Monday, April 25, 2011

Spotlight on Lou Krummert - North Hills School Board

1.      Please provide our readers with a brief paragraph introducing yourself that provides them with a snapshot of your background.
Hi.  My name is Lou Krummert and I have lived in Ross Township my whole life.  I graduated from North Hill in the class of 1999, and have two Brothers Matt Krummert class of 2001, and Brian Krummert class of 2007.   Both my parents are also products of North Hills, my father Lou Krummert Sr. was in the class of 1972, and mother Karen (Killmeyer) class of 1975.  I grew up near Fairview Fire Dept. on Clearview road.  I currently work at BNY Mellon as a performance analyst, and will have worked there 6 years this fall.  I have degree from Robert Morris University in Finance/Economics, and also a Masters in management from Point Park University.  Finally, I am the VP of the Ross Township sportsman’s association.
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.
My background in Finance will help led the school district during these tough economic times.  I am also peoples’ person, meaning I spend more time listening to the tax payers concerns than telling them how smart I am.  In the end the teachers, and parents know best when it comes to coming up with good ideas for the North Hills School District, and not the politicians.
3.      Why do you seek this elected office?
The simple answer is to give back to the community that made me who I am today, and for that I am forever grateful.  So many teachers, parents, friends, and family made me who I am today.  For example, Mr. Wilkie (cross country and track coach for North Hills) affected my life in so many ways.  He taught me that cross country is a lot like life.  The harder you work the better the results, and he was right (I will never forgot that statement).  Participating in sports taught me how hard work, discipline, teamwork, and never giving up no matter how tough life gets.  I not only have the time to run for school board, I also the energy to give back.
4.      What do you think is the most important issue facing North Hills School District in the coming years?  How do you plan to address it?
Two words “Budget Shortfall”.  It’s easy to slash spending when the tough gets going.  Unfortunately the kids will pay ultimate price in the end.  You can judge any community by the strength of the school district.  I want to make sure North Hills School District remains one of the best High Schools in the state.  Dealing with the budget shortfall (left by the state) will be a combination of eliminating wasteful spending, and small tax increases.  Think about it, we could keep taxes so low that everyone would be happy in the short-run, but when our kids graduate they will not have the skills they need to compete in not only a local market place, but a global market place.  If test scores fall, less people would want to buy a house in Ross Township or West View, and the result would be plummeting property values (the old saying is true “you get what you pay for”).  That said, I will not simply vote yes on everything either.  There is a ton of wasteful spending (especially at the administration level) and my background in accounting and finance will allow me to cut wasteful spending out of the budget. 
5.      If elected, what single change will your try to make to North Hills School District?  Why this change?
Better technology for our kids would be my first goal.  If you look at the changing economy and how we went from computers the size of houses down to being able to hold them into the palm our your hand demonstrates the power of information systems.  If the kids do not have better technological training they will be behind their peers in college, and more importantly the workforce.
6.      How are you different from your opponent(s)?
I am different from my opponents in one way that distances me from the field.  I listen to people when they talk.  The parents and teachers are on the front lines of the day to day issues of the school district.  I want to hear from them on how they feel things should be improved.  It’s the same as the front line workers of a business, they know way more about the day to day operations than the big shots at the top.  Same with the school district, parents and teachers have way better ideas than the current school board, and all current school board has to do is listen (but unfortunately that’s not always the case).  Currently the school board puts problems into the hands of committees (which is a nice way of a politician telling you they don’t care).  For example, there were plenty of parents upset about a letter sent out to them about healthy foods.  Some parents took it personal saying they know how to feed their children (and I agree with them).  What did the school board do about this problem? Nothing! They did absolutely nothing, but putting it into the hands of the committee for further discussion.  Some of the school board members were blaming the food service provider saying they know nothing about the letter?  If that’s the case then shame on the school board as they should have known about the letter. 
7.      For incumbents, what is one decision that you have made in your role as North Hills School board member that you regret?  What would you have done differently and why?
I am a challenger.
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?
Closing three elementary schools with very little thought put into the decision was a big mistake.  It was rammed through by the administration even though so many parents were upset.  There should have been more discussion before the matter was voted on.  Shame on the incumbent’s that voted for the school closings.  I would have listened to the taxpayers.  Remember, the long-term goal of any school district is to make sure their kids can compete in a global economy.  Jamming kids from 7 schools into 4 is not the best way to achieve that goal.  I agree that some of the elementary schools needed closed but not all three.  It should have been done over a ten year period and not a four year period.
9.      Why do you live within the North Hills School District?
I lived here my whole life (31 years), I went to school here, learned how to drive a car here, went on my first date here, and have meet so many great people here.  It’s a great community to live, the people are friendly, and it’s a great location.  Where only minutes away from the city, great universities to send our kids when they graduate, great sports to watch (Go Pens!), and some of the best hospitals in the world call Pittsburgh home (and so do I). 
10.   What is the best part about North Hills School District?
The people are by far the best part.  This being my second time around running for school board I have been door knocking a great deal.  People have told me so many things about them and their passion for the community they call home.  Everyone and I mean everyone wants North Hills to remain strong for years to come.  That has touched me so much that I would never live anywhere else.
11.   Where do you think North Hills School District will be 4 years from now?  How will you be instrumental in moving it in that direction?
The North Hills School District will be one of the best schools the state.  The trend of the PSSA scores falling over the last four years will move in the opposite direction.  A great school district at a reasonable cost to the taxpayers is what most people are looking for.  I want to deliver that to each and every tax payer in the North Hills School District.

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