Monday, April 25, 2011

Spotlight on Jeff Meyer - North Hills School Board

1.      Please provide our readers with a brief paragraph introducing yourself that provides them with a snapshot of your background.
I am a lifelong resident of the North Hills area living in the District for the past 19 years. Married with 3 children; 1 graduate of North Hills, 2 currently enrolled.  I am a graduate of Duquesne University (B.S. Business Administration) and Penn State University (M.S. Accounting). I have over 30 years of Finance and Accounting experience holding numerous professional licenses and certifications including CPA, CFA and CFP.  Over the years I have coached numerous summer league baseball teams.
2.      What qualifications and skills will you bring to this position?  For incumbents, please do not reference the number of years you have served in office as a qualification. 

    In addition to my extensive accounting and financial background I have experience teaching at the University level.
3.      Why do you seek this elected office? 

    I have been on the Board for eight years and believe I have made significant contributions to the District.  If elected I hope to continue to make similar contributions for the next 4 years.
4.      What do you think is the most important issue facing North Hills School District in the coming years?

    The decrease in funding from the Commonwealth of PA.  How do you plan to address it?  We need to reduce and or eliminate the unnecessary expenditures of “nice to have” items that will NOT adversely impact the quality of education District students deserve and have come to expect.
5.      If elected, what single change will your try to make to North Hills School District? 

    My hope is to increase the amount of transparency and communication between the administration, the board, the teachers and the general public. Why this change?  This should benefit the students of the District.  At the “end of the day” our #1 objective should be to provide our students with the best education possible at an affordable price.
6.      How are you different from your opponent(s)?
    I am unable to answer this question since I do not know all of the other candidates.  However, I will tell you that I have not and will not automatically “rubber stamp” everything the administration proposes/requests.
7.      For incumbents, what is one decision that you have made in your role as North Hills School board member that you regret?  

    I regret not being able to convince my colleagues on the Board to vote against the various derivatives the District entered into 4-5 years ago.  The last time I checked the Net Loss on these positions exceeded $1 Million.  What would you have done differently and why?  If I could ‘turn back the clock’ I would have called Board Members long before the meeting in an attempt to have them better understand the risk associated with these positions.
8.      For new candidates, what is one decision that you feel North Hills School Board has made that had a negative impact?  What would you have done differently and why?  What is one decision the North Hills School District has made that had a positive impact and why?

9.      Why do you live within the North Hills School District? 

    My first reaction is “Why Not”?  We have a great school district that is finally beginning to receive the recognition it deserves.  The tax rate is relatively low when compared to other comparable districts in the area.  Lastly, we are conveniently located to Downtown Pittsburgh and some of the area’s major thoroughfares.
10.   What is the best part about North Hills School District? 

    Most if not all of the teachers in the District have a genuine interest in providing an excellent education for our students; providing them with necessary foundation to succeed in whatever path they decide to pursue after graduating.
11.   Where do you think North Hills School District will be 4 years from now? 

    Thanks to the efforts of our teachers and administrators our District and its students have made significant progress on a number of educational fronts.  My hope is that 4 years from now the quality of our programs and the educational value is even higher than it is today.    How will you be instrumental in moving it in that direction?  I hope to support the teachers and administrators in continuing the momentum the District currently enjoys.

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