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News :: Vinton-Shellsburg School Board Candidate Profile: Rob Levis
· 9:47am September 9th, 2013
Editor's Note: Rob Levis is seeking re-election to the at-large school board seat he was first elected to in 2009. We asked Rob to share some information about himself and her experience, as well as his views on school issues. Below, is his response:
For the past four years I have had the privilege of serving our district as a member of the Vinton-Shellsburg School Board. During that time we have done a lot to strengthen our district, but there is still important work to be done. This week I am seeking the opportunity to continue working to make our schools even better.
Originally from the Chicago area, I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1987 with a degree in Finance and earned an MBA from Syracuse University in 1994. After spending 21 years as an Army officer, I retired from the military and moved to Vinton in 2008.
My wife, Nancy, is a native Iowan and we have been married 25 years. We have four kids, three who have attended V-S schools with two still in the district. Having lived in more than a dozen communities around the world, our kids have attended a variety of different schools, but we are proud to now call Vinton our home.
Children are the future of our community. Raising and educating them to be productive, responsible citizens is the most important thing we do. I have been a Boy Scout leader for more than 15 years and a coach for nearly as long. I have been a college instructor and a youth leader in my church. I understand kids, education and finances and I bring a balanced background to the board.
During the past four years many people have worked hard to improve our district. Some of the things that we have accomplished together include:
* Transforming the financial posture of the district from relatively poor to rather strong without increasing tax rates or class sizes and without drastic program reductions
* Refinancing our bond issue, saving the district more than $1 million.
* Implementing new math and reading curricula (with a focus on phonics) – initial results have been very good
* Curriculum mapping to better integrate our curricula across grade levels
* Establishment of an outstanding alternative high school
* Upgrading facilities to improve safety of our kids and the functioning of our schools
* Strengthening the IT infrastructure of the district and 1 to 1 computer issue
* Developing specific educational goals to help measure and drive improvement
If re-elected, I will continue to bring the following to the Board:
* Focus on educating kids
* Concentration on the basics of literacy and numeracy
* Targeting continued reduction in our drop-out rate by maintaining our focus on elementary reading, middle-school and HS reading programs for students not reading at grade level and expanding our strong alternative school
* Getting our schools off the SINA list
* Fiscal responsibility and business sense
* Emphasis on safety in our schools
* Growing enrollment through unique programming and partnering with our community to attract new families to our district
* Critical thinking, problem solving and data analysis
* Ability to work with others and ensure accountability
* Honesty and transparency
I would like to thank the residents of our district for providing me the opportunity to serve and would greatly appreciate your vote on September 10th.
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