In Ferndale School Board Race, Warnick Wants Old Seat Back

In Ferndale School Board Race, Warnick Wants Old Seat BackHowesLocation

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 14, 2014)

Former School Board Trustee Keith Warnick is on the ballot against incumbents Karen Twomey, Nan Kerr-Mueller and Jennifer LaTosch for the Nov. 4 election. There are three spots up for election. LaTosch was appointed in 2013 after former President Chuck Moeser resigned early to coincide with retirement.

The changes in the School Board over the past four years also went along with the wave of departures in the wake of the scandal with former Superintendent Gary Meier’s use of Ferndale School District time, resources and staff to further his own consulting businesses helping competing charter schools.

The current Board of Trustees (including Twomey, Kerr-Mueller and LaTosch, plus Jim O’Donnell, Raylon modern natural baby inprogressLeaks-May, Amy Butters and Kevin Deegan-Krause)  hired a new Superintendent, Blake Prewitt, and has worked with Prewitt to fill the administrative positions left vacant by former employees, several of whom went to work with Meier. A new Retention & Recruitment Specialist position began this year, along with fresh faces in the financial, curriculum and communications departments.

Keith Warnick,  lost his bid for re-election in 2012 after serving since 2004, with the former Superintendent’s consulting work was a key issue in that race. He had been serving as President at the time. When offered the opportunity to answer questions about his decision to run again, Warnick only responded with the link to his website, http://www.keithwarnick.com. He also filled out a questionnaire in 2012 for what was then The Ferndale 115 News. Warnick had two daughters in Ferndale Schools. One graduated in 2000 and the other in 2002. The tagline on his website is “You think you know me; you don’t! But you can if you just ask!”

Karen Twomey was first elected six year ago. “In that time we have seen topics such as transparency keith dalton adevolve from compliance, to initiatives which will build community inclusion and engagement,” Twomey said. “Originally when I would bring up visioning, I was pointed to a strategic plan kept in a drawer. After only one year with this new team we have a community generated strategic plan that takes our district on a courageous pathway focusing on quality, equity and achievement. We are building a whole new culture around diversity, dignity and dreams which can be felt all over town thanks to our new communications team. I have never had such certainty in the future success and ability our district will have to grow each student and prepare them for a multitude of opportunities.”

Nan Kerr-Mueller talked about increasing accountability. “I am proud to be a part of this school district. In the last year there have been a lot of good changes that are in line with our strategic plan. When I was first elected to the board I believed accountability could be done with difficult questions asked at the table. I now seed019_Cherie_Rolfesee accountability as much more complicated involving how to communicate with our community and developing multi-layer systems of evaluations. The team we currently have on the board has done an outstanding job in the last year focusing on this accountability and making sure we have the policies in place to make sure oversight is more effective and we can keep our forward momentum no matter who is in the office,” she said. “Running with Jen and Karen is a pleasure. We each think in unique ways and yet can work together as team respectfully listening to the opposing opinions. There is a high level of respect for each other.”

Jen LaTosch is facing her first election since being appointed last year. All three candidates currently have students in the district. When asked if that was important, LaTosch said “I think having children enrolled in the Ferndale Public Schools is an incredible asset as a School Board member. Not only do I have a daily perspective through my children’s eyes but also my own as a parent. Having such regular contact with robert wittenberg election 2014 adstudents, teachers, administrators, parents, keeps me in touch with the culture of the schools and also holds me accountable. I have a stake in the success of our schools, for my own kids and for all of our kids. Serving on the School Board this year has opened my eyes in so many ways. I have a deeper understanding of the financial difficulties our district faces, along with all other public school districts in our state. But on a district level, I have heard so many incredible “success” stories in our district ~ the amazing graduation and college acceptance rate for our UHS students, the phenomenal new Honors Program, the hugely successful Peer-to-Peer Program at Ferndale High School, the parent led Talent Shows, the list goes on and on. We have absolutely amazing students, staff and parents, and it’s an honor to serve them and an honor to be a part of this tremendous forward momentum of our Ferndale Public Schools.”

Keith Warnick’s website is http://www.keithwarnick.com/.

Towmey, Kerr-Mueller and LaTosch are being endorsed by CLEAR, whose website is http://makeitclearferndale.org/.

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