School Board Candidates - Nov. 6, 2018

Four Candidates for a 6-Year Term — Choose Two

During the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, voters will choose two board members to serve a six-year term for Grandville Public Schools. There will be four candidates to choose from: John Garbarino, Jason Heyboer, Kimberly Klein and Paul Cordes.
 
We sent a short bio form and questionnaire to the candidates. They answered questions about the district's strengths and weaknesses, their personal vision for the district and the contributions they can make. Their answers have been pasted verbatim, with the exception of auto-correcting any spelling errors. To be fair to all candidates, they may not change or enhance their responses after publication.
 
The board plays a vital role in our district. We are grateful for each candidate's willingness to run, and we appreciate residents taking time to vote Nov. 6!
 

Jason Heyboer

photo of Jason
 
-Graduate of Grandville High School ('93) and Albion College ('97)
-Holds a BA in Finance & Management
-Currently employed by Lacks Enterprises as its Manager of Talent Solutions
-Has three children attending GPS in 9th, 6th and 5th grades
-Has served as a GHS lacrosse coach for 5 years
-Volunteer for the GPS Facilities Committee, GMS Career Day and Cummings Mother/Son Event
 
What is the best quality of Grandville Public Schools? To increase student learning, what is one change or innovation you would champion? I believe the best quality of Grandville Public Schools is the passionate and hardworking staff. Over the last 10 years, our kids have been taught by at least two dozen different teachers, and they have all been fantastic in their own way. I am a proponent of the growth of education and corporate partnerships that are the cornerstone of the Governor’s Marshall Plan for Talent, to help prepare students for life after high school, whether that be in the workforce or post-secondary education.

What is your vision for education in Grandville in 2019 and beyond? My vision for education in Grandville is to continue to build an environment that fosters our students’ ability to think critically and allows our educators to innovate within their classrooms.

Have you attended any Grandville School Board meetings? Yes. How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? I bring the perspective of an alumnus, parent and lifelong resident of the Grandville School District, so I have a keen sense of our history and a vision for where we need to go to continue being a premier school district in West Michigan.
 
 

Kimberly Klein

photo of Kim
 
-Graduate of Lakeview High School and GVSU
-Holds a BA in Secondary Education and M.Ed in School Counseling
-Currently employed by Amazon as an Education Consultant
-Has five children attending Grandville Public Schools and one recent graduate
-Employed from 2013-16 as the Educational Technology Specialist for GPS
-Volunteer with the band, Athletic Boosters and parent groups at Grand View, GMS & GHS; donates supplies and support to varsity teams as co-owner of Klein Dentistry
 
What is the best quality of Grandville Public Schools? To increase student learning, what is one change or innovation you would champion? The best quality of Grandville Public Schools is our dedication to excellence, whether it be teaching, learning, extracurriculars or our strong community. Our most important goal is student learning, and we need to ensure we are providing equitable, applicable learning experiences that are relevant to the present and future workforce. I believe these learning experiences are built upon a strong foundation of early childhood and family education. As a board member, I would champion initiatives supporting our families from birth through age 5 to set a solid groundwork for a positive, equitable education at GPS and beyond.

What is your vision for education in Grandville in 2019 and beyond? My vision for education in Grandville is to ensure all students leave our doors confidently prepared for the world ahead of them. I'd like to encourage partnerships with local businesses and expanded curriculum that more realistically supports access to high-demand careers. I’d also use this role as an opportunity to support equitable learning for all in Grandville. I would address this by using data to discover gaps in skills, learning, and needs and then collaborate with stakeholders to ensure they are addressed because we want every student to find success beyond our doors.

Have you attended any Grandville School Board meetings? Yes. How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? I would be honored to serve on the board by contributing my talents and experience. With nearly 20 years of experience in education and business in a variety of roles—teacher, curriculum and technology specialist, coach, consultant, and assessment and programs coordinator—I’ve developed a deep understanding of what is needed for success in student learning and district operations. This knowledge would lend to making fiscally wise yet student-centered decisions. I would also contribute with a current GPS parent’s perspective (a quality that is currently underrepresented), along with my willingness to listen, challenge ideas and work to consensus.
 
 

John Garbarino

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-Graduate of St. Joseph High School, Western Michigan University and the University of Phoenix
-Has a BA in Marketing and an MBA
-Currently employed as the Global Business Development Manager for Parker Hannifin
-Has two children who are graduates of Grandville High School (‘15 & ‘17)
-Has volunteered to film varsity football games and serves as a current Grandville School Board member
 
What is the best quality of Grandville Public Schools? To increase student learning, what is one change or innovation you would champion? STEM connections to businesses in Grandville.

What is your vision for education in Grandville in 2019 and beyond? Expansion of MTSS across all schools and Be Nice to identify kids at risk early in their time at Grandville.

Have you attended any Grandville School Board meetings? Yes. How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? I am a current board member and I view my role is to support administration and teachers, while helping Grandville Public Schools remain competitive.
 
 

Paul Cordes

photo of Paul
 
-Graduate of Omaha Bryan High School and University of Minnesota Twin-Cities
-Currently employed as Director of Sterling Corporation
-Volunteer experience with GPS: n/a
 
What is the best quality of Grandville Public Schools? To increase student learning, what is one change or innovation you would champion? More career tech options for students and schools. Students should be told that a 4-year College Degree and a lifetime of student loan debt is their only option. One size fits all models handcuff students AND teachers.

What is your vision for education in Grandville in 2019 and beyond? A world-class public school system that recruits and retains the best teachers and prepares students for a 21st Century economy.

Have you attended any Grandville School Board meetings? No. How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? I've sat on committees and through many a meeting through my community service and understand the intricacies of such a board. I believe that standing up for what you believe does not mean being confrontational, but working with those who are elected to represent their community to better Grandville Public Schools.
 
 

One Candidate Running Uncontested for a Partial Term

Christopher Orme is running uncontested for a partial term that will end December 2020. He is a current Grandville School Board member. Though he is the only candidate for his seat, he agreed to answer our questionnaire, too.
 

Christopher Orme

photo of Chris
 
-Graduate of Unity Christian High School and GVSU
-Has a BS in Psychology
-Currently employed as the Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Select Hinges
-Has one daughter attending Grandville High School and one recent graduate
-Has volunteered on the GPS facilities committee and bond committee and has served as a concession volunteer
-Serves as a current Grandville School Board member
 
What is the best quality of Grandville Public Schools? To increase student learning, what is one change or innovation you would champion? One of the reasons that Grandville Public Schools continues to be a destination district is due to our high academic expectations. Grandville Public Schools offers and encourages students to enroll in a variety of AP classes, in addition to our already robust class offerings. I will continue to be a strong advocate for our high academic expectations, by championing advanced, and varied class offerings.
 
What is your vision for education in Grandville in 2019 and beyond? My vision is to continue to grow Grandville Public Schools academic excellence through 2019 and beyond. We will continue to grow this vision through innovation, passionate educators, a safe school environment, and a supportive community.
 
Have you attended any Grandville school board meetings? Yes. How can you contribute to a successful board meeting? My background in school safety, school construction, education, and work with at-risk youth allows me to contribute to a variety of topics related to education. Successful board meetings are measured by the excellence of our school system. We will strive to continue this legacy of excellence at Grandville Public Schools.