Westlake City School District celebrated School Board Recognition Month

The Westlake City Schools District joined more than 700 school districts throughout Ohio to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month.

“Our school board members are citizen-servants who shoulder critical responsibilities and often make difficult choices for our district,” superintendent Scott Goggin said. “Their focus is always on the future success of the children in our district. Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one way to say thanks for all they do.”

Serving as a link between the community and classroom, school board members are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for public schools.

Our school board members have been hard at work this school year supporting our students and faculty. They worked diligently on restart plans and safety protocols to keep students and staff safe and in schools. Additionally, they supported Westlake students’ efforts in events such as the DIS pollinator garden opening, the WES pumpkin patch and their athletic and academic endeavors at all grade levels. Our school board members also give back by offering an annual student scholarship and serving in various local organizations.

Current board members serving the Westlake City Schools District are Joe Kraft, John Finucane, Barbara Leszynski, Dr. Bob Stoll and Liz Pirnat.

For President Joe Kraft, preparing students for the future is a primary goal. “[I want us to] create career paths for our future graduates,” said Kraft. “As our world moves faster and faster, let’s make certain to keep our students healthy in mind, body and spirit as we prepare them for a bright future.”

As a school board member, Dr. Bob Stoll sees the importance of clear communication. “I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and the community at large, encouraging an open dialogue,” said Stoll. “The board must take input from all groups and weigh all the facts before making a decision.”

Barbara Leszynski credits her 25-year career in public schools with showing her what students need to succeed. “As an educator, I fully understand how schools educate students,” said Leszynski. “I pledge to continue my work as an advocate for strong schools with quality programs administered with fiscal prudence, so we ensure that our kids are successful no matter what career path they choose to pursue.”

As someone who has raised his own family in Westlake, John Finucane views his school board position as a way to give back. “The families of Westlake invest in their schools because they know it will continue to make their city a great place to live,” said Finucane. “I want to give back to the community that is helping my wife and I raise our family.”

Board member Liz Pirnat is a Westlake parent and knows what community members want to hear from their school board. “We must continue to strengthen our communication and outreach to our families and the community,” said Pirnat. “In a time of information overload, Westlake Schools needs to determine what is effective, and what is not, in its methods of communicating information.”

Even when their personal ideologies differ, our school board members keep their shared goals at the forefront of everything they do. They have a strong respect for one other and the community, which enables them to be understanding, focused and balanced.

“It’s more important than ever that communities support public education so that today’s students are prepared to be productive citizens and the leaders of tomorrow,” Goggin said. “Please take a moment and tell school board members ‘thanks for caring about our children and giving so much to our community.’ Let them know we support them and that their dedicated service is recognized and truly appreciated.”

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 10:15 AM, 02.01.2022