Radnor Patch has reached out to local candidates to find out more about them. Here is information from Susan Michaelson.
Name: Susan Michaelson
Running For: Re-election to the Radnor School Board
Party Affiliation: Republican
Positions Held Previously: Currently serving the remainder of my first four-year term.
Why are you running for office? I’m running for re-election because my work here is not yet finished. Our district has struggled in recent years to find its footing with significant changes in administrative leadership. Now that our new superintendent, Dr. Mike Kelly, is on board, I look forward to working with him to prioritize Radnor’s important needs. Some examples. We continue to face challenges in reviewing, documenting, and upgrading our curriculum to meet the demands of twenty-first century learners. Decision-making must become driven by data and flowing from a vetted plan rather than by the crisis of the moment or the personal preferences of a few people. Mine has been an important minority voice championing increased transparency in financial reporting, management, and budgeting. I have demonstrated repeatedly during my term that the Radnor board majority is overtaxing the current cohort of Radnor property owners, a message that finally resulted in the barest tax decrease this year, but there is more to be done to right-size our taxation and spending. With 15 years’ fresh experience as a Radnor school parent, I am also deeply interested in addressing our students’ physical and emotional safety in a much broader way. I’m delighted to see the high school’s traffic and parking problems I talked about in 2009 being actively addressed, but this is just one aspect of a larger discussion that must include guidance counseling, student behavioral standards, and drug and alcohol use, among others issues.
What do you think are the biggest issues you would face in office: The biggest issues really come down to setting priorities for the district in a rational way, and then working them. We desperately need a solid, integrated strategic and operating plan from which we can drive program, facilities, spending, and other decisions. There is far too much disconnected information and activity occurring throughout the district. That results in wasted time, money, and administrative bandwidth, and it’s not helping us drive forward to address the challenges I’ve outlined above.
If elected, what would you aim to accomplish: If re-elected, I want to accomplish the following: 1) ensure that 100% of our curriculum is documented, reviewed, and updated to meet the needs of all our students; 2) produce a living, breathing strategic and operating plan by which the district can be managed now and into the future; 3) fully revamp district financial reporting so that it is transparent, is easy to understand, and provides the basis for solid board and administrative decision-making; 4) Right-size taxation levels to meet district needs without continuing to unduly burden today’s taxpayers; 5) Introduce a broad conversation about issues affecting our students’ physical and emotional safety, putting hard questions on the table, and seeking coordinated solutions.
Website/other information to promote: www.RadnorExpectMore.com