Hippely Campaign Interview
Thomas Hippely will be running for another term as Vice President of the Marlington Board of Education, with voting on November 5th. All interviewees were asked the same questions by the Grand Duke Staff (TGD), the only difference is the follow-up questions in response to the answers given by Hippely. In an effort to better understand his campaign goals, our staff interviewed him, and his personal testimony is as follows.
TGD: Why are you running for Vice President?
T.H.: I'm running because I believe that our district is at a critical juncture and needs strong leadership. I also have a strong desire to finish what we started. Over the past four years, we have addressed our middle school needs, begun addressing our high school needs and have a plan in motion for a new consolidated elementary.
TGD: What are other ways you are involved in the community?
T.H.: I'm the head softball coach for my daughter's softball team and regular volunteer for our district.
TGD: Do you think your involvement in athletic activities has positively affected your leadership skills?
T.H.: Absolutely I do, it has helped me learn to identify everyone's strengths and weaknesses and put them in a position where they have the best opportunity to exceed.
TGD: How would you describe the voter demographic that you feel you best represent?
T.H.: I'd like to think I represent all the different demographics equally.
TGD: We understand that you want to represent all groups, but what groups do you want to aim for in specific?
T.H.: I am looking for voters who have open ears and open minds to understand how much our District has changed and what is needed for the future.
TGD: How involved are you with the school district?
T.H.: Extremely, most weeks I'm at our district three to four days a week.
TGD: What are two to three ways you plan to improve our district?
T.H.: With the continuing building improvements at the high school, and new consolidated elementary with enhancements to learning, safety, awareness, & communication.
TGD: Do you hear from the students about what's happening first-hand in the district?
T.H.: I hear a lot from both of my students, from everything from positives like the air conditioning at the high school to negatives like no water at our middle school. [My two children] make sure that I'm aware of any negative issues as soon as I get home.
TGD: Do you have any children who are also students in the district?
T.H.: I do. A freshman, Megan Hippely, and a junior, Tommy Hippely.
TGD: Do you worry about running/being on the school board affecting your children negatively?
T.H.: No, we have had conversations with our children about how to handle it if it would ever occur.
TGD: What are your thoughts on consolidating into one elementary school?
T.H.: My thoughts are with the continued declining enrollment it's the best option available for our students, and most fiscally responsible option.
TGD: How do you plan to improve enrollment?
T.H.: Our plan is to continue to update our high school, and build a new consolidated elementary with no new tax. Also, we are looking into offering more career tech options. By doing all of the above, we are hoping that this will attract new young families to move into our district.
TGD: Why do you think enrollment is going down?
T.H: One of the reasons is our neighbors have all built new buildings.
TGD: Do you support school levies to try and build new schools?
T.H.: I support school levies and believe in them wholeheartedly. I also realize that is something our majority of voters don't support. With that being said, it's very clear our community doesn't want to see a tax increase. So that is why we have looked into other options to fund a new consolidated elementary.
TGD: What are your plans to address current issues inside the school, such as bullying?
T.H.: We continue to educate our staff on issues such as bullying and are always working with and listening to our SRO's (School Resource Officer).
TGD: What would you like to tell the people- specifically the students?
T.H.: I would tell our students that I hope that they have appreciated the improvements we have made and that more are in the works.
Further information on this candidate and other members of the board can be found on the Marlington High School website.