Tri-Village News

Grandview school board race

Kipp ready for office after years as secretary


One of the reasons Sandy Kipp decided to enter the Grandview Heights school board race as a write-in candidate is simply that she misses the daily connection to the district she had as the board's executive secretary.

The experience and knowledge she developed in her 22 years as board secretary would serve her well if she was elected, she said.

Kipp, 68, is one of five candidates running for three board seats. The other candidates are board President Grant Douglass, former Grandview Heights High School principal Jesse Truett and two other write-in candidates: former mayor John Leutz and Stephanie Evans, owner of a local photography studio.

After the Franklin County Board of Elections rejected current board member Katie Clifford's candidacy after she failed to sign official documents, Kipp decided to run.

"I just missed the district," Kipp said. "You work in the board office for 22 years and it just becomes part of your daily life."

Grandview residents for nearly 40 years, Kipp and her husband have three daughters who graduated from Grandview High School and three granddaughters who were or are students in the district.

"I care about Grandview schools and want to give back and help us maintain all the good things happening here," she said.

There are many aspects to being a board member, Kipp said.

"You deal with everything from contract negotiations to student enrollment, keeping current with changing technology in the classroom and new requirements from the Ohio Department of Education, some which are funded and some that are not," she said. "You're dealing with a lot of small things, like the cafeterias and how many lunches we're serving each day, to the big issues, like finances and curriculum issues."

Kipp dealt with all of those issues as board secretary, she said.

"I would bring compassion and experience to the board," she said. "Many times the superintendent would come in and say, 'We have a situation,' and I would know the history and let him know if we'd dealt with that before and how we handled it.

"I just have a lot of knowledge about the history of the district," Kipp said.

The board must work closely with the district treasurer to make sure school finances are stable, she said.

"We need to be ever alert of our financial status and work with the treasurer to make sure the five-year financial forecasts are as accurate as possible," she said. "It takes strong financial planning, and we have that in our district."

Superintendent Ed O'Reilly and Director of Curriculum Katie Maxfield have done an outstanding job working with district administrators and teachers to make sure Grandview is well-prepared to meet the changing mandates from the state and federal level, including the third-grade reading guarantee, new state report card system and Common Core standards, Kipp said.

The proof of that is in students' high academic achievement and the district's success on the state report card, she said.

Grandview is fortunate, "because at this point, I really don't see any glaring problems that we have," Kipp said.

The main task of whoever is elected to the board will be to help build on what the district already has accomplished, she said.