Elections 2011‎ > ‎

Why Me?

Elect John Memmott to the
Oberlin City Schools Board of Education
Experience & Commitment to Community


35 years working in the Oberlin City Schools

and with that knowledge of our school district’s history, awareness of current conditions, and understanding of the goals and aspirations of our district - where we were, are, and may be.

A parent’s perspective

My wife (Nicki Stechow Memmott) and three children (Laura, Sarah, and Martin) attended and graduated from the Oberlin City Schools.

A taxpayer’s perspective

As an Oberlin resident since 1974 I have continually supported paying property and income taxes. I helped manage and steer most of the school levy campaigns in the past two decades. The levies I have been most heavily involved with have been successful. I am currently maintaining this year's levy campaign website and am involved with the campaign planning committee.

A teacher’s viewpoint

I have experienced the day-to-day activities of our teachers and know well their concerns and needs. I am on a first-name basis with almost every teacher in our district and they know me. I cannot remember the last time a former Oberlin teacher from our district served on the Board. I find that disconcerting. Why shouldn’t those that have been intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of our district offer the community their experience, knowledge and leadership?

Advocacy for technology

Through my role as District Technology Coordinator I was involved in the planning and implementation of technology throughout the district. I participated in the writing of all District Technology Plans since the first one was started in 1994. In my classroom I tried to serve as a model for innovative applications of technology within and supporting curriculum. The students I worked with all learned that technology is an effective tool for expanding their knowledge, productivity and achievement.

An intimate knowledge of the physical plant

As part of my District Technology Coordinator role I’ve been in every building’s classrooms, offices, closets, boiler room, and attic. Pick a door - I’ve walked through it.

Knowledge of International Baccalaureate

Over the last two years of my teaching I was actively involved in preparations for IB authorization. My classroom curriculum and structure reflected IB practices. I have publicly defended the decision to pursue the K-12 IB designation as I believe strongly that any intensive and unifying curricular process will benefit student achievement and teacher effectiveness.

Negotiations experience

From the early 1980's to 2009 I was involved with contract negotiations betweeen the teachers and the Board and have received Interest Based Bargaining training from the federal mediator. There were no strikes in our district during my employment and that is partly due to my advocacy at the table for mutual collaborative conflict resolution.

Familiarity with the Board’s decision-making process

I have been a regular attendee of Board meetings. Only Shirley R. Johnson has occupied a seat in the audience more than me. I am a strong believer that citizens should be involved in and aware of Board actions. The Board acts on more than single isolated issues and to understand the full context of their process an observer should see the whole of the Board meetings - not express their concern and walk away - not attend one meeting and go away convinced they understand the full context of the Board’s deliberations. The community should not abdicate their thinking to the Board members but should comment and express their thoughts to assist the Board as it considers a decision.

Enthusiasm for the possibilities we offer our children

I chose Oberlin as my community over 37 years ago and have not been disappointed. We have disagreements and differences but that only makes our experiences more vibrant. Our diversity is worth celebrating. The challenges and issues we face make Oberlin a more interesting and unique community. I am convinced our local educational experiences cause our children to be more involved and productive in whatever community they choose to live. I have seen this in my own children and in the students I have worked with.