Contact us: (419) 824-0100
Community News

Sylvania School Board Candidates

All of the candidates running for office in the Nov. 5 election were asked: What experiences have you had that qualify you for this office? What do you want voters to know about you? and What are the relevant issues you wish to address? The candidates for city offices, township trustees and school board are listed below in alphabetical order. City candidates are running unopposed. There are two township trustee seats available and two school board positions available.

Sylvania School Board
Mark Clark, I
Experience:
I am a father of three Sylvania school graduates. I have lived in the district for more than 25 years, and have witnessed the excellent level of commitment of the community, teachers and staff to the education of our children. Sylvania has been the hallmark of education in Northwest Ohio, if not the entire state. To be a graduate of the Sylvania school system is a valuable tool to begin adult life. It is that appreciation for excellence that qualifies me.
I have no special degree or certification in education. What I do have the deep-seated commitment of a parent to the excellence we have come to expect in Sylvania.
What do you want voters to know?
I am a conservative who feels that government should go out of its way to create an environment for its citizens to prosper. I believe one’s education is one of the few things that cannot be taken away. We have a responsibility to provide our children with the best education available so they can excel in their personal and professional lives.
Relevant issues?
I believe in excellence, not extravagance at taxpayer expense. The taxpayers have to know that the money we ask of them is being well spent and there is no waste. I believe that we must use every method of saving money while maintaining a top tier school system, before we ask the taxpayer for any more money.

Sylvania School Board
Kevin Eff
Experience:
I am a father to two intelligent, handsome, wonderfully mischievous and precocious boys, ages 15 and 27 months, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about their futures and what can be done to make their futures the best they can be. I am an attorney and small businessman, and while I am highly knowledgeable of the law and the legal parameters within which a school district must operate, I also believe that public entities must operate smartly and efficiently and be responsible stewards of public funds. I believe in public service and I want to serve the Sylvania community. I want to make sure that all of the children in the Sylvania School District have the opportunity and environment to successfully develop and grow – mentally, emotionally, and physically – and that they have the basic tools for success as they move through life.
What do you want voters to know?
If elected, I will bring fresh energy and novel ways of thinking and problem-solving to the School Board. I have no preconceived notions and will never choose a course of action simply because it represents how things have always been done. I believe that it is a community’s responsibility to provide to its youth a good, quality system of public education; however, that concept must always be weighed against the need to be smart stewards of taxpayer money and the necessity of not taxing people out of their homes. I am not beholden to any special interest groups, and it is the parents, students, and taxpayers of the Sylvania School District that will be my bosses. A school board member works for the community, and I will always be accessible to members of the community. For additional information, please call me at (419) 265-2091 or visit www.KevinEff.com.
Relevant issues?
My primary concerns are (1) the safety and security of our schools, (2) the need to maintain the quality and excellence of Sylvania’s educational system, (3) the need to administer the school district with integrity and within lawful parameters, and (4) the need to be responsible stewards of public funds. We must do everything possible to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, and must continually strive to provide a quality education to the school district’s youth. No longer can we allow school lunch scandals or the hiring of unqualified individuals as teachers to tarnish the reputation of the Sylvania School District. Finally, to address ever-increasing costs and the localized shift in funding sources mandated by the state legislature, I propose a Local Homestead Exemption Program that will provide some property tax relief to homeowners age 65+ on any future levies that might be voted in. Please visit www.KevinEff.com for more.

Sylvania School Board
Julie Hoffman, D
Experience:
I have been on the board for the past four years and during that time I have gained invaluable experience which will aid me in continuing to serve our community if I am re-elected. I also serve as Vice-President of Sylvania Community Action Team. As a family law attorney I have been successful working with clients and opposing parties to settle matters fairly and to the satisfaction of my clients. As an award winning guardian ad litem working with abused and neglected parties I have worked with diverse parties to meet the best interest of the involved children.
What do you want voters to know?
I am a proud graduate of Sylvania Southview High School. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Toledo and my juris doctorate from The University of Toledo College of Law. I am the proud mother of two children attending Northview High School. I have been actively involved with our school system for the last twelve years, volunteering both in and out of the classroom. I have served as the school board representative to Sylvania Schools Parent Organization, Sylvania Community Services and Sylvania Community Action Team. I am dedicated to serving this community and pledge to continue to be accessible to listen to any concerns brought to me by a member of our community.
Relevant issues?
The primary issues facing our district are maintaining the excellence of our schools with less revenue, ensuring the safety of our students and keeping up with the digital technology revolution.
Our district, like all districts, has faced cuts in our state budget. It is imperative that we maintain open communication with our state legislature to advocate to, at the very least, maintain current funding levels to lessen the burden on our taxpayers.
The tragedy in Newtown, Conn. brought the issue of safety in our schools to the forefront of our minds. Our district has implemented a comprehensive safety plan. Looking forward we must work diligently to ensure that our staff and students are fully equipped to face any possible threats in our schools.
We live in a technologically advanced society and it is important that our students are able to compete in this area. The implementation of the district’s Digital Initiative over the next three to five years will help us to meet this goal.

Sylvania School Board
Carol McElfresh, I
Experience:
As a Sylvania resident for 25+ years, a 30-year public school employee and Treasurer/CFO of the Sylvania Schools for seven years, I know the District and I know the Sylvania Community. As Treasurer/CFO for the Sylvania Schools I won 17 State and National Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting, including the “Making Your Tax Dollars Count” Award presented by the Ohio Auditor of State. I have the accountability needed by the taxpayers of Sylvania! Under my direction as Treasurer of the Sylvania Schools we were able to stretch our tax dollars for seven years without returning to the voters for additional operating funds.
What do you want voters to know?
I am currently the Executive Director of BeInstrumental Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free music lessons and loans free instruments to schools and programs in the Toledo area that do not have access to music. I am also a volunteer on the Income Committee for the United Way of Greater Toledo. I became a candidate for the Sylvania School Board because I care about the educational opportunities and success of our children. My four children attended or are currently attending Sylvania Schools as I believe in the commitment of public schools to provide the best of these opportunities.
Relevant issues?
As a parent, I am dismayed that the only Sylvania school to receive an A rating on both the Performance Index and Indicators Met was Northview High School and that overall the Sylvania Schools received a B rating of 86.6% on the Performance Index. These ratings indicate not as many students passed the standardized tests but those that passed, on average did better than previous years. I have the experience needed by Sylvania parents to understand the correlation between education, finance and politics to help Sylvania Schools get back on the right track of academic performance success. During my tenure with Sylvania, many educational areas were under scrutiny. I fully supported funding Special Education, Career Technology, Fine Arts and Athletics, while giving the academics subjects what they needed as evidenced by the test scores of Excellent and Excellent with Distinction the Sylvania Schools received while I was Treasurer.

Sylvania School Board
Stephen A. Rothschild
Experience:
I have been a Sylvania Township resident for nearly 50 years. I attended Stranahan, Arbor Hills, and Northview. I attended Northwestern University where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and Economics and my Juris Doctor, cum laude. I am a partner at one of the largest law firms in northwest Ohio and a past member of its eight-person management committee. Two of our sons graduated from Southview as salutatorians. My wife, Cheryl, is a past president of the Southview Parents Club and is the current co-President of the Southview Band Boosters. I have experienced Sylvania Public Schools as a student, parent and parent volunteer. I have also worked extensively in the non-profit sector as a volunteer for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality/Legal Aid of Western Ohio and as a past president of the Jewish Federation of Toledo and the Toledo Board of Jewish Education.
What do you want voters to know?
I want to serve on the Sylvania Board of Education because I want to give back to an institution that has given my family and me so much. I will be a strong and effective advocate for public education. To me, the most important personal qualities are gratitude and humility. I am grateful for family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and God for giving me the opportunity to interact on a daily basis and for the blessings in my life. I am also humble. While I have significant skills, I am not so arrogant to believe that I have all of the answers or that there is not a better way than mine. As a result, I always listen and try to understand others’ points of view. I try not to take myself too seriously and when I was in my forties, I tap danced in Las Vegas.
Relevant issues?
The funding of public education is a political hot potato and differing funding schemes have caused uncertainty and made planning by districts difficult. In addition, the State continues to impose various mandates and rules on public schools without providing funding for these requirements. Maintaining adequate funding for our schools needs to remain a priority. The most pressing issue for our schools is convincing voters and taxpayers that our public schools are worth the cost and that funds are being spent appropriately. The best way to do this is to spend funds wisely and to continue to provide quality education for our children that is reflected in students who are successful inside and outside of the classroom. A second issue is maintaining the cooperation and respect of and for our teachers. This means that teachers need to have a voice and role in responding to the challenges of public education.

Sylvania School Board
Dave Spiess, R
Experience:
I have been a member of the board for 12 years and will be completing my third, four-year term Dec. 31. During that time, I have served as Vice President and President three separate times. I have been the board’s liaison for the facilities and was involved in the $79 million facilities upgrade. With that experience comes wisdom.
What do you want voters to know?
In addition to our school board duties, we are also involved in other board and civic organizations. Those include SAJRD and SRC recreational boards. Children’s Wonderland, Sylvania Community Services and Jack’s Pooch Plunge. We have a wonderful quality of life in Sylvania and so much of that is attributed to the cooperation of the various entities that govern the Sylvania community.
Relevant issues?
We have three major issues. The first is school funding and maintaining a revenue stream that allows Sylvania schools to be among the best in the state. There needs to be a balance from both the state and local level. The second is providing a safe site for both our students and staff. The third is providing the necessary technology tools that allow our students to reach their full potential and the skills to be successful when they graduate from Sylvania schools.

Contact Us

E-mail: SylvaniaAdvantage@gmail.com
Phone: (419) 824-0100
Address: 5693 N. Main St #1 Sylvania, OH 43560


facebook  facebook  googleplus