Name: Jim Pfleger
General Motors Global HR Operations & Data Privacy Manager – 1979 – Present
BA – Michigan State University – 1978 MBA – Michigan State University Advanced Management Program – 1996
Previous and/or current elected positions:
Current School Board Treasurer, Secretary 2011, Ferndale Fine Arts Boosters member – former President, Vice President, & Secretary. Member and Vice President – Pleasant Ridge Pool Board. Trustee – Indian Village (Detroit) Board of Directors.
Ferndale Schools Finance Committee – Citizen Member for 5 years before joining the School Board. Ferndale High School Marching Band Committee Member for 8 years, including the last two years as Pit Captain. Ferndale Schools Musical Boosters since 2002, current Set Construction Head.
Do you currently have students in the district, and if so, what school(s) do they attend?
Two girls who have both graduated from the Ferndale Schools, Mariah in 2008 after attending Roosevelt, Kennedy, Ferndale Middle School, Ferndale High School, and “CASA” at Jackson and Paige in 2011 after attending Roosevelt, Coolidge, Ferndale Middle School, Ferndale High School, and “ CASA” at Jackson
Why do you want to be on the School Board?
A successful education is critical to the ability of our children to grow into successful adults. The responsibility for providing a quality education in all of our schools and programs lies not just with the School Administration and teachers, but with every citizen of the Ferndale School District. Our ability to do so requires continuous, sustained, informed oversight and direction. I wish to continue serving on the Ferndale School Board of Education because there are critical issues that this Board will face that require broad understanding of all the schools issues as well as experienced financial oversight that I believe I have the training and background to provide.
Why should people vote for you?
I have a demonstrated track record of involvement in and commitment to our schools for over 15 years. I have been honored to be elected to leadership postions in volunteer organizations that provide opportunities and support for all of the children in our District and have Chaired, Co-chaired, and worked at Fund Raising events that have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars to supplement school funding. I am a hands-on person as well, as any of the parents and students I have worked with in Band, Theater, FIne Arts Boosters, or Bond Committee will attest. My focus has been and will continue to be on doing what is best for all of our students and for the School District now and in the future.
What do you think are the top responsibilities of the School Board?
Providing the opportunity and support for a quality education experience through appropriate goal setting, policy initiatives, and budget prioritization & oversight. The Board represents the Ferndale School community citizens, hires and provides direction to the Superintendent, and reviews & approves curriculum initiatives.
Are there any school board decisions or policies that you disagree with, and why?
I have disagreed with members of the Board and actions taken (and not taken) in the past and will most likely do so in the future. I have been fortunate since becoming a member of the School Board in 2010 to have been able to work out my disagreements in Committee meetings so, by the time the final resolutions have been brought to the full Board for a vote, my concerns have usually been addressed. This process is why most final votes of the full Board are or are almost unamimous.
Do you think parents sending their students out of district is an issue, and if so what would you do about it?
As a member of the School Board Finance Committee since 2005 and as the current Treasurer, any District students that we lose to other public or private schools represents a signifigant revenue missed opprotunity which we would love to avoid from a financial perspective. That said, it is a parent’s right and obligation to enroll their children in whatever program or school system that they believe will best meet their children’s needs. My overriding concern is for a successful educational opportunity for all of our students. As a Board Member, we need to ensure we provide an educational product that makes us the right choice for as many residents as possible.
What does Ferndale Schools do well as a district?
The Ferndale School District does very well at educational innovation and financial management. We have received national awards for innovative schools and are in the process of implementing a Digital Learning Center concept school that I believe will spearhead major changes to the traditional educational processes we currently have. The disciplined financial processes we have in both budgeting and spending, as well as innovative approaches to raising additional funds thru alternative programs and shared service have taken us from an almost non existant fund balance to a $4 million balance that saves the District thousands of dollars that other Districts spend on interest payments instead of student programs. Our financial position has allowed us to continue to maintain ourselves as a full service school district with many award winning programs that do not require “Pay to Play” charges for participation.
What can be improved upon?
Student achievement is and always will be the priority for improvement concentration. We need to continue to both enhance the educational opportunities for those students that need higher level challenges and to pull the lower achieving students forward with better individualized instruction and support from the teachers, staff, and volunteers.
Anything else readers should know about you?
What you see is what you get – I have no hidden agendas and no further political aspirations beyond continuing to serve on our School Board. I will always be prepared for every meeting and every vote. I am a fiscal conservative and will do everything in my power to see that this District lives within its means.
NOTE: Jim Pfleger is running on the “Citizens for Better Education” PAC slate for this election along with Bradford Parks , Katrina Collins, and Keith Warnick. Read more about CBE at http://ferndalecbe.org/. While the four are campaigning together, voting is done on an individual basis. The election will be Nov. 6, 2012. More voting information can be found at https://oaklandcounty115.com/category/voter_info/.