By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
Craig Kupferberg, a retired Findlay assistant superintendent and high school principal, made an appearance at Monday’s school board meeting in a different role — as a candidate for the Ohio 1st Senate District seat.
“As an educator, one of the things I noticed is the state taking over more and more of what educators should be doing and local boards are elected to do, and centralizing power down in Columbus,” Kupferberg said, speaking during the public participation portion of the meeting.
“And as a conservative, that not only goes against my belief, but I watched what they have done.”
He said he has paid particular attention to ACT scores and state testing results.
“I can go on and on and on with all the things the state is mandating on schools. The one thing that’s been constant over these 20 years: ACT scores have risen in the state of Ohio six-tenths of a point,” he said.
Kupferberg also criticized state collection of municipal income taxes.
“The only way we’re going to change this is by sending different people there (to Columbus) with different points of view,” he said.
He also praised the Findlay district for the education his three sons received.
Kupferberg is challenging Sen. Robert McColley, R-Napoleon, who was appointed to the seat after Cliff Hite resigned, and Robert D. Barker Jr. of Van Wert in the Republican primary.
Democrat Adam Papin of Bryan is unopposed in his party’s primary.
Separately Monday, the school board heard about progress made with applied behavior analysis from Meredith Mates and Emily Karhoff.
Mates is a board-certified behavior analyst who works part-time for the school district. Karhoff is a board-certified assistant behavior analyst who works full-time.
Applied behavior analysis is an individualized, data-driven approach for improving behavior, in this case among students with autism. Desired behaviors, such as working on a task, are reinforced, while undesired behaviors are not.
Karhoff shared success stories of several students. All three she mentioned have significantly more skills as measured by the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program.
They have also shown improvement in their ability to sit and complete tasks or group activities, and communication has improved.
One student who had to be transported by wagon at the beginning of the school year, because he’d try to run off, now walks around holding an adult’s hand, Karhoff said.
Six staff members have taken the exam to become registered behavior technicians. More have completed training, are doing the training now or have expressed interest, Mates said.
Separately, the Auditor of State Award with Distinction was presented to Treasurer Mike Barnhart by Alexander Jones, a representative of the state auditor’s office.
The award is for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2017. It was the 27th consecutive clean audit for the school district.
Barnhart praised previous treasurers and his current staff, along with the staff district-wide.
“They follow the rules, so there’s not as much to catch, and it makes it a lot easier,” he said.