Election Day: 2016
Levy group reaches out to alumni, parents
Tuesday, as everyone knows, is Election Day. And although Kings students have the day off, a committee of volunteers will continue, for one more day, months of work trying to garner support for the district’s operating levy.
As the election grew near, people began sharing their opinions about the levy. Kings alumni, along with parents, have shared letters with the levy committee about what Kings means to them and why they support the levy. Three have been published in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Read the letters inside …
The district has been working to save money since the last operating levy passed, in 2010, stretching three years of funding into six. Superintendent Tim Ackermann recently explained this in a letter to the staff.
“Through diligent cost savings efforts, the district was able to make that levy last a total of three years beyond the original forecast,” Ackermann said.
But due to state cuts, Kings stands to lose $4 million in funding. If voters reject Tuesday’s 6.2-mill levy, the district will be forced to cut programs and staff. The cuts include letting go of eight kindergarten teachers and cutting kindergarten hours to half-day. Staff reductions would also affect the athletic department and one assistant principal. Busing would move to a three-tier system, shifting school start times; a “pay to play” program would affect extra curricular activities, and district aids and custodians would be cut along with the YES program, a program for kids who struggle in school.
The levy committee, comprising 13 volunteers, wants to make sure that does not happen.
Members have taken to social media with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts and branched out all over the community, knocking on doors and delivering yard signs and flyers.
The letters, provided to The Knight Times, come from graduates all over the country:
Maddie Mettey: KHS Class of 2016, now a student at Notre Dame
Since I was in fourth grade I knew I wanted to attend the University of Notre Dame. I distinctly remember my mom telling me it was difficult to get into and I would have to work extremely diligently to get accepted. Kings gave me the tools to get into the university of my dreams. The encouraging staff, variety of classes and extracurriculars, and emphasis on character makes Kings not just a school, but a home. I feel that I have the resources to handle anything college throws at me because I established a strong foundation at Kings.
Miranda Onnen: KHS Class of 2011, now living in New York City
Kings Local School District is a place where it isn’t uncool to love to learn. I had teachers who inspired me to actively seek knowledge, and that knowledge has not only caused me professional success, but has been personally enriching as well. I’m currently at law school in New York pursuing my dream of becoming a lawyer, and I’ll never forget how the education I received at Kings (in all areas: math, science, English, music, and art) helped me achieve my goals.
Jack Delehanty: KHS Class of 2016, now a student at Ohio State
As a recent Kings graduate, it’s easy for me to speak on behalf of the wonderful things my education has done for me. I spent all 13 years of school in Kings and wouldn’t have it any other way. The teachers and staff in the Kings Schools have become some of my greatest inspirations and some I would consider some of them my best friends. The devotion that Kings gives to its students is unlike any other district. I felt as if I had access to anything I needed to further my well-being as a student, and as an individual.
Alyssa Wright: KHS Class of 2015, now a student at Clemson
I was never the girl who loved doing school work, but I loved where I did it. Spending 13 years in Kings’ school buildings isn’t what made Kings special; my teachers, administrators, and peers made going into those buildings everyday a joy. Stepping onto Clemson University’s campus last fall, I knew my Kings education and experiences, including playing soccer and forming true relationships with my teachers, had prepared me. One year later, I still feel the same. To Kings and the people that make it so special: Thank you for changing lives and preparing those lives to go change others.
Marysa Addis: KHS Class of 2015, now a student at Ohio State
Kings is rich with student opportunity. Moving here as a fifth grader shaped my future for the better. I discovered a passion for STEM fields – particularly ones about human space flight. My teachers encouraged me to pursue my dream – an invaluable gift for which I will never be able to thank them enough. The opportunity to take two engineering classes in high school led me to pursue my electrical engineering degree. Recently, I accepted an internship at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. If not for the great education I received at Kings, I wouldn’t have found my passion or be where I am today.
Kings parents included:
Nine years ago, as our family started to grow, my husband and I decided to move out to the suburbs. We had a 1-year-old and needed a school district that reflected our same values, which included raising children to be good, kind citizens. While looking, we frequently attended high school football games in the potential districts. We attended a Kings home football game and that sealed the deal. Walking through the Kings Knights’ crowd, we were impressed by the manners, passion, and kindness the Kings student body possessed. My husband and I knew immediately that this was the district for us. Kings School District will certainly have our support and votes on Nov 8 FOR Issue 14. We want to #KeepKingsStrong
I’m a proud mom of three children that have attended, or are attending, schools in the Kings Local School District since Kindergarten. My oldest daughter graduated in 2015, and I have two sons – one is a senior and one is in eighth grade. My husband and I are both CPA’s and attended other public school systems in the Cincinnati area. He attended and graduated (slightly over 100 students) from a small school district, and I attended and graduated (over 550 in my graduating class) from a large school district. We are very happy with the size of Kings Local School District (slightly over 300 from our daughter’s graduating class). We both agree that the education and experiences that our children received and are receiving from the Kings Local Schools are excellent and have set our children up to be successful in college and beyond!
Our children have been involved in many activities and offerings at Kings Local School District including soccer, theatre, baseball, track and field, science clubs, science bowls, band, orchestra, jazz band, golf, National Junior High and High School Honor Societies, Business Professional Association, accelerated math and accelerated language arts classes, Federation of Christian Athletes, German classes, Spanish classes, various community service events, make a difference days etc. etc.. All of these opportunities and experiences have helped to shape our children into well rounded, experienced and knowledgeable students, athletes, team mates, citizens and leaders. Our high school son was exposed to the Business Professional Association at Kings High School last year. He was part of a three person Economic Research Team that went on to win regional and state competitions against other high schools. This gave him and his team the opportunity to travel to Boston where they competed on a national level that ultimately placed third in the nation! What an incredible opportunity and experience that was! It will shape him for years to come and has influenced him to want to pursue a business degree in college next year.
In addition, I can’t say enough about the teachers and administrators of the Kings Local School District. I have been impressed with their abilities and care and concern for my children. There have been so many teachers who are so passionate and excellent teaching my children throughout the years! What a blessing! We’ve seen teachers, nurses, counselor, administrators that have gone above and beyond for our family consistently! We have developed lasting relationships and friendships with many of these men and women! They still ask about our daughter who is attending Miami University with a Pre-med and Psychology co-majors. She was excellently prepared for these challenging co-majors from the education she received at Kings and was named to Miami University’s President List for both semesters of her freshman year by earning straight A’s and being in the top 3% of all freshman at Miami University.
Please support Kings Local School District! It is an excellent school district and a positive influence to their students, families and surrounding communities!
When we moved to Kings in 1995, we had a 1 year old and I was pregnant with baby 2. As a new homeowner, I had no idea the incredible value to live here!
Now, 21 years later, I have a Kings Hat Trick with graduates from 2013, 2014, 2015. My youngest is in 8th grade. I’ve had the fortune of volunteering many years with PTO, including President at CIS. I’ve been involved with Kings Athletic Booster Club. One would say I am biased towards our schools, however, until I graduated my first born, I had no reference point.
I come from a family of teachers. In 2013, many came from out of state to attend our graduation ceremony at the Cintas Center. When I get comments from them like “Your schools do that? They do what? They have this?” I began to realize how privileged we are to be in such a top notch public school. When my son moved to Carthage College, in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2013, he quickly realized how well educated, and prepared for college, he was. I’ll never forget his early comments regarding “some kids seem so dumb, and not ready for this.”
We all want what’s best for our kids. We all want to provide for their well being and make sure they are prepared for life beyond the K-12 years. I can confidently say that thanks to KLSD, our students are well prepared. The teachers, the curriculum, the students, the parents, and the community have all contributed to the positive experiences of our kids outside the home. When I hear about the demise of some districts, I point up to the sky and think “Thank God that’s not happening here!” We are spoiled, the right way, and I don’t want to lose that. I love this community!
Here is my big picture takeaway to the naysayers of our levy: Our last levy was supposed to provide resources for 3 years. Our fiscally prudent board and administrators made it last 6 years. If this is not being good stewards of our money, I don’t know what is. We cannot control what the State of Ohio will provide us for revenue, and the reality is that our expenses, are going to exceed our declining revenue from the State. Of course, no one wants to pay more taxes. Sadly, we need to depend on the taxpayers to provide for the continued excellence of our district. The simple fact is that KLSD is fiscally responsible and will spend the best bang for the buck. Support Kings and KEEP Kings Strong! In Kings We Trust.
For more information on the levy, go to: www.kingslevy.com
The Knight Times will publish levy results Tuesday night on Twitter.
By Addie Collins