(Editor’s Note: iHeartGlassCity has invited all candidates and issues to submit a column, to better educate the voters on the upcoming November 3rd election.)
Written by: Perry Lefevre
“What made you decide to run for Toledo Schools Board of Education?
In 2013, I realized that I possessed a unique set of skills, experiences and drive to make my community better. As a teacher, the Board of Education appeared to be a more appropriate venue for me to give back to Toledo. While, I was deeply involved in the effort to improve the quality of life for everyone in my South Toledo neighborhood, my education background kept refocusing me upon the safety of our children and the quality of our schools. So I ran for Toledo Schools Board of Education that year and in a field of eight candidates vying for three seats, I came in fourth. I had no intention to run again in 2015 against the likes of Lisa Sobecki and Cecilia Adams, two excellent board members whom I deeply respect. Then, Cecila was appointed to fill the late Jack Ford’s at-large council seat and Lisa announced that she would not seek reelection. Their decisions coupled with the memory of the late D. Michael Collins’ encouragement of me to consider running again, made me realize that I still had the drive to serve my community in this capacity.
“Why do you feel you are best qualified?”
I am a teacher. This is my thirty-first year in education. I have a master’s degree in education and extensive graduate course work in history, administration and special education. I have been named an Educator of the Year by Sylvania Schools, an Americanism Teacher of the Year by the American Legion and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar. I am still in the classroom and am fully conversant in the technical, professional and political aspects of education in the State of Ohio. My learning curve for this position will be minimal compared to that of my opponents. Also, I am a parent. I have lived in South Toledo for thirty years and in the same house for twenty-six years. We love our ninety year-old home on our tree-lined, brick street. We are only the third owner of our home. My kids went to Toledo Public Schools and got great educations with plenty of opportunities to expand their learning experience. I am still a TPS parent as my son, Matthew, is now a middle school math & science teacher with TPS. I have experience advocating for our children and teachers in public education with our state elected officials and extensive experience in educational labor relations. I am trained and experienced in interest based-bargaining, which is a team approach to solving our district’s challenges. I have a proven history of collaborative success with all of the stakeholders in education. I want to be an agent of change and improvement in the relationship between our faculty, staff, administration and the Board of Education and the community as a whole. Together we can make Toledo Public Schools the great school district that our community needs and deserves.
“What is the one thing people should know about you?”
I think the fact that I have left Toledo twice and returned to this fine city is indicative of how much I love it. Having lived for a time in the Atlanta area and then Waco, Texas, I bring an appreciation for our community that most of my fellow Toledoans lack. Yes, I will always be a Baylor Bear (Sic ‘Em Bears!) thanks to my time in Texas; I am a Toledoan through and through! This community has so much potential! From our location on the Great Lake Erie to the quality attractions like our Zoo, our Metropolitan Museum and our phenomenal library system, Toledo really does have it all! But, Toledo’s success is dependent upon the success of the Toledo Public Schools. I believe that the most innovative education in Northwest Ohio is happening in our Toledo Public Schools, especially with our opportunities in career technical education and in, the show pieces of our district, the Toledo Technical Academy and the Toledo Early College High School. We do have schools that we should be proud of and I want the opportunity to represent them to our community!
For more information on Perry Lefevre, visit his website