Name: Audra Dorn

City of Residence: Sugarcreek Township, Greene, Ohio

Party Affiliation: Non-Partisan

Office Sought: Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Board of Education

Why should you be elected?

I, like many, moved here because Bellbrook was a small, quiet town with patriotic citizens, traditional values, and great schools. In recent years, however, our community has been plagued by individuals who insist on creating controversy, and our citizens are growing tired. Civil debate is healthy, and I’ve worked to achieve more open and honest debate at our meetings. I hope to further improve this level of mature dialogue while keeping unnecessary political disruptions out of our schools.

Professionally, I work in contracts. Yes, I know that sounds boring to most people, but in reality, I negotiate big deals with large corporations and teach others the skills to do the same. Those are the same talents I bring to the board. We are all passionate about our kids, and when our kids are involved, it’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture or the “other side of the story.” I’d like to continue to use my negotiation skills here in Bellbrook to repair some of the damage that has occurred in recent years. That’s what I do for a living…I find common ground between opposing parties and work toward the common good.

I chose “Let’s Be the Adults Our Kids Need” as my campaign slogan. I hope most of you share in that sentiment. I’m ready to get back to being Bellbrook…the Bellbrook we moved here for. The one that’s been a friendly place to live for years. Frankly, our kids have been exposed to a lot of nastiness, rude behavior, and unnecessary drama lately. I’m done with that. Yes, I have social media accounts, and I use them to find out what is going on in town and to keep up with military friends. But, that’s not where I solve my problems. I make a phone call or schedule a meeting…I don’t start a new special interest Facebook page. You have my promise that, if elected, I’ll continue to operate in that manner. We may not always agree…in fact we likely won’t. But, I promise to listen to you with an open mind we’ll walk away as neighbors.

Top Three Priorities:

My first priority in the short term is stability…stability for our staff and particularly our students. Between recurring levies and COVID challenges, our district has been through the wringer in recent years. Before we take on any big “transformational change” agenda that some or my opponents may be suggesting, our schools need a moment to regroup and focus on our core mission – academics.

Secondly, I want to keep politics and special interest agendas out of our classrooms. Nearly every topic these days has become political…medicine, agriculture, weather, history, even sports. With each of these subjects there is potential, more than ever before, to turn an academic lesson into a persuasive appeal for a particular ideology. The focus in our schools should remain on teaching our students HOW to think for THEMSELVES…not WHAT to think.

Finally, I will prioritize fiscal responsibility so our district does not have to return to the voters for any further levies during this 4-year term and for as long as possible thereafter. This is important for two reasons. Many families are simply tapped out in regard to tax increases. While we were fortunate to pass the recent levy, I am acutely aware that the margin was slim, and we need to be incredibly vigilant regarding future spending. Further, Bellbrook simply cannot withstand another drawn-out levy fight. The arguments and bitterness have torn our town apart, and I’m not willing to put our community through that again.

Biography:

I grew up in Harrison, in a small rural/suburban town just outside of Cincinnati which is very much like Bellbrook. I left there to attend college and participate in the ROTC program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. After earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, I went on to serve in the Air Force for 8 years and earn my Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science. After many moves and deployments, I left active duty and now continue to serve the Air Force as a contract negotiator assigned to the Pentagon but stationed here at WPAFB in a liaison role.

My husband, Jim, and I have been residents of Sugarcreek Township for five years now, but as a military family, Bellbrook has been our “home base” since we got married 16 years ago. We have two sons who both attend Bellbrook Schools and are third-generation Golden Eagles. Although I am a relatively new member of this community, our family’s roots here run deep…my son now sits in a Bell Creek classroom that both his father and grandparents sat in as students. After so many moves (my older son was in his 8th home by the time he was 8), the friendly people and small town traditional values of Bellbrook have been a welcome change for our family. We have been so impressed with the Bellbrook schools, the teachers, and all the families we’ve met since returning to this area.

I was just recently appointed to the BSS Board of Education in January of this year, and hope to continue serving our students and families in the next term.