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Letter: To the voters of Ada

To the Voters of Ada:

After listening to and reading messages from the school board candidates a couple things were very clear to me.  Almost none of them went straight to the source for their information. Only one could say that she regularly attended school board meetings, or spoke to the superintendent and the treasurer in one-on-one meetings about how things run on daily basis.    I spoke with that candidate and she expressed how both the superintendent and treasurer willingly answered her questions openly and honestly to the extent that they did not violate any privacy matters.

I can’t help but wonder...

Why Mr. Bumgartner, who says he wants to improve Ada Schools, never mentioned that as a principle, his school is in the bottom 50% of all schools in Ohio with math proficiency at only 17% and reading proficiency at only 34%? Or how many positions within the Ada district he applied for and was turned down for?  Being an administrator himself, surely, he understands the proper steps for addressing complaints within a school system.

Why Ms. Gordon didn’t mention why she was no longer a substitute for Ada Schools or involved in the drama program? Shouldn’t she be transparent about her relationship with the Vo Ag teacher who was part of the cuts? Or that when the new Vo Ag teacher was hired, the program grew to more than double what it had been? And does she know that replacing the French program was done with input from the very students it would be affecting?

Why Mr. Archer, at the time I am writing this, has not updated his campaign page regarding the outcome of his hearing?  How can we expect students to show respect within the school, or anywhere, for the rules if he himself is not willing to follow them? [See editor’s note at end of this letter.]

How is it that Mr. Fleming has never seen a school safety plan as board member? Why did he try to instill fear in the public that the school could be in financial trouble in something like 5 years when the school has operated in the black for the last 4 years with a carryover that has created a $9 million rainy day fund for emergencies.

Why Mr. Griffith wants an 8a-5p superintendent? Does he know how many sporting events, home and away, as well as other events like Musicfeast, band and choir competitions occur outside of the regular business day? After all they mentioned how important it was for the board and administrators to be known and how well they need to represent the school and our village. And should administrators not attend meetings and conferences (that affect the school) during the day so they can be in the office 8a-5p?

Why none of them could tell you about volunteer experiences at the school other than those that relate to their own children or even other school events they have attended? Why they didn’t mention some upcoming events where volunteers are greatly needed? Do they know that with about 900 students, and equates to maybe 1200-1800 parents or guardians, only maybe 10-20 parents attend booster meetings?  I see the booster meeting announcements frequently and 2 of the 3 groups have their meetings on the district online calendar and on Facebook.

They spoke of the need for better community support?  What about all the local business that participate in the Bulldog Card, donate so many things to various school groups or activities and decorated their windows for Homecoming?  What about all the students that volunteer from ONU for a variety of programs including this year's ACE Day? What about Wilson Football who donated all of the footballs for the world record football toss? What about the village for making sure streets are clear for Homecoming parades and such?  And what about all the people in this village that showed support for the seniors of 2020 by lighting the town up in purple?

Why only 2 of the 5 candidates, and the incumbent, were at the board meeting on Oct 21st?  Where were the other 3?

Why they couldn’t/didn’t say anything positive about our schools when there are so many amazing things going on. They want to build our sports programs up. Is winning all that matters?  I love sports, I attended many games when I first moved here and before COVID reared its ugly head.  I saw students stop in their tracks outside the stadium when the anthem played. I saw teamwork take place.  I have seen swimmers go to district meets, seen choirs and now the band representing Ada in the finest ways.  Not every school can have outstanding teams in every sport but every team can be outstanding in their sportsmanship, and their integrity which is what sports should really be about.

Our choices are limited but I ask the people of Ada to consider all these things before casting their vote on November 2nd.

Victoria Nagel

Editor’s note: The Hardin County Municipal Court website shows that Chase Archer was ticketed for disorderly conduct on September 22, found guilty on October 21, and paid court costs.