Kal Zucker - Candidate for CH-UH Board of Education
1315 Inglewood Rd. Cleveland Hts, OH 44121 Age: 55
Children: 2 Schools: Noble, Monticello, Heights High
Education: ScB, Brown University, 1980 ScM, Brown University, 1983
Occupation: CIO, Kalcor Coatings Company
Qualifications: School Board, 2006-present, President (2007, 2009), Vice President (2008); Past District Delegate to Ohio School Boards Association; Board Liaison to the Harvard Executive Leadership team, which created current vision and action plan for the district; numerous committees.
Community: Secretary, Heights High Alumni Foundation; Board Liaison, Reaching Heights, PTA, Lay Facilities Committee and Ohio Urban School District Advisory Network; Photographer, Reaching Heights Spelling Bee
QUESTIONS and RESPONSES:
1. Student performance: To improve student performance, the CH-UH School District must focus on the following areas: * Rigorous student expectations with strong support structures – academic, emotional, behavioral. * Rigorous staff expectations, with support structures to facilitate success. * Targeted professional development focused on critical thinking, problem solving and collaborative skills development. * Effective assessment of programs and staff. * * * Improved, updated, inspiring physical spaces. * Goal-driven partnerships. * Family support to help achieve our educational goals. The board’s role, and my role as a board member, is to support and assess policy and initiatives which effectively address these areas, and to hold the Superintendent accountable for achieving District goals.
2. Budget: Our district continually assesses and addresses the longstanding challenges of declining funds. Examples of our proactive stance include: * Extended previous operating levy duration to 4 years * Negotiated 2 year staff pay freeze * Leveraged federal stimulus dollars to achieve years of salary savings. When the facilities bond issue passes, we will begin to stem the outflow of capital maintenance dollars and save operating expenses by right-sizing our physical plant to match our current and projected needs, a reduction in space that carries a commensurate reduction in cost. Furthermore, by creating energy efficient, sustainable spaces, we can also realize operational savings.
3. Improve schools: The board must remain focused on creating opportunities for student success and improved student achievement. I will continue to support goal-driven leadership, targeted professional development, and meaningful program assessment. This is also why our board is supporting the bond issue to realize phase one of our master facilities plan, which will help align our learning environment to best facilitate student success, while implementing best practice techniques to make our buildings more efficient and effective. Better air, light and temperature handling, updated science labs, and more functional spaces are examples which all contribute to an atmosphere to inspire student success.
4. Communicate: Any effective solution to communicating an accurate view of the CH-UH schools to our community must incorporate a multi-faceted approach, including: * Leveraging our website, newsletter, mailings, and electronic methodologies. * Welcoming the community to activities like our annual musical or sports events which showcase our students and programs. * Engaging local media and community leaders. * Supporting community outreach initiatives – by students, staff, and board. * Encouraging local officials to learn about our students. The facilities bond issue is also a unique opportunity for us to engage the community in meaningful dialog, while welcoming them into their schools to observe the system they support.