Rocky Fork Enterprise

G-J school board race

Phillips says experience makes him best candidate

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Educator Jason Phillips is one of four candidates vying for three seats on the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education in the November general election.

Others on the ballot include incumbent Jill Schuler, Matthew Campbell and Beryl Piccolantonio.

Phillips, 33, is an educator at Licking Heights High School.

If the school district goes to the voters in May 2013 with a ballot issue, Phillips said he will support it.

"Gahanna-Jefferson is a great school district that does a service to this community," Phillips said.

"I am running to keep this service going and to improve upon it.

"I believe in being financially responsible to community while providing a properly funded education for our children," Phillips said.

"The staff of Gahanna-Jefferson has frozen their salary multiple times, the schools have worked to increase outside revenue, and I believe the schools are providing a great value of education for the costs involved."

Phillips said the state has some very expensive unfunded mandates in place for the next few years.

"We must be financially stable to continue to succeed with our goals as a district," he said.

"Once in office, I plan to reach out to the state legislature to provide stability in state funding and eliminate unfunded mandates.

"To manage the budget and lead this district, we must have this stability from year to year or the cycle of levies will never end."

Phillips said the schools have to get creative to maintain current services with declining revenue sources.

"First, the schools should look for additional ways to increase revenue by exploring opportunities with businesses, sponsorships and grants," he said.

"The businesses at Clark Hall bring in $175,000 a year; I believe the schools should look for ways to make this grow."

Additionally, Phillips said, the schools should aggressively pursue sponsorship and grant opportunities.

"These outside sources of revenue can help the students of Gahanna-Jefferson by filling the gaps and ensure we are offering the best services possible," he said.

"Second, we need to explore any waste and work to eliminate it.

"The administrators, teachers and support staff should be surveyed to make sure that what the district is spending money on is being used," Phillips said.

"They are the people that work in the schools on a day-to-day basis and can tell us where the district can cut some costs."

Phillips cites his knowledge and experience in education as an asset.

In addition to holding a master's degree in education, he has more than 10 years of experience as an educator, coach and school leader.

"Residents should vote for me because I am the best candidate to represent our community and our schools," Phillips said.

"My experience and knowledge in education is unmatched by the other candidates. I know what is currently going on in education at the local, state and national level; as well have a full understanding of the direction of education for tomorrow."

Phillips said he would use that knowledge to make proactive decisions for the schools and community that would provide the best education and opportunities for the students.

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