Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education Candidate Dan Heintz
Education: B.A., John Carroll University; M.A., Ursuline College
Current occupation: Teacher, current member of the Board of Education
The School District has made a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and educational equity. Do you agree with this commitment? If yes, what would you do as a Board member to support those values and promote student success?
I agree wholeheartedly with this commitment. Public is for all. One example is our decision to bring a sixth science classroom online at Monticello. The original plan had Monti reopening with five science rooms. My vote in support of a sixth was driven by two considerations: equity and instruction. “Equity” doesn’t always mean “equal,” but it does sometimes. Reopening Monti with five science rooms, and Rox with six just felt wrong to me. As an educator, I knew what that sixth room would mean for instruction. It would allow each grade to have two rooms equipped specifically for the content of that course. Investing in rooms dedicated to specific content promotes student success. I am proud to have supported this decision.
Regarding the Community Learning Center (“CLC”) that the School District and some community partners are implementing at Noble Elementary School, how would you as a Board member support the CLC and encourage the Noble community to utilize its wraparound social and medical services?
The entire community should take pride in the work of our CLC! This has the potential to change the trajectory of some of our families. I hope that the CLC at Noble is merely the first in our district. My commitment to this visionary work can be found in my votes in favor of creating the program as well as a position to oversee it. The Noble community is positioned well to receive the services offered by the CLC. Over the past few years, our Board of Education, Library Board, and the governments of our host cities have re-established quarterly meetings. I am confident that all of these partners (coordinating with the CLC Director) will engage to ensure that our citizens connect to this programming.
What actions do you think the Board should take to maintain the fiscal health of the School District? How would these actions affect the quality of its academic and extracurricular offerings?
As a member of the steering committee for the Vouchers Hurt Ohio lawsuit, I am working to end the illegal diversion of public tax dollars to private schools. Since Jodi, Malia and I joined, the Board has made budget reductions of over $5,000,000. Additionally, we recently refinanced district issued bonds to save our taxpayers $18.5 million in property taxes. Actions like these allowed us to return Honors History to our middle schools. The College Boards just recognized Heights High as a “School of Distinction” because of our high level of participation in AP coursework. I am confident that returning Honors History helped some of these students succeed in AP courses. These are not ideas. These are not promises. These are our results.
What role should environmental considerations play in the Board of Education’s policies and actions?
The environmental impact of our operations is important to this Board. Our remodeled High School (which I was not involved in planning) is LEED GOLD certified, and we have tried to continue our institutional commitment to sustainability. To this end, our Lay Facilities Committee has been researching ways that we might incorporate solar panels into the design of our bus garage and/or school roofing. They also hope that a future solar presence will allow our teachers to incorporate this equipment into their “hands on” lessons. President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill includes $1 billion per year for electric & low emission school busses. I'm eager to have CHUH seek this funding in order to begin transitioning away from an entirely diesel fleet.
What challenges or opportunities do you think are presented by the School District’s continued ownership of properties that are no longer used for classroom purposes?
The Milikin property is home to our skilled trades where we repair, repurpose and store school equipment. This extends the usable life of items our taxpayers have purchased. The property also provides its neighborhood a beautiful setting where they can walk among giant trees and enjoy family time at the playground. Wiley allowed Open Doors Academy to offer programming to students whose parents couldn’t stay home during COVID. It also allowed our sports teams a place to practice in a more COVID safe manner. It has been a training site for first responders & a location for blood drives. It is now hosting University Heights city government meetings. These facilities are assets to our taxpayers, even in the absence of direct instruction.