Toby K. Henderson
Education: I am a US Air Force veteran. I received a JD from the University of Dayton Law School; Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, from Ball State University; and Associate’s of Science Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Vincennes.
Current job: Sebaly, Shillito + Dyer, a legal professional association
Community participation: Current vice-president and member of the Kettering school board; current director, board of directors of the Dayton Children’s Hospital Foundation; former director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley Board of Directors; former associate board member of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery; former member of the associate board of directors of the Dayton Art Institute; served on the Town of Kettering Zoning Appeal Board; has been a sports coach at the Kettering Recreation Center for many years; member of the Dor-Wood Optimist Club; received numerous accolades for my work and involvement in the community over the years, including being honored in 2007 by the Dayton Business Journal as a “Superachiever Under 40,” which recognizes leaders in the region for their professional success and their involvement in the community; and member of the Leadership Dayton Class of 2008.
Why are you running for an elected position? I have three daughters who attend the district school. Preserving and developing the excellence of the Kettering schools is an absolute priority for me. I understand the challenges the district and its stakeholders face as a result of the challenges caused by the failure of the state of Ohio to fairly fund public education. As reflected in our district’s strategic plan and recognized in our mission statement, the community of Kettering rightly expects our district to provide a superior educational experience for all students by providing a positive learning environment and innovative, while using our resources responsibly. Over the past four years, I have worked alongside talented administrators, teachers, staff and community members to provide our students with the education they deserve.
Why should voters elect you? I am relentless in making sure the district makes the best decisions possible. When it comes to school board affairs, I am guided by the principle that every decision should be in the best interests of our over 7,700 students, over 1,100 teachers and staff, and countless other stakeholders. community. This guiding principle has no exception for me. I am proud to listen to other points of view and to reach consensus. One of the most important attributes of a good board member is understanding that you are part of a team – you are one of the five elected board members and you should respect the opinions of others, especially when they are different from yours. We live in politically charged times and the politics seeping into our schools is a very real threat – a threat that I think we need to guard against. I will continue to work hard to ensure that our district is not swayed by the partisan politics of the day and that our students do not become political pawns.
If you are elected, what will be your three priorities? In the short term, my top priority is to continue to ensure the safety of our students, teachers, staff and in-person administrators in our schools as the pandemic continues. In the long term, my top priorities include retaining and hiring top class teachers and staff; deliver the exceptional educational experience that our community expects and that the district is committed to providing as part of our strategic plan; to ensure that our teachers have the necessary resources to provide an exceptional education to all of our students; and, deliver everything we are committed to delivering while remaining a good steward of our limited resources.
What specific plans do you have to address these top priorities? Regarding the challenges presented by COVID, I will continue to support the common sense precautions we have in place across the district. These measures are our best chance of keeping our students and employees in school and safe. As for ensuring the long-term success of the district, I will continue to support the execution and implementation of the “Strategic Plan 2018-2024 – A Blueprint for Student Success,” which includes the development of students as committed collaborators, lifelong learners, critical thinkers, thoughtful communicators and citizens of the world. Our strategic plan also includes attracting, supporting, developing and retaining the best possible staff; ensure that our students and staff are all in a safe environment where they feel comfortable working together; develop strategic partnerships to take advantage of our limited resources; and, meeting the needs of our students and staff beyond educational requirements to remove barriers to student and staff success.
Nothing else? My two brothers and I were raised by our single mom who instilled in us the value of education, a strong work ethic and the importance of always showing respect and compassion to others. I have served on the Kettering City School Board for the past four years and in my role have worked hard to support our district, our students, our staff and community stakeholders. If I am re-elected, I pledge to continue to work hard to ensure that we provide the exceptional education that our students deserve and that our community expects while being wise with taxpayer dollars. And, I will not be intimidated by those who have a political agenda and have chosen to direct their partisan efforts to our schools.