My name is Robert (Bob) Nelson and I am pleased to announce that I am running for the East Allen School (EACS) Board, District 5R (at large).

I have lived in New Haven for over twenty years.  My wife, Lori, is a 1976 graduate of New Haven High School.  Together, we have three children, all of whom graduated from New Haven High School in recent years.

I myself graduated from Woodlan High School in 1975.  I have been self-employed in the marketing field since 1996.  I have been actively involved with New Haven students and administration for many years, having assisted in coaching both track and girls basketball.

For too long the taxpayers of Adams Township, which includes the Harding area, have had little input in decisions made by the Superiendent and the EACS Board. The whole redesign was done with very little input from the public and community voices were not heard.

Following are several issues I believe should be addressed by the incoming EACS board:

1). Assess all Harding students who were displaced to other schools throughout EACS to establish how well have they adjusted. Have they shown improvement, stayed the same, or regressed in the classroom?

2). Determine how the lack of a neighborhood high school is impacting the Harding Area. What is the relationship of East Allen University to that attendance area?

3). Review how Title 1 dollars are being dispersed.  Are these subsidies being adequately utilized to support students in high need schools?

4). Investigate the persistent failure of Prince Chapman where 64% did not pass ISTEP and 74% did not pass at Harding Jr. High. This is unacceptable in any of our schools.

5). Ascertain whether the community is being properly served by the EACS Administration.

Academic Excellence.  Schools alone cannot meet all the needs of our children or the community.  Schools are just an extension of our community and reflect both the positive and negative.  To achieve Academic Excellence we must collaborate and work together to meet all of our diverse needs.  This can be better achieved by giving school administrators the authority they need to make tough decisions.  Principals and other school leaders cannot operate effectively when in constant fear of losing their jobs. They must know that they have the backing of the board and administration.  We must also acquire more input from all community groups.  I believe EACS should have more involvement from the public through the formation of advisory committees.  Academic Excellence begins at home, with the combined efforts of both student and parent(s) and flourishes at school.

Communication.  For too long, EACS have not engaged the public.  The public needs to be more fully and better informed.  Much of the only information we receive is from local news media the day after a board meeting has occurred and the reporting is seldom positive. EACS has a lot to offer and is doing a lot of great things.  Let’s talk about these positives, as well as the negatives, and work together to further strengthen the positives and eradicate the negatives.

Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability.  The school board and administration are accountable to the community they serve.  It is time we review the budget item by item.  We cannot continue to make excuses offered by the State; we cannot continue to spend money we do not have; and we cannot continue to ask our taxpayers for more.

As I mentioned, we have many challenges–some we can control, some we cannot.

One challenge I can and will control as a board member is proper management of the superintendent and staff. I recently attended a seminar on school board leadership and they stated the number one responsibility of the board is to team with the superintendent to hire quality staff and manage EACS.  The second responsibility is to set and carry out policy.  It is time we get back to these primary functions of the school board.



Robert L. Nelson, Jr.
9150 Sea View Court
New Haven, IN 46774


POSTED: 10/25/12 at 6:24 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions