Diocesan regulations require that each parish school have a formally constituted advisory group. The St. Michael School Advisory Council serves as the advisory board to the pastor and to the principal. The Council is made up of seven (7) members who are elected, by parish-wide election, to serve overlapping three (3) year terms. For the next school year (2017-18), we will have three positions available. Seven candidates (Karen Adkins, Amy Kooman, Christopher McDaniel, Andy Schulze, Lori Strabley, Nicole Strunk and Brian Whitta) have submitted responses to the following questions. Please review the responses and vote for three of the seven candidates. Please submit your ballot by Monday, May 1, 2017.

* 1. Karen Adkins

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:
2 – One in the 7th grade and one in the 5th

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I have three children enrolled in St. Michael this year and two next year.  My children have been in classes at St. Michael since 2008, as my oldest is graduating in May of 2017. As an active family in the School through sports and volunteer opportunities, I feel I have a decent perspective on the workings of the school, and know a great deal of the teachers and administrative staff.  

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
I believe Catholic schools, while not only a great basis for the faith, provide a moral foundation for life. In today’s world of me, me, me I think we are in need of Gospel values, and that is what a Catholic education provides. Catholic school students learn that God is present all around them, and in them.

Self-discipline should be promoted as a means to strong moral base. The students need to be taught/asked to examine choices and actions in regard to the Ten Commandments and the Gospel. As the sons and daughters of God, they should be expected to behave in a manner consistent with these teachings.

Service should be an essential part of their education. Service allows the students to realize the community is part of who they are and therefore part of their family.

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I think my greatest gift is patience. I feel I can listen to, and objectively respond to many different ideas and opinions. My children will be attending ST Michael for another 4 years as well. With that, I will have a vested interest in the success of the school and the students within.

* 2. Amy Bowman-Koomen

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:
4 children
Kindergarten, 1st, 4th, 5th

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I would like to serve on SAC so I can be an active participant with the parish/school relationship.  I am an energetic parent and would like to help contribute to the parish in that manner. I am committed to the school and would like to be a part of seeing growth and continued success of the students at St. Michael School by helping with feedback on policies, procedures, and expectations.

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
I feel that Catholic education is essential for my children.  I appreciate the high standards of education that the school provides the students.  Catholic education is also more than school.  It teaches students to strive for personal excellence, which includes civic goals, service goals, and spiritual growth goals.  Attending Mass on Sunday is great, but with the Catholic education, the students work daily in the fullness of a Catholic identity. 

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I am an educated person.  I have 4 children attending the school.  I volunteer at the school on a regular basis, have been active in PTC for several years, and am a member of the parish festival committee.  I have the gift of time and am a very organized, helpful, insightful person. I would love to dedicate my gifts and resources to SAC.

* 3. Christopher McDaniel

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:
My wife and I will have 4 children attending St. Michael’s for 2017-2018 school year. Olivia will be in grade 6, Claire grade 4, Sophie grade 1 and Calvin Preschool.

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I would like to give back to a school and church that has provided my family and me so much. Additionally I would like to play a small role in continuing to help provide the children of this community with a solid Catholic education both now and into the future.

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
I feel a Catholic education is important to our youth in order to build a foundation in Christ. Having this foundation will help them as they mature by providing them guidance on how to live out their Christian values.

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
Being a part of the Findlay community for over 35 years and having 4 children attending St. Michael’s School next year I have a vested interest in the future of the school for both my children and the children of the community. I am a CPA and have had various jobs in a corporate setting ranging from Auditing, Finance, Commodities Trading, Treasury and Accounting. In addition I have worked with children as a coach in various youth sports.

* 4. Andy Schulze

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:
I have three children, ages 6, 4, & 1.  Sophia will be attending second grade and Patrick will be attending Kindergarten Readiness for the 2017-18 school year.   

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I believe that God is calling me to take on a more active ministry within our parish, and I believe that the St. Michael School Advisory Council is a great fit through which I can support our parish and school in service to God and for the benefit of all parishioners of St. Michael the Arch Angel for many years to come.   

I want to invest my time and talents in support of our school and in service to the faith and academic education of the youth of our parish - which includes my own children.

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
I see Catholic education as a tremendous gift that strengthens and enhances the education and development of every student.  The inclusion of prayer, the Blessed Sacraments, the Saints, and the rich Traditions of our Catholic faith in the daily curriculum and classroom truly benefits students’ souls in addition to their minds.  

I believe that the fact that at Catholic schools students receive quality academic instruction within the framework of our faith is instrumental in affirming a solid foundation in their personal faith in God and the teaching of His Holy Church, and this foundation rooted early in life and built upon throughout the student’s education is what will foster continued devotion to God throughout their entire lives. 

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I bring a lifelong devotion to our Catholic Faith - catechism, sacraments, Traditions, and prayer. 

With my mechanical engineering background and my project management experience, I am proficient at planning & organizing, critical thinking, and problem solving. 

Throughout the most recent 7 years, I have led various groups within Marathon Petroleum Company – honing leadership abilities that I feel can contribute value to St. Michael School through the School Advisory Council.  I am collaborative and enthusiastic in my leadership with an authentic commitment to the team’s success and to the development and success of each team member. 

I have experience setting vision, driving continuous improvement, and changing cultures of teams, organizations, and individuals.  I am transparent in my communication and am accountable; I recognize challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. 

I bring a passionate desire to support St. Michael School’s continued efforts provide an educational experience that instills in all students a love for learning and love for God.

* 5. Lori Strabley

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:  
1 child/4th grade.

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I would like to get further engaged with supporting St. Michael School.  St. Michael has been a positive influence on my son (and our family) and I would like to give back and help support the School Advisory Council by doing my best to be proactive in seeking initiatives and programs that benefit the school, students, families, faculty, and church.

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
I believe that Catholic education provides high academic standards, as well as, gives the ability to develop religious, moral, and spiritual development.  Catholic education stresses family input, making one feel part of a caring community.  All of these things contribute to maturing our children into Christ-like people.

It was important to us that our son received a Catholic education for all of these reasons.  We wanted to ensure that he had a foundation for our faith and that the foundation continued to grow.  We are proud of everything that he has learned at St. Michael School and are looking forward to his continued growth over the next few years.  This foundation will instill a life-long commitment to his faith. 

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I would strive to do my best to utilize areas where I have experience to support the School Advisory Council. 

My education and work background is in Environmental, Health, and Safety.  My safety experience could help assist with continuing the safety and security efforts that have been adopted by the school over the last few years.
 
I also have project management experience and could help plan, organize, and execute programs and special initiatives.

I believe communication is important on many levels and would utilize my experience with communicating on diverse topics to an assortment of audiences. I would do my best to ensure that communications were clear and concise and had the end result of helping us achieve our goals.

In summary, it would be a privilege to have an opportunity to work with the great members of the school and church on helping us achieve our targets and objectives.

* 6. Anna Nicole Strunk

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:
I have two children attending school. One will be in 1st grade in the fall of 2017 and the other will begin his second year of KR

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I wish to serve on the advisory board to contribute to the Findlay St Michaels community. I feel that community involvement is important and that over the generations the drive to serve has dwindled. I would like to lead by example to my sons on how to be active in the community.

I also am very limited on when I can serve during the week so this gives a chance during the hours when I can be available.  

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
My children’s enrolment at St Michael’s is my first personal experience with Catholic education.

We chose to send them to St Michael’s to give them the sense of community and to bring God into everyday. I hope it will help them to understand that he is always present and always cheering them on, not just on Sunday morning. I hope this gives them the self assurance that was gifted to me through my family’s involvement within the church community.

I was raised in the Lutheran Church and had parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who were very involved. I have one uncle who still serves as Pastor for a church.

St Michaels is also known for graduating kids to high school at a higher academic level. I feel that the security of faith allows children to grow in other ways, in this case academically.

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I do not really know how to answer this question. I can sew, garden, clean. I have a very good work ethic and I am not afraid to get dirty. A very large part of my role at work is communication.

I am also a unique person to have on the counsel as I am new to the Catholic School experience. I am also a generation off when it comes to parenting; I should have kids in college not kindergarten. I feel this lets me view things differently than most parents with very young kids. I also understand the depth of the political side of serving due to my families’ background, which I feel is an advantage to both myself and the counsel.

* 7. Brian Whitta

Number of children and grade level that will be attending St. Michael School for the 2017-18 school year:
Annie (1st)
Alex (will start PK, 2018-19)

Why do you wish to serve on the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
As a member of the parish, and as a parent of a St. Michael’s student, I will work to ensure the long term viability of the school for future generations. I feel strongly that my children – and those throughout our area – should have the same quality Catholic education that my family has received throughout the years at this, and nearby schools.

I am a 3rd generation graduate of St. Wendelin High School. My wife is a graduate of St. Michael School, and St. Wendelin High School. My wife’s father is a graduate of Fremont St. Joe.

My mother-in-law, and my wife’s great aunt are both retired from teaching at St. Michael the Archangel School.

I presently serve the parish as a lector, and will remain engaged whenever and wherever I am able.

Please describe your views on Catholic education:
My own Catholic education has laid a strong foundation of faith, service, perseverance, and has led to the successes I have achieved. I am deeply thankful for the educators who helped to shape my life as a young man.

The faith formation that Is built in a young person’s life prepares them for “real life” in a way that public schools simply cannot.

It is incumbent upon adult leadership in our parish to ensure the tradition of Catholic education can be offered to as many children as possible.

What gifts and talents will you share with the St. Michael School Advisory Council?
I am well-connected within our community, and I hope to use those connections and resources to benefit our students, faculty, and parish. I serve on the board of the Findlay Kiwanis Club, and the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. I am a 2016 graduate of Hancock Leadership, and I work as a Realtor at Rooney & Assoc. Real Estate.

I have 15 years of prior experience working in public school districts, and for the Ohio Department of Education, where I was named “Employee of the Year” in 2008. I have experience managing staff and programs, and I have worked extensively with multi-million dollar budgets. I enjoy public speaking, project management, and policy development.

I take a common sense approach to leadership, while remaining focused upon long-term goals.

* 8. Please vote for only three candidates.

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