Name: Patricia (Pat) Matthews
Lives in Stow: 43 Years
Family: Three children and one grandchild at the Stow-Munroe Falls High School
Education: B.A. history from Cleveland State University, post-graduate education K-9 from the University of Akron.
Political Affiliation: Democrat, according to the Summit County Board of Elections.
(Board members serve the district on a non-partisan basis)
Position Sought: School Boardmember in the Nov. 8, 2011 election
Other Elected Positions: Current School Board President.
What is the biggest problem facing the district?
- "During my four years on school board, the financial instability has been the biggest problem. We have had failed levies and decreasing money coming from the state. Long-term planning which is also important to any institution has been very difficult."
Are you in favor of the school levy?
- "I am in favor of the school levy. We have had no new money since 2002 and are unable to continue our 'Excellent' system without additional funds. We have cut $7 million over the last five years and that will have an affect not only on the students but also our home value in Stow. Families want the best education for their children and will move into communities which provide it."
What are your goals if elected?
- "Communication, communication, communication, communication. This is so important. Continued effort to keep communication open between the community, teachers, support staff, administration and the school board. another goal is that our school system provides the best in technology tools. We have to not only keep up but to go beyond when thinking how best we can meet the needs of our students in the 21st century."
What qualifies you to be on the board?
- "I believe I can still make a difference. There is a need for a person with an educational background to be on board, whether it is me or someone else. At this point, we have five people on the board with a variety of previous experience — this has been good. I have the experience of being on the board four years, 21 years in education and I'm a parent of three and grandmother of seven. I have been on three levy campaigns and on the negotiation committee. I have learned so much and would like the opportunity to continue serving our future citizens."
.Where do you stand on the International Baccalaureate Program?
- "I wish I was 20 years younger and a teacher in the school district. I love all aspects of IB, but most of all, the development of an inquiring approach to learning in our students. All students follow the Ohio required curriculum and IB is just the framework. I do understand the fear among others about the financial cost of this program and that not all elementary schools are involved at this point. My hope is that as our teachers are being trained that they will be as enthusiastic as I am and share all the 'best practices' with each other. There is the possibility that the IB program at Kent State University will be instituted for all new teachers. If this occurs, the financial cost will be much less for future teacher training in our school system. The funds from Title 1 and ESC are now being used for professional development."
Editor's note: The last sentence in the above response previously said "not" instead of "now." The error has been fixed. The correct wording is, "The funds from Title 1 and ESC are now being used for professional development." The staff regrets the error.