Spotlight on Colette Boyko-
Second in a series of BOE candidate profiles
By Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND, OH (October 1, 2021) – Election day 2021 is fast approaching, signs are popping up all around our community, Tuesday, November 2, will be here before you know it. With it will come your opportunity to decide who will serve as the majority members of the Loveland City School District (LCSD) Board of Education (BOE).
I have reached out to each of the candidates to conduct personal interviews in an effort to learn who they are and what they stand for. In today’s social media driven world, each has created a website providing their own description of who they are, why they are running for election to the school board, and what they plan to accomplish if elected. In the interview process, I have asked each candidate the key question: How? I hope these profiles will provide some additional insight and information to help you, the voters, make a fully informed choice at the polls on Tuesday, November 2.
Here is the second in the series of Candidate Profiles with the Beacon’s Light shining on candidate Colette Boyko.
Colette Boyko lives in Loveland with her husband and two children. She is employed in the business world, her children attend Loveland Schools and she is active as a volunteer in school programs.
Q – Loveland Beacon (LB) – Why are you running for Loveland City School District Board of Education?
A – Colette Boyko (CB) – A lot of reasons. I think education is super important. I think a good school system is super important. A lot has changed in the last couple years.
I thought about it a long time ago – two or three years ago probably. I kind of got motivated around that levy. You just don’t think you have time. I’m a working mom. I have two kids. Then you get a little bit more motivated by the levy and stuff and feel like, gosh, I could have been helpful there. I like making a difference. I like to make an impact. I just feel like I could make a difference. Talking with friends about it and they said: “You should do it.” I looked up, learned more about what the board does and thought maybe I would be good at that. I just think I can make an impact. I do listen to a lot of people. I am very fair. I have done a lot of negotiations in my life. I love getting out talking to people and getting their perspectives. I don’t always agree. I feel like I have an open mind. I can take those other perspectives and work them into the solution. I just feel like I can do the job. I want to make an impact and make our schools better.
(LB) – What are the two or three things you’ve identified as most important, your platform, if you are elected to the board?
(CB) – One, I think it is obvious; I want to have just solid education where we are good rated and people want to be here for the schools. When people move, schools is one of the main things they look at. I want a positive experience for kids and staff. I think a happy school is a happy community. I think that’s been a struggle the last couple years because that levy kind of did pull people apart, divided them. I think I can be a uniter there. I’m one of those people who will listen to both sides of a story and then try to solve so everyone is a little happy. How can we work together is my point. I do think we have some special things here in Loveland. It won’t be easy to keep them at the level everyone would like; like the music and the arts. I’ve been asked to I support the music program. I have two children in Show Choir. I think it’s the greatest program here. I’m biased because my kids are in it, but I just see the joy it brings. I think it brings real joy to people, so why don’t we keep that up. It’s like an artsy community and I love that about Loveland. I think it’s an important part of our community and our culture. I want to keep that up. It won’t be easy to keep that up. Some of the community says no; like taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for those things. We have to be real creative to figure out how we make sure those things are supported. I think they are a real important part of our schools and they can make a big difference. Sports, music, arts, robotics and everything; those are really important parts for a well-balanced school. I want to make sure we maintain those as much as possible. Let’s make sure we have top notch education where people want to move to; that we have the extracurriculars to support a wide variety and diverse interests of the kids and that we have unity and a happy community supporting the schools. That’s what I’m going to strive to.
(LB) – You talked about “solid education” high rated schools; you’re talking about successful students in the classroom, academic excellence, not championships on the playing fields. Loveland Schools has achieved good ratings in those areas in most recent years; they’re headed in the right direction. How do you make it better if you’re elected to the board?
(CB) – That’s a good question. I’m not sure I know all the right answers to that because I’m not in there now. When you come into a new situation, you think you have some ideas, but you’ll always find, until you get in there, survey the area, you can’t make definitives. I think you have to hire good teachers. I think you have to have good policies in place. You have to have those programs that are a variety. All those arts programs influence how someone does in other subjects. I think the biggest thing is you have to have really good teachers. I think that’s a balance between new teachers, experienced teachers and good administrators. It’s really the people that make the difference. So, you have to start at the top having a good superintendent – which I hope we have. He’s new so I think that’s a little bit TBD, but I feel fairly confident we have a good superintendent. We have to make sure we’re keeping up and we have good people across the board. I think that’s the biggest thing. If you take really good care of your teachers, keep them and ensure they take really good care of the students then it all works out. I think you’ll have a good program.
(LB) – You talked about the arts, the extracurriculars, sports, robotics being important. You said get creative. You can’t put those in the school budget. What are the creative avenues you see to help fund those programs?
(CB) – I think it’ll take a lot of work. I’d love to see community members unite and do a lot of private funding for those things. I’m not saying that’s an easy task. You really need a lot of volunteers and work and effort. I would love to see that. Show Choir is a pretty good example of that. It’s mostly privately funded and they kind of make the best with what they have. Our people make it special. When we host our show choir competition, it’s awesome even though our auditorium is older and smaller than some of the others. The community works together to make it more special, more of a desire to be there than any other competition. That’s an intangible. We have a really great community, that’s why I love being here because this community does things like that. Why can’t we come together and figure it out? I think we can figure it out. Will we get state of the art everything? No, I don’t think that’s realistic. Can we do other creative ways? I want to listen to the community and see what ideas they have too. Am I gonna have every idea? No. That’s also not realistic. I’m still learning. How do other schools get someone to sponsor their stadium, their track, or their concession stand? You see these big brand names on their stadium, track etc. Okay, that’s a definite source of income. How do we do that? I don’t know we can expect our community to do that. They just told us they’re not going to do that. How can we utilize those who are deeply invested? How can we get their help to go out and find other ways? I think they’re really smart people, probably connected. So how can we find other sources of funding? It’s not easy. I want to emphasize that. It’s not gonna be like Boom!
(LB) – What makes you qualified to serve on a board of education? What makes you comfortable with the idea of serving on the board of education?
(CB) – It’s not just education. There’s a lot more to it. There’s finances involved with it. I think because I’ve been in the business world and I’ve run P&L’s (Profit and Loss statements) and I’ve had to negotiate multi-million dollar contracts and I’ve worked with a lot of different entities and partners and people. I think that is a good set up. And, I’m coming in with a new perspective because I’m not education, education; that’s all I see. I have all these other things. I believe I can bring a fresh look to it. You have an education person on the board already. There will still be one left. You are in a building full of education people. I would want to understand form a teacher, a superintendent, from all those people. What you do, if you’re a good leader, you hire and you build advisors of everyone that is smarter than you. Then you bring all those together and make the best of it. I don’t claim to know everything, but I think I can be a good leader and I bring those qualities.
Final Question: To Colette for all of you:
(LB) – Why should I vote for Colette Boyko?
(CB) – I come in with a very different experience. I do have good plans and I think I’m a better listener to the community. I just think I’m a good listener and can take all the community into account. I think I can bring a more balanced view and an outside perspective with business acumen. I think business acumen is probably the biggest thing. I just think we need to bring in somebody new to see details someone who has been looking at it for years and years can’t see anymore.
Editor’s Note: Colette Boyko is part of a three candidate group which includes Al Juram and Elizabeth Mason (each first time candidate for the board) Each appears on the ballot separately as one independent choice for voters, but they have chosen to campaign together. Boyko says they “came together naturally” in the sense that together they felt like they could make a bigger “positive impact”.
“There’s three seats and there’s three of us with similar views,” said Boyko. “I think we can make a really good impact together.”
CLICK HERE to visit the website of candidate Colette Boyko
NEXT UP: We hear from Al Juram