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Letter: 'Leadership Counts,' Writes Ferndale School Board Incumbent

Ferndale Board of Education candidate Keith Warnick submitted this letter to the editor.

Ferndale Patch welcomes letters to the editor.

The following was submitted by Keith Warnick, current Ferndale Board of Education president, who is seeking re-election.

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Why are Collins, Warnick, Pfleger and Parks the right choices?  Because leadership counts!

There has been much rhetoric, hearsay and innuendo during the last several months about what is best for Ferndale Public Schools.  Which candidates are the right candidates to lead the school board for the future?  The right candidates are Collins, Warnick, Pfleger (incumbents) and Parks.  Why?  Each one of them has held district leadership positions in organizations that have been directly involved with the lives of our Ferndale students on a daily basis.  The opponents can’t say that. 

Many citizens will say that experience doesn’t matter.  But it certainly matters when it comes to education issues.  Serious, complicated reforms are being proposed and those with the knowledge of these reforms can make the right decisions.  Do you want experienced, informed board members, or those that have little to no knowledge of the simplest legislation mandated to schools such as election cycles?

Let’s look at the experience:

Bradford Parks: 25 year resident; Elementary PTA President; PTA Council President; Ferndale Education Foundation President; Board Operations committee member (3) years; Bond oversight committee chair; Superintendent’s Advisory Council chair (2) years; dedicated and informed parent; two children currently in FPS.

Jim Pfleger: 17 year resident; spouse of FHS graduate; 2-1/2 year Board member (current Board treasurer): Board Finance committee member (6) years, current Chair; current Program/Technology committee member/chair; Fine Arts Booster member, leader and volunteer (6) years; Theater construction team leader and member (11) years; two daughters graduated from FHS.

Katrina Collins: 28 year resident; married to Ferndale graduate; Athletic Booster member from inception; helps cook pre-game meals for JV and Varsity football teams weekly;  wrestling team supporter; 17 year PTA member and leader; 5-1/2 year Board member; current Board Secretary, served on or chaired all Board committees; (2) FHS graduates and one current FPS student.

Keith Warnick: 27 year resident; 25 year PTA member; Jackson Elementary PTA president; PTA Council Secretary, 2nd V/P, 1st V/P, President; BOG/FEF Golf Outing committee member & door prize chair (10) years; Michigan PTA Field Service Rep; Michigan PTA Region D V/P; Elected Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) Board of Director twice; National School Board Association (NSBA) FRN lobbying representative; Oakland County School Board Association Legislative Committee representative; facilitated University High School ASBJ Magna Award receipt; (8-1/2) year Board member; current Board President; (5) year Board V/P; (50) classes totaling (153) hours of MASB Board member training resulting in Master Platinum award, Level 6 of 7; top 10% of Board members across the state; two FHS graduates; a grandson at Grant pre-school.

Higher test scores, balanced budget (8) years in a row, award winning programs, alternative student opportunities, respected across the county, region and statewide all guided by vision and outside the box thinking.  And all supported school bond improvement millage from the beginning not after the fact. Continued support means continued successes!

Leadership counts.  Select proven results, by proven leadership, this November 6th.  Vote Collins, Warnick, Pfleger, Parks!

Ferndale_1986 November 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
" ... respected across the county, region and statewide ..." says who? you? ferndale schools are not even respected by many residents who send their own children to other schools.
Jan November 04, 2012 at 08:09 PM
You should make an effort to ask! Highly respected by school boards based on the district accomplishments over the past several years. Many districts have requested meetings to implement our strategies to make their districts better.
Ferndale_1986 November 04, 2012 at 08:56 PM
yeah right. research the ACT scores for Ferndale High and University High. then get back to us and post them on this comment board (i already know the answer).
Jan November 05, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I thought you were talking about the entire district, not just two schools. But here is what I found for FHS: Year ACT scores 2007 FHS 16.9 State 18.8 2008 FHS 17.1 State 18.8 2009 FHS 17.1 State 19.0 2010 FHS 17.8 State 19.3 2011 FHS 18.3 State 19.3 2012 FHS 19.2 State 19.6 Percentage of students scoring 21 or higher increased from 18% in 2007 to 33% in 2012. UHS has set a goal of 21% average within 3 years, yet past classes have the second highest graduating rate in Oakland County and graduates are continuing their college careers at a higher rate than similar urban schools. And UHS has a more rigorous schedule and graduation requirement than many high schools.
Julie Knepper- Updyke November 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM
ACT scores for local districts for 2012 show that we should not be touting a 19.2, but striving for better. I'm concerned that the dialogue isn't about what we can/ are/ should be doing to improve. It seems to me the dialogue has been "look how great we are, let's keep it that way." A 19.2 on the ACT is not great- it's really pretty poor. To say it's better than the state average isn't saying much. The state average is atrocious. Are we proud to be poor instead of atrocious? Troy: 23.3 Birmingham: 23.8 Bloomfield Hills: 23.85 Rochester: 22.8 Grosse Point: 22.5 Farmington: 21.1 Royal Oak: 21
Julie Knepper- Updyke November 05, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I'm also confused as to why graduating from Ferndale schools makes one candidate more qualified candidate than a candidate who graduated from a different school. Can someone explain that through process to me? I would have thought that diversity in experiences would be an asset.
Ferndale Resident November 05, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I'd sooner have a candidate in office that actually went through the school district than one who hasn't. Theoretically, would you want a mayor who doesn't live in the city he/she is supposed to be governing?
Julie Knepper- Updyke November 05, 2012 at 12:46 PM
RE: "would you want a mayor who doesn't live in the city he/she is supposed to be governing" But all the candidates do live in the district.
Ferndale Resident November 05, 2012 at 12:48 PM
That was just an example- not a direct comparison. I'm just saying that I'd rather have a candidate who's been through Ferndale's school system than one who hasn't.
Jan November 05, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I was asked to research the ACT scores; I did. I did not say they were great. But looking at the figures shows a marked improvement from where we were to where we are and continued emphasis will bring continued improvement. As far as comparisons; is the demographics of Ferndale anywhere close to those affluent districts you showed? Really, compare us to Grosse Pointe? Here is a better comparison of inner-ring suburbs; those more closely aligned with Ferndale's demographics. Oak Park HS 14.9 Southfield HS 16.2 Southfield-Lathrup 17.1 Madison HS 16.6 Warren Woods Tower HS 18.4 Fitzgerald Senior HS 16.8 Center Line HS 18.4 Lincoln HS (Van Dyke) 15.5 East Detroit HS 16.5 Better than all and only 1 point behind Berkley that we are constantly compared to.
Julie Knepper- Updyke November 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Jan- I know you weren't commenting on quality of scores, I didn't mean for my comment to insinuate that. I agree there has been improvement, but the scores are still dismal, and the conversation never seems to involve efforts for continued improvement, but satisfaction with prior improvement. Also- are you insinuating that lower socio-economic areas can not achieve at the same levels as higher ones? If not, what are you stating? Why assume that Ferndale kids can't achieve at the same level as Grosse Pointers. There is no evidence that supports that. All kids can achieve at high levels. There is evidence that supports that. The only thing hindering high achievement is expectations.
T. Scott Galloway November 05, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Has anyone ever heard of a company calling itself "Ferndale Global"? Apparently they are spamming a lot of voters with an e-mail supporting CBE. They list Ferndale Circle as their address - does anyone know where Ferndale Circle is in our City? It looks like there is a Ferndale Circle in Austin, Texas, Petersburg, Virginia and Stanton, California but no Ferndale Circle in Ferndale, Michigan. There is no company registered with the State of Michigan to do business as "Ferndale Global" - perhaps it is a company from Texas, Virgnia, or California operating illegally in Michigan. Who knows? No contact information on the e-mail. I thought this old tactic of sending out anonymous voter communications in violation of Michigan campaign finance law was a thing of the past. One can only imagine what those responsible for this tactic will do overnight and tomorrow.
T. Scott Galloway November 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I am hearing from a number of residents who believe the e-mail was sent using PTSA e-mail lists which might be in direct violation of the National PTA Bylaws.

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