Gunner, Kurt apply to be Findlay Schools superintendent

Perkins, Margaretta superintendents are two of 10 applicants revealed Thursday
Alissa Widman Neese
Nov 1, 2013

Jim Gunner and Ed Kurt, superintendents at Perkins Schools and Margaretta Schools, respectively, are vying to be superintendent at Findlay Schools, according to the Findlay Courier.

An article posted to the Courier's website Thursday lists Gunner and Kurt as two of 10 applicants seeking the job.

When contacted Thursday, Kurt said he submitted an application a few weeks ago. The application process ended Oct. 25.

"It's an opportunity I'm exploring," Kurt said. "I'm very happy where I'm at. We've accomplished a lot and there's still a lot to accomplish, but I'm looking into that opportunity."

Gunner did not return a call Thursday evening seeking comment.

Findlay school board members hope to announce their selection in late December, according to the Courier. Findlay Schools superintendent Dean Wittwer is retiring at the end of the current school year.

Comments

bao

and the 3.5 million dollar loan was for? to be paid back how?

Subtle

The loan was to examine the costs of repairing the facilities as its been almost 5 years since the first estimate and building materials, building codes, energy efficiency standards, and prevailing wages have changed.

It was also to analyze the comparative costs to build new on a building by building basis. It will be paid back out of the inside millage as well.

It would have been incredibly negligent to NOT examine the cost of building new. Imagine the backlash if after all repairs were completed, it was determined that it would have been millions of dollars cheaper to build new, or that the completed repairs are going to need to be repeated again in 10 years for the same cost. You can't just jump into things blindly.

Like I said, I'm not an expert; and 3.5 million seems a lot, but I imagine architectural fees, site surveys, and cost analysis for other large projects (take the new NOMS building for example) are probably very similar. If I understand correctly, the board takes the lowest bid out of qualified entities for projects such as these.

Hawkeye

Hey Subtle, I have talked to Franklin and as far as I know he has never once said he wanted to cancel extra curricular or sports. He had a daughter who played soccer for 4 years with Perkins and all he has told me was that he wanted to cancel these unsustainable fees just as Gunner had said, I believe you should watch the debate again.

Subtle

You may be right, I was going off what BeLikeMike (he's on the 'vote no' side and a big advocate of Franklin and Ahner) had stated earlier to illustrate a point. I did have someone else recently tell me that he had told the band conductor that he wanted to cancel band funding as well; but then that's how rumors get started I suppose. I have never personally talked to him beyond watching the debate, and he didn't go into any great detail about anything there.

I wasn't stating that I knew for a fact. It was an example of an (in my opinion) extreme idea that may seem great to one group or board member, but one that would never be allowed to be implemented by the community. I could have as easily used Ahner proposing a merger between Perkins and Sandusky (prior to the debate he stated it was worth considering). The point was you could have a great idea or a really bad one; however, it still has to be approved by the board and the community for the most part.

I apologize if it was taken as gospel instead of an illustrative, hypothetical example... I wasn't trying to put words in his mouth. My bad!

Hawkeye

Thank you subtle for the clarification, I do see you using it as an example and I think, hopefully, in my opinion of course, who ever gets elected they go into the position with open eyes and look at all sides of the picture not be closed to suggestions, that Subtle, would make a great leader.

bao

subtle,
I am not "misinformed" nor do i "assume" they are going to build a new academy.i was told by the supt they are waiting to secure operating funds before "going ahead with the building project" ,but to "continue planning"

Thomas Paine

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wantin2know

Subtle and Strong Schools: How many local businesses and industries have the NUMBER of wage and benefit packages in excess of $100,000.00, or close to that amount, that is paid to the employees of Perkins Schools? Two thirds of the total expenses of $13,000,000.00 is paid to the staff in the form of benefits and wages. How many citizens can or could ever claim a wage and benefit package to match that? Other school districts apparently don't have the problems Perkins does so you are comparing apples with oranges. Not to mention the $300.00 per month vehicle allowance that is generously given to Gunner.

Subtle

"How many local businesses and industries have the NUMBER of wage and benefit packages in excess of $100,000.00, or close to that amount, that is paid to the employees of Perkins Schools?"

- I am unaware of any employee in Perkins receiving a $100,000 benefit package.



"Other school districts apparently don't have the problems Perkins does so you are comparing apples with oranges."

- We sure are, every other school district in the area receives much more tax support than Perkins.

For residential, every other district in the area pays on average 11.9 mils more than Perkins with some as much higher as 18.5 mils (Sandusky).

For commercial, every other district in the area pays on average 22.8 mils more than we do with some as much higher as 28.6 mils (Vermilion).

You are certainly correct, apples to oranges. Perkins does what they can with as little as HALF the tax support as some of these other districts!

oldpirate

Future thank you for your honest assessment. Very well stated.

draw1999

out with the old in with the new vote franklin and anher

underthebridge

Subtle - I appreciate your detailed explanations. I really do. In many ways, you've articulated these things better than the superintendent, the BOE, and the levy committee.

I look back on the first levy effort and actually feel bad that it didn't pass. I don't blame the community. Instead of requesting a $50 million dollar facility in which the community ponied up $25 million and matching funds netted $25 million, this administration thought lets get twice as much: $100 million dollar facility. Ridiculous. I think that is one of the reasons the community rejected that plan. It did not come off as a savings. It came off as extravagance.

I think the May and August levies failed because of the money spent on the stadium (above and beyond their initial projections that the entire plan would cost $1.7 million with the boosters raising half and the school district matching half amounting to $850,000 in taxpayer funds). The school district gave $1.7 million for an admittedly great stadium that to a lot of people represents extravagance.

Keep in mind, this is all against the backdrop of an economic downturn that still didn't motivate these people to adjust their plan. For cripes sake, you'd think this plan was the bible or the constitution given how much they referred to it as an unbending document.

No adjustment to the big plan given the downturn in the local and national economies. Nope. No adjustment to the plan given the state raiding the budget. Nope.

What is a taxpayer to do? We're stuck. You'll get your building just like you got your stadium. You've held the teaching staff, the support staff, the students, and the taxpaying citizens hostage.

If the levy passes, it isn't a victory. I predict these people will not be able to stay in budget. Why? They can't adjust. They've not done it on their own. Don't tell me they scaled the plan down from $100 million to $50 million. They did not do that on their own. The voting public required them to.

I'm sad for the community. I'm sad for the schools, the students, the teachers, and the citizens.

wantin2know

How many employees have a combined wage-benefit package of $100,000.00, or close to that amount? How many school systems give a $300.00 a month car allowance to their superintendent?

PyrkinsPyrate

In the last few verbose postings by Subtle-this nonsense about car repairs they do not mention that for years the money that was supposed to go to capital improvements was squandered to rent laptops for each child so that Gunner could do his little laptop research for his dissertation. That is why the schools need repairs. The money to maintain the schools went for computer leases.

Subtle

The annual hardware cost for the laptop program is $229,000 after Apple buyback. That is approximately the SAME amount that was spent on upkeep and maintaining the old computer labs. With that in mind, NO money was taken from anywhere else for that program, existing allocations of money were simply applied differently for MUCH better results.

In addition the buildings were running antiquated equipment, none of the buildings were networked, and the network security was such that high schoolers were able to figure out how to go wherever they wanted on the web.

This is an age where we are reliant on computers. The answer to ANY question is a mouse click or two away and appears instantly. Technical fluency and familiarity are far more important to our student's futures than saving the money, that in a single year couldn't even fix the pipes.

The experts believe the following:

"The dominant model of public education is still fundamentally rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else. (In 1899, William T. Harris, the US commissioner of education, celebrated the fact that US schools had developed the “appearance of a machine,” one that teaches the student “to behave in an orderly manner, to stay in his own place, and not get in the way of others.”) We don’t openly profess those values nowadays, but our educational system—which routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills—doubles down on the view that students are material to be processed, programmed, and quality-tested."

“The fundamental basis of the system is fatally flawed,” says Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford and founding director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. “In 1970 the top three skills required by the Fortune 500 were the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 1999 the top three skills in demand were teamwork, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. We need schools that are developing these skills.”

Perkins is developing those skills. I don't care what your area of expertise is, any student today can look up any subject and within an hour have a working knowledge of whatever you think is your specialty; compound that with the fact that they will be accessing the most up to date methods and materials, as well as crowd sourced consensuses on what the best way to do something is, and we recognize that these future generations can be true experts on anything that peaks their interest.

If you want my opinion, we need more emphasis on technology. Allow programming to be counted in the language requirements for college. Spanish and French, the old go-tos are pointless. If you want to teach skills that will be useful in the not so distant future, teach them Chinese and programming languages, app development, computer assisted art / design, problem solving / game theory, public speaking, etc.

That is not to say they don't need any traditional skills such as reading, math, and science, but the world is very different now than it was even 10 years ago.

$229k per year is just a drop in the bucket when applied to repairs, but, those laptops insure our children have access to the tools they need to succeed in the future.

Sources:
http://www.wired.com/business/20...
http://perkinslevy.org/content/c...

fifteenthgreen

Come on, Subtle. You can help make a difference on this topic...pass or fail!

Asbestos or laptops........laptops!

Asbestos or stadium donation........stadium!

Asbestos or 3.5 million design loan...............loan!

Asbestos or save/move the millage for what you want...........save it?

What are your priorities, BOE?

Subtle

It would only take 10 years to pay for the asbestos removal using the money that would be saved canceling the laptop program... maybe they should get right on that >.<

The asbestos isn't an immediate danger and areas that become even POTENTIALLY dangerous get fixed immediately.

fifteenthgreen

Or use money that they moved for the very purpose of repairs. What are they saving it for? Use any means possible to ensure the safety of the children. Hasn't that been the BS message? I don't care where the money comes from. Do you? They've had it and chose to spend it on other more important projects like football fields. You know as well as I do that it is a load of crap and they're just using it for their scare tactics.

So we wait for something to happen before we act? Again, more lies!

Equity

Gunner's dissertation was done well before he was hired by Perkins. The date of the dissertation was August 2007. It's online. Do your research before you make accusations.

tk

The choice for superintendent at Findlay isn't between Gunner and Kurt. They have had a number of applicants.

Subtle

"Subtle - I appreciate your detailed explanations. I really do. In many ways, you've articulated these things better than the superintendent, the BOE, and the levy committee."

Wow! Thanks underthebridge :) , I'd love to take all the credit, but a lot of what I explained was explained to me by Rick Uher. As someone who rarely takes anything at face value, I looked into it and found that he has clearly done his research and has a solid understanding of all the current issues.

I have to say that surprised me as he isn't a current member and must have spent an extraordinary amount of time to research all this with just the prospect of joining the school board. Prior to that, I hadn't given a ton of thought on who I was voting for for school board; however, I want someone who is going to put in the time and do their own research to find the best solution, and I believe Rick is that person.

He also expressed the best plan I have heard for bringing the community back into the BOE issue process and repairing the communication bridge between the board and the community.

Currently, the BOE votes on the previous meetings issues at the start of each meeting. Basically, this means that if you hear there is a vote on say adding motion detectors to security lights, and decide you want to know more; when you show up to the meeting you will get to watch the vote, but not ask any questions or discus the issue.

Rick wants to move the vote to the end of each meeting and open the floor to comments and discussion prior to the vote so that any in attendance can have their questions answered and basically, have a say in the process. This is, in my opinion, a HUGE step in repairing the divide between the BOE and the community. Will that make the meetings a little longer? Definitely; but he has already shown he is willing to put in the time, and that's what I want in a representative.

(Edited to add the original comment I was replying to after I posted this as a general comment instead of a direct reply. Sorry for any confusion.)

BeLikeMike's picture
BeLikeMike

Hmmm, let me see, repair the relationship with the community or save millions when Franklin discontinues extracurriculars? I think I'll take the millions. I saw you not so Sbutly going on and on about the laptops earlier, and I will be brutally honest. I don't care if they have to share textbooks as long as I don't have to give my hard earned money to the school.

underthebridge

Subtle - I've attended BOE meetings over the years. This issue of when the public comments and the vote are held has been addressed before. Nothing. I'll believe it when I see.

You still did not address this BOE's inability to adjust their plans with the building given the economy; with the stadium given the state of disrepair of the schools, etc. Furthermore, you didn't address their inability to stay even near their original projections on the cost of the stadium. Extravagance.

fifteenthgreen

Another day and they still refuse to address the asbestos issue. Waiting on tomorrow, I guess. If the levy passes, I'm sure they'll begin work on removing this hazard immediately.........Nah! We have a home playoff game to get ready for!

Bherrle

15th,

No one has ever stated the asbestos is an immediate issue. The health departments inspection indicated it wasn't an immediate issue. It is however, a long term issue, that along with the multiple other long term issues, require a significant amount of financial resources to deal with, whether it is renovation or building new.

The priorities of the district are to deal with all of those issues, at the best long term price for the taxpayer, before they become emergencies, as the stadium did.

fifteenthgreen

What about the fingerprints, Brad? They don't lie. It's on the video.

The stadium was a lie. Those bleachers were in no worse shape than the year before and they would still be the same today. That being said, if the boosters wanted to raise the entire amount to fund the renovation, great. Instead, they jacked up the budget and put it out of reach thus requiring assistance from the district.

Centauri

What happened to Duane out on Autumn Ridge? Doesn't he support the school levy anymore since he couldn't get his property valuation down at the Erie County(OHIO)BOR so he went all the way to Columbus, Ohio and still failed?

Many of the pro-levy supporters got their valuations down for property taxes. Now they pay less to the school. Check the public records.

Bherrle

Centauri,

How many non-supporters got their property taxes lowered? You report one side but not the other, why is that?

bao

how many supporters dont pay property taxes mr herrle?

fifteenthgreen

Asbestos or $260,000 annually for laptops..........laptops!

Asbestos or 1.7 million stadium donation...........stadium!

Asbestos or 3.5 million design loan........................loan!

Asbestos or move the millage for what you want.....move it!

What are your priorities, BOE? I don't believe you want to fix it. You want to use it for your campaigns!!!

Levy campaign asbestos video - http://perkinslevy.org/content/f...

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