Bellbrook schools to fill two board seats


BELLBROOK — One incumbent and three new candidates are seeking to fill the two seats open on the Bellbrook board of education.

Voters will choose between incumbent Kevin Price, Kassi Kipling, Brian Kronenberger, and Anne Pryor.

Price is seeking re-election to continue his role in maintaining the high performance of the Bellbrook school district, which is just one of eight schools in Ohio to receive a five-star rating from the Ohio Department of Education for last year.

Price said one thing he wants to do is to develop a new committee for community participation. Specifically, the group would “look into property based funding relative to other districts in the state.”

According to Price, funding for the school district is a major concern, and because Bellbrook is considered an affluent school district, it receives relatively little from the state compared to districts nearby.

“Not everybody is affluent and not everybody lives in extremely nice homes,” he said, specifically referring to senior citizens with a fixed income that are being pushed out of the district due to increased taxes.

Another concern, for Price, is “social cultural issues” being introduced to schools nationwide. Price said he is opposed to “radical gender ideology and tenets of Critical Race Theory that would assign collective guilt to a certain demographic.”

Kipling wants to give the community more transparency from the school board, and address issues of inclusion and bullying specifically for minority groups.

“I’m seeking election because I’m not happy with how the school board is operating,” she said. “We’re doing something right for sure, but I don’t think that’s a direct result of the current school board. I think it’s in spite of the current school board.”

Kipling said a major concern of hers is the bullying that goes on at the school, and she wants to meet with members of some of the groups that are bullied at a higher rate to see what can be done.

An immediate change, according to Kipling, would be to sit down with the teachers’ union and other groups in the community and work together to come up with a solution.

“The first thing I would want to do is sit down with the teacher’s union president and figure out where he sees growth or relationship building needs to occur.”

Kipling said she has brought issues to the board in the past and said she wants to be an advocate for underrepresented groups.

“Right now, it takes having an advocate on the board to have an issue you’re concerned about on the agenda,” she said. “I want to add anything that’s spoken at a board meeting to the agenda that night.”

Kronenberger is seeking election after attending school board meetings in January that stemmed from a controversial recording of teachers.

Kronenberger said he’s also concerned about the school’s potential for lawsuits, and said the removal of LGBTQ+ language in their bullying and harassment policy could be violating Title IX.

“Another major liability issue that I saw was how they’re bringing guns into schools,” said Kronenberger. “Although I’m not wholly against it, what I am against is that there is no liability insurance to either cover the school or volunteers.”

Kronenberger said that currently the school board does not disclose the training requirements to the public of armed volunteers on school grounds. Kronenberger said he believes the board should be more transparent on this issue and others, and that the lack of transparency now could be breaking Ohio sunshine laws.

“I think there is a lot more backroom discussions that the board members are having,” he said.

Kronenberger also wants to combat bullying in school. One solution he wants to implement immediately is a student portal to report bullying, which could give the board better metrics to measure how and why bullying occurs.

“I just want to make sure that everybody knows that if I’m on the board, I’m going to give a voice to them,” he said. “I’m going to make sure that everybody feels included, that’s my biggest thing.”

Pryor has three kids in Bellbrook schools and an interest in helping her community.

“We have loved our schools, our kids have had the best experience,” said Pryor. “I do tend to be involved in my community, I’m a chronic volunteer.”

Pryor also pointed to the rare five-star grade the school district received, and said she wants to continue to protect the high bar that has been set.

Pryor said some concerns she wants to address as a board member include transparency with the community as well as potential financial trouble in the future.

“I do think the board could do a better job explaining policy changes to the community,” she said. “We need to keep up the hard work and figure out how to finance it in the long run.”

According to Pryor, teacher pay should also be increased. She expressed interest in creating a committee of parents and teachers, as well as speaking with state representatives to get more funding for Bellbrook schools.

Pryor said one of her concerns with the school district is in regard to transgender students and athletes. She said she wants to “keep bathrooms separated by biological sex, and keep girl’s sports just female.”

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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