Tri-Village News

Grandview school board race

Evans touts her business acumen, passion for the arts

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Stephanie Evans never expected to be running for the Grandview school board.

When incumbents Katie Clifford and Grant Douglass and former Grandview Heights High School principal Jesse Truett announced their candidacies, "running myself never crossed my mind," Evans said. "Grandview schools are in pretty good shape and I was supportive of all three of them and trusted their leadership."

But the situation changed when the Franklin County Board of Elections rejected Clifford's candidacy because she failed to sign the documents she filed to run in the Nov. 5 election.

"A friend of mine approached me and asked if I would consider" running as a write-in candidate, Evans said.

"That was on a Friday and the deadline was the following Monday," she said. "I thought long and hard about it over the weekend."

In the end, not knowing if anyone else was going to run as a write-in candidate, Evans decided to enter the race.

With the district enjoying academic success and financial stability, "I want to help keep a good thing going," she said.

Evans also said she was concerned there might be only two candidates for three open board seats.

As it turns out, there are five candidates running for the board. Along with Douglass, Truett and Evans, there are two other write-in candidates: Sandra Kipp and John Leutz.

Evans' background as owner of a small business would be a valuable asset to the school board, she said.

"I know how to run a business and know the importance of handling finances wisely," she said.

Evans previously served as the executive director at the National Kidney Foundation of Ohio.

"In that role, I was involved in fundraising and coordinating volunteer efforts," Evans said.

She now owns Stephanie Evans Photography.

"I think I can bring my vision and passion for the visual and musical arts to the board," Evans said.

It is important for schools to provide a strong arts program for students, she said.

"Studies have shown that performing music is one of the few things that allows you to use both sides of your brain," Evans said.

She said she would like to see a more coordinated music program throughout the district "so that all our schools can pool their resources and take advantage of all that's happening in the arts in downtown Columbus. It's right in our backyard."

Evans said she supports the steps taken by the district to help ensure Grandview meets state and federal mandates, such as the third-grade reading guarantee, the new state report-card system and the Common Core.

While "we don't want others telling us how to teach our students," she said she does believe more guidance is needed to help districts prepare for the implementation of Common Core standards.

Evans, 47, has a bachelor's degree in medical communications from Ohio State University. She and her husband, John, have three children.

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