Candidate Questionnaire – Board of Education (Chattooga)
Name – Steven Groves
Position – Candidate for Board of Education (Chattooga) District 3 seat
Hello, my name is Steven Groves. I am a father of two daughters ages 26 and 24, Grandfather of four wonderful grand children ages 9,6,3, and 1 and most important married for 29 years to my lovely wife Prima Groves. I am a paramedic in the county, by trade/occupation since 1997. I started my career at Hutcheson and became and employee of Chattooga County in 2008. We moved to Chattooga County in 2012 for this school system so that our younger daughter could finish high school. In a public standing verse homeschooling due to bullying in another county because I preferred her to be in a public setting verse being home schooled. I have had the blessed pleasure of being a foster parent as well as a recreational soccer coach. I am also currently a substitute teacher for Chattooga Cunty schools.
What type of experiences and understanding of the education system do you believe is necessary to completely serve on the Board of Education? Every possible experience is necessary for the understanding of the educational system how it works and what keeps it working for the benefit of every student to become a productive member of society. To be a benefit for every employee in the system and to serve the community of which we all live and love.
What are three strengths of which our district can be proud? Why do you see these as strengths?
1. Dedication to the students and families of this community: Our system has demonstrated a true dedication to each student through education which is proven by the students pass rates and test scores. To families’ students by assisting through electronic contact and physical interactions with every willing family.
2. Understanding to the students and families of this community. Our system has offered an “outside of business” understanding to our diverse economic, racial and cultural standings of every family.
3. Willingness- Every student and family are not the same and our system has demonstrated a willingness in every situation that has been presented based on the ability of the system.
What are 3 needs that must be provided for our District to address?
1. Consistency- Every student and family have a continuous need for their education understanding and delivery. The employee of our system needs a constant in their careers as well.2. Retention- Over the time I have been a part of the system I have heard and noted that retention of employees is a necessity for an active and forward progression of our system.3. Internal participation of our school board- Only reason most families know the members is through personal contact. The students and employees of our system should have the ability to know and speak to every board member.Due to the important business decisions this board is required to undertake.
An individual school board member has no authority; only the board as a whole cane make decisions for the district. What skills or traits will allow you to contribute to effective operations of the board as a whole and how do you overcome disagreement? As a team member if it is inherited requiring open minded actions while maintaining the same and general purpose. As a command staff member of a business, it is your obligation to lead, got more importantly it is a requirement to be a member of the same team to promote positive progression for the common goal, with, as a previous department leader I have the skills and traits to lead towards the common goal, but also be a team member to achieve some goal. Also, to have the willingness to be an uplifter and assistant of all members to strive for the same goal. You overcome disagreements with persistent patience and understanding. Must have the willingness to deviate from personal agenda to promote success, bend but don’t break to achieve positive outcomes.
If (re)-elected, what would you hope would be key accomplishments of the board during your years of service? I would (as a team member) strive for our system to be an icon for others. In that not only has our system continued to positively progress, but also become a leader in the “how too” so that this system will be recognized in its current achievements and future achievements.
Chattooga County is very diverse and continues to become more diverse every year – economically, racially, culturally and in other ways. In the Board of Education and the school system generally doing enough to adequately represent the needs of the various demographics across Chattooga County? Yes, I truly believe our system is adequate in assisting in diversity and understanding of the diversity. With a complacent business is a stagnant one. If not moving forward, you will fall behind. Therefore, I will always keep an open eye and ear for forward progression opportunities in these areas.
What should our school district be doing to ensure the safety of students and staff? I feel the safety of staff and students is one of the top priorities of our system. The concern is demonstrated by unease of internal access to any school. The use of county officers in system both physical perspective and visual perspective to deter possible issues.
How can the Chattooga County Board of Education be more transparent about activities and finances? I honestly feel that our board does a very efficient job of sharing to all parties of curiosity in generally operations, therefore I don’t feel more actions are needed in this area.
Will any other employment or business venture in which you are vested in the present a conflict of entrust for you as a Chattooga County Board member? No. My only business venture is caring, treating and transporting patients of the community. I have no other business ventures past or present.
In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest arising in your official duties, how would you handle such a conflict to ensure maintenance of public trust? Should a situation ever arise I will first exonerate myself from any decision making on that specific issue.
Chattooga County School District has operated on a 4-day and a 5-day school week schedule. Do you support the 4-day or 5-day school week, please explain? (Please be clear in your answer I support a 4-day or 5-day). Straight forward I support the 4-day school week, and here is why. 1.) Based on business this has proven to be a financial attribute to the status of the system. Reduction of cost in any business is a benefit to the business. 2.) The employees of our system benefit from this schedule. Due to this allows for more uninterrupted planning and fortifying of the upcoming lessons. It also allows for students and family to have a day to interact with the teacher in order to ensure educational understanding and progression. 3.) A 4-day schedule allows students a day to conduct non-schoolrelated business I.E., doctors’ visits, dentist visits and unfortunately employment without missing a day of school causing a reduction in attendance and possibly lead to reduction in grades and test scores.
What motivates you to want to become a Board of Education member? Simply, the children of our community, every child has a right to the best possible education that they can receive. If that child wishes to be a politician, a doctor, a nurse, a contractor, an auto mechanic or any other career option. They deserve the best possible education that could be provided. I love children and want to do my part to ensure that stability of our educational system for the forward progression of every child past, present, and future.
What attributes are essential for successful school board members? Willingness to make decisions for business benefits, the students benefit, employee benefit, and family community benefit.
What do you see as the board’s responsibilities and roles? Business is the role of the Board of Education. In business there are suppliers and customers. Teachers supply the instruction to their customers to the students, and to the families and community. The school employees are customers of the principal. The principal is the customer of the superintendent which in turn is the customer of the advisement from The Board of Education members. A happy customer leads to a successful business.
Do you have sufficient time and energy to devote to being a Chattooga County Board of Education member? Yes, often the employment and family. I honestly have no other interruptions to prevent dedicated service to this board.
Describe the role of the super intendent. In reference to business the superintendent is the CEO of the school system. The superintendent is responsible and liable of all business actions and activities.
With only one or two meetings a month, all school members are limited to what they can do. How does/should the board decide what is most important? Prioritizing based again on business principals. Financial is top priority because without funds a business will not exist, personnel issues including but not limited to maintaining retention as described before and all customers of The Board of Education.
Do you think our local BOE seats should be a nonpartisan election? Please explain. Yes, nonpartisans allowfor uninfluential operation and direction not based off a partisan intervention of direction. I have been republican supporter since high school, but hard-core conservative direction is not best in all situations. Yes, it takes money to make money. It takes credit to get credit but spending money outside normal regular business can be beneficial if in a conservative way.
Do you think superintendents should be appointed by the BOE or elected by the voters? Elected by the voters. Unfortunately, the “Good ole boy mentality” is still prominent. You will reduce “parliament” style control as well as allow each voting citizen to have a chance in placement of this position.
Are there specific needs you feel that are important for your districts school to perform better? Yes, individual schools must have what their administration and instructors need to perform their daily actions and activities. From supplies to consistency of instructional requirements.
The daily operations of schools are not a role of a board member. How would you help someone who comes to you with a complaint about a teacher or coach? First- ensure that since brought to my attention I will follow this until rectified, but ensure that this issue was brought, in its entirety to the teacher or coach. Second- If not resolved, ensure the administration of the same school has had the appropriate opportunity and information in reference to the situation at hand. Third- If still unresolved plan to have the issue brought before the superintendent either formal or informal setting with the understanding the superintendent’s decision is final.
Top tier jobs in the school system need to understand what is going on in the community to better help the students. Should the administrators, principals and leadership positions live, shop and invest in the county they are employed by? Yes, if you are not personally invested in the community you serve then the thought of devotion to progression is not truly the thought process. If you work in it and live in it, then you own and take care of it.