IASD CANDIDATE: Eric Palmer
Why vote for Eric Palmer?
Palmer said he was encouraged to run by people who told him he was “the right mix” for being a school director.
“I’ve been at Eberly College as an adjunct for 12 semesters, I’ve done grant-funded work, and worked in the Small Business Development Center doing consulting work.
“About 3? years ago, I moved to ICTC in an administrative role there … I got what was an ailing program and worked to rehabilitate it.
“I’ve learned a lot about career and technical education. So I have a mix of the college side, the secondary side and the career and technical side. …
“I have an MBA and an undergrad degree in entrepreneurship and small business management.”
On balancing the budget with revenue increases and spending cuts:
“Any decision we make can’t be about today, we have to look 10, 15, 20 years down the road and make sure the decisions today are setting us up for success in the long run.
“I do feel there is more revenue to be had. … We need to pursue options that other schools are pursuing, such as naming rights, sponsorships and the like, but with the understanding that we’ll eventually tap out those resources.
“Locally, we can’t count on that as a long-term solution to our problems.
“We must do it, but only running an efficient operation will be a solution for the long term.”
On where to spend or save money:
“Priorities are a matter of opinion.
“The board’s job is to make a list of priorities but our first job is to engage the community and to talk to them about what the priorities are, and to provide good mechanisms for them to make that feedback to us.”
To gather public input, Palmer has set up an interactive website, http://palmer 4board.com/, with an opinion section to allow visitors to tell him what issues are important to them.
“Education happens in many forms, on the football field, in music class, in math class.
“We have to solidify what our core offering is, but I’d never contend that education does not happen in any of those other venues or that they are not important.”
Other priorities for the board in the next two years:
Palmer said he was pleased with work under way on Horace Mann Elementary School, where his daughter is enrolled, but believes the elementary buildings need to be improved.
“In my opinion we have had a lot of emphasis on the junior and senior high and it’s time for those elementary grades and buildings to get some attention, and some consistency.”
Palmer also said he learned at a disciplinary policy committee meeting that the district student handbook focuses on secondary students and that no consistent policy governs students at four different elementary schools.
On academic priorities:
“The answer is ‘yes.’ They’re all important.
“Go to the ends of the spectrum and talk about math and science, and arts and music. They are more connected than you might think.”
On influencing the state of education:
“I hope that I can bring to IASD a fresh perspective. I’m not an Indiana native but I have been here about 10 years and I have no plans to go anywhere.
“I think there’s a lot more engagement to be brought out by young professionals like myself in this community.”