Tri-Village News

Grandview school board race

Douglass' belief in education behind re-election bid

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Grandview Heights school board President Grant Douglass said the reason he is running for re-election is the same as when he ran four years ago.

"I believe public education is extremely important and it's important for everybody," he said, "and it's important for everyone to receive an outstanding education."

Douglass is seeking his second term on the board.

Four other candidates are seeking election to one of three board seats up for grabs Nov. 5. They include former Grandview Heights High School principal Jesse Truett, former Grandview mayor John Leutz, recently retired board secretary Sandy Kipp and Stephanie Evans, owner of a photography studio.

Leutz, Kipp and Evans are write-in candidates.

Current board member Katie Clifford will leave her seat at the end of the year after her petition was rejected by the Franklin County Board of Elections.

The experience of serving on the board "has been really great, probably more than I expected," Douglass said. "It's been great to get to know the really dedicated teachers and administrators we have here. I really admire them for their professionalism."

The district has financial stability and high academic success, "as witnessed by our results on the last state report card," he said.

The only recent controversy -- regarding the selection of reading material in a high school literature class -- has been addressed.

"There is a process now where the English teachers and English department chair will choose the books," Douglass said. "The board should not be choosing the books. Let the professionals do their job."

The district has and will continue to "maintain transparency to the public regarding our capital expenditures and operating expenditures so they can see the money is wisely spent," he said.

"We need to balance our fiscal needs with the educational needs of our children, and so far we've done that successfully," Douglass said.

The district also has developed a plan to make sure Grandview will be able to meet new state and federal standards such as the third-grade reading guarantee, the new state report card system and the implementation of Common Core standards, he said.

"We should remember that these are minimum standards, and in Grandview we are not concerned about meeting minimum standards but in being the best district we can," Douglass said.

Grandview is making sure its schools and classrooms remain up to date in technology, he said.

"We will have an electronic device in every high school student's hands starting next year," Douglass said. "We already have devices there now and in all our schools all the way down to kindergarten."

Douglass, 52, has lived in district since 1991. He and his wife, Susan, have four children, the youngest of whom is a freshman at Grandview Heights High School.

Douglass holds a bachelor's degree in history from Ohio State University and owns several businesses, including Hanlin Rainaldi Construction Corp., as well as agricultural and light manufacturing companies.

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