question candidates were asked is: “Would you support adding equality and support for sexual orientation and gender for our non-discrimination policy?”
A: Wilson responded his support by addressing his experience growing up in “the projects. Any child who sits in a classroom seat has a right to be educated,” he said.
Q: How do you feel about Indiana failing to adopt the Common Core standards? Can you Identify differences in Indiana standards and Common Core standards?
A: “A hybrid may be more appropriate,” said Stolle, who also stated that is where the state seems to be going with standards.
Q: How do you feel about using state tax dollars (when it comes to Common Core and tests)?
A: “I’ve always felt the ISTEP only measures how students perform against other students,” Hockemeyer said. She also said she believes in funding for children long before taking their SAT test.
Q: How important is it to develop a complete education by STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in developing a vibrant community?
A: “I would call it ‘STEAM’ by adding arts to the rest,” Fullhart said, adding that colleges desire a technology background for business majors, as the demand increases for supervision in technology.
Voting for HSE School Board elections will take place Nov. 4.