The report cards for Ohio school districts was released last week, and Dayton Public Schools score improved to a D from a F rating. We are all proud of this improvement! Obviously there is a lot more that needs to be done, and this fall the Dayton voters have a chance to influence Dayton Public School’s direction by electing new school board members. Our host Libby Ballengee had the opportunity to speak with two candidates, Gabriela Pickett and Will Smith, about their vision for Dayton Public Schools.

More about the report card from WYSO:

Reminder: Nov. 5, 2019 is General Election Day for Dayton Public School Board, Dayton City Commission among other issues. Check your status, register to vote, learn about early in-person voting and more here:

About Gabriela Pickett

I’m a mother of six, an education researcher, an artist, and a community activist — you know, jobs that make the “big bucks.” So when I decided to run for Dayton School Board, people told me I’d have to raise tens of thousands of dollars to run against independently wealthy candidates. If you’re like me, that doesn’t sit right.

Big money has too much influence in politics. People should get elected based on the quality of their character and what they’ve done for the community. That’s why we’re gathering SMALL donations from a LOT of people instead of BIG donations from a few people. Those who fund you are those who can hold you accountable, and I want to be accountable to teachers, kids, parents, and YOU — not to the people who want to profit off our students’ education.

Will Smith, Jamie Rippey, and I want to build a Dayton School Board that listens when you speak, that fights when you need us, and that tells you the truth no matter what. We can’t do it without you. Thank you for supporting my campaign for Dayton School Board, and I’ll see you at the polls on November 5th, 2019.

Learn more about Gabriela:

To make a donation to support her campaign:

About Will Smith

Will is a 2019 candidate for the Dayton Public School Board. Will Smith is a lifelong Dayton resident, son of Dayton Public Schools graduate, product of Dayton Public Schools (Meadowdale High School), and parent of two current Dayton Public Schools students. A graduate of Xavier University (Information Systems), for over ten years, Will has worked extensively in the community in various aspects and roles. He has served as an organizer with the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and For Our Future Ohio. He has worked to aid neighborhood cleanup and beautification efforts, criminal justice reform, voter registration and engagement, as well as help with food insecurity issues within Dayton. He has also trained various community organizations to assist in their organizing and outreach efforts.

Will currently serves the community in a consultant role with The Human Relations Council of the City of Dayton where he has been working on developing programs to proactively reduce gun violence and promote safe and healthy communities throughout the city. As an advocate for the need of high quality education, Will has spent time as a tutor for a multitude of students in various grade levels and has helped with various K-3 literacy initiatives. He has also helped Dayton Public Schools as a member of the planning committee for the newly formed Parent Family and Community Council in efforts to increase engagement throughout the community. Eager to volunteer his time for those in the area, Will has served as a youth sports coach in various sports. Will believes that a community is only as strong as its schools and that it takes a community working collectively to make the improvements needed to make a better Dayton!

This campaign is about connecting those in Dayton to share a vision of high goals and high achievement. In order to do this, there must be accountability and transparency in leadership, equity throughout the district, and an investment in engagement with the entire community. Please consider donating to the campaign efforts. Each donation is a personal investment into the vision of a better educational culture in our community!

Learn more about Will:

To make a donation to support his campaign:

Tino – Time Clock Blues