As the Milford community prepares for the upcoming referendum on Tuesday, May 5 where the Milford School District is asking residents to vote for a new high school and operations budget, there is another election in the month of May that has not gained much attention. On Tuesday, May 12 residents of the Milford School District will be voting for the 5 Year At-Large seat on the Milford School Board from 10 am to 8 pm at three separate polling locations: Benjamin Banneker Elementary – 449 North Street, Milford; Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center – 8609 Third Street, Lincoln; Lulu Ross Elementary – 310 Lovers Lane, Milford. The contested race is between candidates Kent Del Rossi, Kristin Yvette Dennehy and Ronald T. Evans. In a continued effort to keep the Milford community informed and engaged Milfordlive.com has interviewed each candidate with a list of questions regarding the upcoming election. The winner of this election will fill a 5 year term for “At-Large” in the Milford School District.
My name is Ron Evans. I have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Finance and a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from Wilmington University. I am married with four children. My wife, who is a Delaware native, is a teacher in the Milford School District. I am the Treasurer for the Mispillion Elementary School PTP and have been since its inception. Additionally, I am a member of the Milford School District’s Citizen Budget Oversight Committee. I am currently employed as a Consultant for a Community Bank in Maryland where my focus is on assisting the Bank in developing a strategic vision for their Commercial Lending, creating processes and procedures to implement that vision, and training employees on the new processes and procedures.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I am first and foremost most proud of the accomplishments of my wife and children. Their accomplishments are my accomplishments. Secondly, I am most proud of the fact that I was able to successfully and properly form the Mispillion Elementary School PTP and obtain tax-exempt status with the IRS. Additionally, I have been able to work with the various other members of the Mispillion PTP Board to make it a viable and successful organization that directly contributes to the school. Third, I am proud of the fact that I was able to obtain both of my degrees while working full-time. I feel this is a testament to my strong work ethic and ability to create success from a challenging situation. Finally, I am proud that I have been able to enter multiple organizations, as an employee, and directly contribute to the success of that organization. Beyond the recognition and awards that I received at those organizations, I have been able to develop strategic plans and implement them which resulted in the betterment of the organizations and the employees.
Why are you running for School Board?
I am running for School Board because I feel that I bring a unique skill set which would result in a positive impact on the students of Milford schools, employees of the Milford School District, and the community at-large. From my years of experience in banking, I have a proven success record of understanding the financial situation of organizations, including governmental organizations like the School District, to assist them in working through difficult times. This means understanding the financial impact of each decision, asking the correct questions before dedicating financial resources to something, and creating a strong and realistic plan to strengthen the financial position of the school district. Additionally, I bring a new and fresh perspective to how things can be done differently. I strongly believe that for the school district to see success, it must look at, first, creating a vision which contributes to the success of students and the community, then guide the implementation of that vision. This development of a vision would lead to a true understanding of the needs of the students, employees, and community.
What would you like to see done during your first term?
I would like to see the District develop a comprehensive one, three, five, and ten year vision for the school district. This means determining what the school district wants to stand for besides high graduation rates and test scores. I believe that those are important, but the true success of the District is determined by the successes of those who graduated from the district. This means exploring what programs the majority of students who go to college are selecting, what careers those who chose a path outside of college are selecting, and what the needs of businesses in the community are. From there, the district can explore and create programs outside, and in addition to, the traditional “Math”, “Language Arts” (i.e. English), “Science”, and “Social Studies” courses which will better prepare the students for their future outside of the Milford Schools. I strongly feel this is a more viable determination of needs compared to just selecting sets of classes that you think the students may want.
What are the current issues facing the Milford School District?
The first major issue is financial. I understand that the District’s focus is on the need for the building of a new school; however, should the current financial situation not be the focus, the funds to effectively operate said school and/or the existing schools will remain an issue. The second issue facing the District is the attrition of teachers and students. It should be a priority to attract, retain, and support strong teachers. This means asking a teacher who is leaving why they are leaving and what they feel the District could have done better. As with any career, most people don’t simply leave because of “the money”. This is especially true of teachers who entered their career for reasons other than how much they make. In regards to students leaving the District, the first priority should be actually reaching out to those families who make the choice to leave and determine the reasons versus just assuming the reason. This means meeting with those families to ask them why they are choosing to leave the District, what the District could have done better to keep them from leaving, and what they feel the District did do well. This provides a strong basis for the District to develop a plan to retain those students beyond doing things that may not make sense.
What does a vote for you stand for?
A vote for me stands for a better Milford School District. This means exploring new and creative ways to provide a strong educational environment for students, strong support for teachers, a focus on making sure students are well-prepared for their chosen career path versus making high state test scores, and a constant strive to make Milford School District the ideal School District in the State.
Absentee voting is available for those eligible voters who are unable to go to the polls on May 12, 2015 by calling 739-4498 for information on obtaining an affidavit to enable the Kent County Department of Elections to mail a ballot. Residents of the Milford School District can also cast a vote absentee ballot in person at the office, 100 Enterprise Place, Suite 5, Dover, DE, Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P. M. until May 11, 2015 12:00 Noon. Extended office hours for absentee voting are April 21, 2015 & May 5, 2015, as the office will be open from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Voters must bring proof of identity and address.