Rocky Fork Enterprise

G-J school board race

Campbell offers 'careful spending,' 'innovative thinking'


Matthew Campbell, 38, is one of four candidates seeking one of three open seats on the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education on Nov. 5.

Other candidates include incumbent Jill Schuler, Jason Phillips and Beryl Piccolantonio.

Campbell, who works at JPMorgan Chase, is the father of three children who attend Gahanna schools, and a fourth who will enter the district next year.

As an involved parent of students in the school district, Campbell said, he has a lot on the line in the district's ability to provide a quality education.

"My relationship with the district has lasted for 10 years so far, with many more to come," he said.

"With that ... a fresh perspective, and a financial and accounting background, I'm prepared to serve the community as a member of the board of education."

If the school board decides to place an issue on the May ballot, Campbell said, he would carefully review the numbers and the supporting reasons and predictions.

"The board needs to keep priorities in mind," he said.

"When it comes to spending, the students come first, followed by the teachers, and then the rest," Campbell said.

"Our desire to maintain a top-rated school district that is seeking to improve to the next level must be balanced with the economic reality of our community."

In this current situation with the district's revenue and expense trends, every dollar that is spent should be scrutinized along with the value that is returned on those dollars, Campbell said.

"Like any family in a challenging economy, every expense should be closely examined," he said.

"Additionally, the board should seek to build bridges into the community to expand the available revenue sources and their cooperation with groups such as parent-teacher organizations, among others," Campbell said.

"Many in our community are passionate about having a high-grade public school district and are looking for ways to help."

Campbell said the G-J district can be better and must get better.

"I look forward to serving the stakeholders of the Gahanna-Jefferson school district -- the students, the teachers, and the taxpayers," he said.

"Through careful spending and innovative thinking, I'll work with the other members of the board and with the administration to take this district to excellence," Campbell said.

With investment from students, families and the community, Campbell said, every school year should be a complete year of scholarly growth in the district.