My name is Todd Horsch and I am running for the "at large" position on the Renwick school board.
A successful school is dependent on the four primary groups below. I will represent all of these groups. Finding a fair balance between each group's interests and objectives is critical.
Schools take tax money from all citizens with the assurance that this is a necessary and good investment that will benefit society and improve the overall quality of living. Therefore those taxpayers deserve a return on their investment and deserve a balance between what is minimally necessary to achieve that goal and what is above and beyond or extraordinary. Every cent wasted or spent unwisely comes from hard working Renwick citizens -- the elderly, parents, and even those that do not have children.
To ensure the return on investment and prepare them to become valuable members of society, the students need an environment where they can learn the basics of how the world works, learn how to interact and communicate with others, learn how to continually grow in knowledge throughout their lives, learn how to apply reasoning and logic skills to that knowledge, and learn how to use that knowledge and reasoning to solve problems they encounter.
What should not be taught as fact is a forced concept of what is right and what is wrong or what is good and what is evil. At the appropriate age, history and modern events should be studied and discussed with as much accuracy and focus on facts as possible. The teacher's or administration's view of the morality of those topics should not be taught as fact and forced upon the students. For at times, you as a parent may agree with the teacher or administrator, but at other times, they may be pushing a secular or religious morality that you do not agree with.
Parents are the primary caregivers and teachers of their children. They entrust the schools to supplement that education, but with the following expectations: they will be communicated with when their child is having issues, their moral teachings will not be subverted or mocked, their children will not be harmed, and that the teachers will be held up to a standard of behavior, ability, and effort. Because parents cannot use the tax money collected from them and all citizens for anything other than their local school, the school must strive to meet the highest of standards.
The Teachers, Administrators, and Staff
Good teachers, along with a good administration and support staff, are an immensely important part of a successful school. Staying competitive for good teachers should be a financial priority. Because of budgetary constraints, staying competitive also involves evaluating the current working environment and finding possible room for improvement. Teachers need to feel open to voice concerns and speak up when there is a perceived problem. They also need the backing of the administration when they have done their job and there is an issue with a student or parent.
While we need to support the teachers and staff we need, we also need to look for areas where staffing can be reduced, including classes with low attendance. If there are areas needing reduction, this can likely be done through natural attrition and shifting personnel. To keep advanced class options available to the students, the schools should continue to work with local colleges and universities to offer those courses in an online or assisted setting.
My Personal Life
I grew up in the Andale area, attended Renwick the entire time, and graduated back in 1993. My wife, Sonya, spent three of her four high school years at Andale. We have six children and one grandchild. Our first five children have already graduated from Renwick, and our sixth child is currently attending Andale Middle School.
Through our own experiences and those of our children, we have seen the areas that make Renwick shine and those areas that could use improvement. We have been involved with many of the academic, extracurricular, and sports programs at both the elementary and high school levels. We have enough history in the area to conserve what makes Renwick special while looking for ways to improve and meet the changing demands of the world.
We are both Catholic and belong to the St Joseph Parish in Andale. Like many Catholics, our goal is to live life in a way that we better know, love, and serve God.
We are both registered Republicans. Sonya heads the local Andale District Library where she works with youth groups in the Story Hour and Summer Reading programs.
My Professional Life & Qualifications
I have a BS degree in Computer Science from WSU. I currently work as the CIO for a private Wichita company. In my 28-year career, I have been the lone "jack of all trades", but have also led a department of over thirty employees as a vice president. I know how to get the work done myself but also know when to delegate and lead others. I have been in charge of large department budgets and have played a key role in the merger of multiple large corporations.
My day-to-day job involves looking for innovative ways to improve processes, solve problems, and make changes to keep companies profitable. I will use those skills, my past experiences, and my knowledge to work with the other six board members, the district administration, the teachers, and the parents to give our students the tools necessary to succeed.
You can read more about my positions and "follow" me for future updates and voting reminders on my public Facebook page at: