Olentangy/Powell

Board hopefuls' statements reveal they're not up to par

To the Editor:

As a longtime Olentangy high school guidance counselor who resides in the district, has a spouse employed as a teacher by Olentangy, and has two children attending an Olentangy elementary school, I feel I have a lot vested in the upcoming school board election. After examining the websites of board candidates Brian Helwig and Katy Barricklow, it is my opinion they are unprepared to lead the Olentangy school district where it needs to go.

Examining Helwig's website, in one section, there seems to be an inference that our students are not being prepared to compete for scholarships or to be sought out by top universities. During my tenure, I have seen students admitted and receiving scholarships from schools ranging from Ivy League schools to Duke, MIT and Ohio State. This fall, Yale sent a representative to my building to "seek out" top students from Olentangy High School.

In a ThisWeek News article in September, Mr. Helwig said something to the effect that he would implement a transitional schedule that would allow accelerated students to take high-level classes in certain core subjects. We have been doing just that for years through programs such as the post-secondary option program, dual enrollment and Advanced Placement classes.

Barricklow on her website made a statement in which she used the term "independent education plan." Did you mean "individualized education plan"? In addition, she made reference to the idea that there needs to be much improvement for students who are enrolled in AP classes. That seems to come in conflict with an impartial ranking that all three Olentangy high schools received from US News & World Report that placed all among the top high schools in the nation. A major contributing factor in those rankings was based on AP information.

Both Helwig (SMART) and Barricklow (STARS) have clever slogans on their website spelling out some of their beliefs. I'd like to propose my own slogan for these two candidates: DUMB, which stands for Divisiveness, Uniformed, Marginal and Bickering, because that's what it will be in my belief if these two candidates win the election. The only reasonable choice is to vote for Feasel and King.

Mike Naveau

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