Worthington School Board race includes Best, Hudson, Davis, Steel
The race for the Worthington Schools Board of Trustees in the Nov. 2 general election will feature four candidates vying for three open seats.
Incumbents Jennifer Best and Nikki Hudson are running to keep their seats for another term, and newcomers Kelli Davis and Brian Steel are running for their first term on the board.
Outgoing board member Sam Shim is not seeking re-election, opening the third seat and securing at least one new member to the five-member school board from 2022.
To read candidates’ responses to questions asked by This week and The Columbus Dispatch, go to ThisWeekNEWS.com/VoterGuide2021
Best, 63, an independent accountant, said she was running for re-election to continue her decades-long work on the school board, emphasizing “academic excellence, security and stability.”
The current chairman of the board, Best has served on the board for 20 years and has been chairman of the board six times.
âIt gave me a unique understanding of board processes and school district challenges,â she said. âWe have had a difficult year. I have been involved in this community all my life; my parents were involved in schools when I was young, and now I have a grandchild in the community.
âMy experience and leadership within the Worthington School Board will continue to help guide our school district with a focus on academic excellence, safety and stability. I am committed to continuing to work collaboratively with students, staff and community members so that each student can reach their full potential.
Best said she was a longtime resident of the school district, with two children graduating from Worthington Kilbourne High School. She said that as a CPA and small business owner and given her community background, she had a deep understanding of district finances and an intimate understanding of the financial situation of Worthington families.
âI always work hard to make sure that we provide tools for the success of all students while being taxpayer conscious,â she said.
Davis, 44, a court administration secretary at Franklin County City Court, said she was running because she “cares deeply” about the district and believes she can be a “positive force” in the city. board of directors by “building bridges” for its students, teachers, staff, administration and other constituents.
âI believe in a student-centered approach to district leadership that begins with productive, honest and open communication and a commitment to build on common ground when making decisions,â he said. she declared. âI am running for Worthington School Board because I am a firm believer I will bring a unique, productive and positive approach to help our district continue to evolve, grow and improve in a way that allows all students to flourish.
Davis said she and her husband, Rondell, had lived in the school district for about 15 years, with a daughter who graduated from Worthington Schools and a son who currently attends Thomas Worthington High School. As a parent of the district, she said, she gained an intimate knowledge of the district, spanning academics and athletics and other areas in between.
“I understand the importance of creating a caring, respectful and safe environment where all students and families are empowered to use their voices to share their diverse perspectives on the exciting opportunities and difficult decisions our district will face,” she declared.
Davis said she sits on the board of directors for the Worthington Alliance of Black Families and Educators and is a member of the district’s senior facilities working group.
She said she also volunteered as a representative on the Curriculum Liaison Council and was a former member of the Worthington Kilbourne Senior Communicators Group. She said she has also coordinated food drives for local families and is a former Girl Scout leader.
Hudson, 49, an intellectual property lawyer, said she is seeking re-election because she is committed to helping the district’s students reach their “full potential.”
Hudson, a former chairman of the board, served on the board for four years.
She said she has demonstrated that she is “a passionate leader who seeks diverse perspectives and experiences, collaborates to define policies and ensure progress, makes evidence-based decisions and advocates for under-represented students.”
With her continued leadership on the board, she said, she “will support policies that ensure more equitable experiences and outcomes for all students, respond to the student mental health emergency, and foster a culture. learning where all students can develop academically, socially and emotionally. . “
Hudson said she had lived in Worthington for 11 years with her husband, David, and two daughters, both students at Worthington Schools.
Hudson said she has a long history of volunteering in the community, with roles such as serving on the District Mission and Vision Committee, co-chairing Phase I of the District Facilities Core Working Group, and volunteering. with the partnership of Worthington.
Hudson said his history of involvement in the school district and the community of Worthington has allowed him to build relationships with teachers, staff and administration and gave him a comprehensive overview of the “opportunities and challenges facing the district. confronted”.
Hudson said that with 20 years of experience as a lawyer, she also brings “strong research, reasoning, communication and action skills” to the position.
Steel, 43, a police officer with the Columbus Police Division, said he was showing up because he believed in the community.
âThat’s why my wife, Lindsay, and I chose this community to raise our family. My kids will be going to Worthington schools for years to come, âhe said. âI want them to have the best experience possible, and I want their classroom teaching to prepare them to excel.
Steel said he was also dissatisfied with the leadership of the school board and wanted the board to “refocus” its attention on “the classroom experience” for students in the district.
“I think the school board is off on the wrong track,” he said. âI think we need to refocus on transparency and decision making considering the children’s classroom experience first. I think my experience and background will serve the community well.
Steel said he had been a police officer for about 20 years and was a former US Navy. He said he had five children and that he and his wife chose to move to Worthington in 2007 because of the school district.
Steel is vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge 9 and is a member of the Perry Township Board of Zoning Appeals.
Steel said his education includes a master’s degree in public administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Administration at Ohio University, and that he is currently pursuing a certificate in black studies from Sinclair University.
Editor’s Note:These profile capsules were written from the direct responses of candidates forThis weekbiographical information questionnaire which was due on September 30th.