Candidate Questions For Andrew Meyer

Occupation: Attorney

1.) Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we vote for you?

I want to be elected because I can provide a very real value to Lakewood’s Board. I’ve always been very interested in education, community and government. Now that my wife and I have had our first child after many years of struggle, our interest in local education has leapt to the forefront. 

My first professional job was as a substitute teacher. I subsequently became an attorney and participated in local groups and organizational or governmental boards and commissions. I have a track record of being independent minded and innovative, but collaborative and results oriented throughout my professional and civic life.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District?  Explain how will you address one of them?

  1. Thorough, careful review of the budget. I pride myself on my personal fiscal responsibility. At age 39 my wife and I have paid off all our debt; student debt, mortgage, car loans. And as a small business owner, I make sure I don’t spend more on overhead than what I take in.
  2. Work on new ways to focus on the individual student while understanding the limitations imposed by state guidelines.
  3. Improve best practices; I would work towards a new consortium or cooperative effort to meet and exchange best practices and ideas with local Cuyahoga County school districts.

3.) It seems that every week we hear of another terrible school incident and this year we have been informed of threats in our own schools. What are your ideas to keep our children as safe as possible in our schools?

Part of safety is psychological; making students feel safe when they walk in the door and also by identifying and heading off threats. I support maximizing school counselors. Most school shooters have been identified early, needing help. Counselors can identify potential threats early and can also help provide comfort for children who need it. Space limitations prevent a complete deep dive on the issue, but I’d encourage those interested to read https://www.forbes.com/sites/evangerstmann/2019/09/07/why-schools-should-end-active-shooter-drills-immediately/#7a6a74d82a92.  

4.) In a city dedicated to wellness, if elected or re-elected, what will you to do make sports, recreation and extra-curricular activities more abundantly available to Lakewood students and families?

Reasonable, fiscally responsible usage for non students and families of students could likely be increased with careful study and a thoughtful approach. Particularly in the summer, holiday periods, and when student use during the active phase of the school year can be appropriately managed. For students, I would be interested in studying the rate of usage and giving an anonymous survey to students as to what would make them want to use the facilities more often, including both various options used in other districts as well as space for their own suggestions. 

5.) What are your ideas to better address the needs of different learners in Lakewood: the developmentally challenged, ESL students, and at risk students?

Maintaining and expanding education geared to the individual is one of my highest priorities; whether developmentally challenged, advanced, or those inclined toward music, sports or trades. No issue has come up as frequently as this issue has while I have been at the doors of Lakewood residents. State funding realities make this a challenging issue to navigate, but it is important to make sure that a “one size fits all” message is not communicated, and that we take an aggressive approach on maximizing education geared to the individual.  

6.) What do you see as Lakewood School District's greatest asset, outside of the students, teachers and new schools? How can this be used to make our schools better? 

Lakewood’s intellectual and geographical diversity and historic inclusivity toward that is its greatest (other!) asset. In what other Ohio city can you encounter people from so many different perspectives, belief systems, and countries of origin? And, as is the case generally with assets, you maximize your assets by leaning into them. We should communicate that diversity and our tolerance of our diversity publicly.  We should make antidiscrimination and safe space policies more accessible online and communicate that to teachers, residents and the student body. 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019