Name: Josh Pressnell
City of Residence: Sugarcreek Township, Greene County, Ohio
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Office Sought: Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Board of Education
Campaign Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriteInJoshPressnell
Campaign Website: https://www.pressnell4bssboe.org
Why should you be elected?
I’ve developed a deep understanding of Ohio’s approach to public education, Ohio’s system of taxation, and how public school systems operate.
As a business leader, I understand the dynamics of managing the employee/employer relationship, of working with a board of advisers, operating under a financial plan, and what the role of a board member entails.
As a citizen in today’s society, I understand that accountability, transparency and communication are more than motivational posters and that hearing and supporting the perspectives and experiences from every one of our neighbors is important to overall community health. Ohio has shown that fully funding public education is not a top priority. Every year, schools receive additional unfunded educational requirements that increase public education costs and every year Ohio’s school funding formulas put a heavier burden on Bellbrook-Sugarcreek’s citizens to pick up the costs for the high-quality education we expect our districts to provide. Maintaining our district’s legacy of quality education will require board members that understand organizational finance and who can clearly communicate our school’s needs with the community in order to gain buy-in for future support.
Finally, as we move into the future with COVID, and whatever comes after, we need a board that is capable of processing information in a crisis and who will propose proactive data-driven plans that will guide the community’s expectations as changing situations unfold. I am experienced in the analysis and interpretation of data and how to use that data to propose action-oriented plans to drive decisions. I am also humble enough to know that Google and I are not experts in all things and that it’s important to listen to expert medical advice as presented by ODH and GCPH.
What are you top three priorities?
My first priority is to establish a “community dashboard” for the district. A believe that a lot of division in this community has, at its roots, poor communication. When we all have a clear vision of where the district is and where it’s headed, it’s easier to gain consensus. To achieve that, it’s important for everyone to have a single place to go for data about what’s going on in our schools. The dashboard should have information about the school’s financial situation, school attendance, educational performance and (while needed) COVID information. It is important that not only data is presented, but that charts and trends are shown to provide understanding of history and future projections that can be made. In order for the public to have trust in the school’s direction, we need to present a clear vision of the school’s operational status.
Second, we need a full review of the board of education policy. This policy is meant to outline how the board operates but, upon review, I discovered that several referenced sections in the current policy do not exist or have not been followed in recent board actions. It is critical for every board member to be fully aware of governing policy, and for the board to vote to update/improve these policies as needed.
Finally, we need to expand the board of education’s availability to the community. There have been frequent calls for scheduled public work sessions and for community communication sessions. Work sessions would allow the public to see more of the discussion about topics of interest between board members. Community communication sessions would allow for more two-way communication than is normally had during the regularly provided communications periods. These are things that have been requested by the community and they need to happen regularly.
At present, I am the Chief Technology Officer for a mobile software development company that provides technology to streaming video companies like Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Red Bull. I’ve been married to my partner and best friend, Diana, for 20 years and together we have a son (16) and a daughter (14). We have been in the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek area since 2015, but I’m an Ohio native. I grew up in Kettering and graduated from Fairmont in 1998. After that, I moved to California to attend California Polytechnic University, where I earned a degree in Computer Engineering. It is also where I met my wife.
We moved to Washington DC in 2002, where I served as the Technical Lead for the software development arm of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. When our son was born, we decided to move closer to my family and initially settled in Washington Township in 2006. As our kids got older we began looking to relocate. We were drawn to the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek area. We love the school system and the superior educational opportunities that can be found here. We also love the open space community, the various parks, and the close proximity to the Little Miami River. Bellbrook-Sugarcreek is a beautifully unique community and we look forward to our future here.