Frank Whelan is ready for another run at a seat on the Hamilton Southeastern School Board.
“After some encouragement from parents and educators within the district, I ran for an at-large seat in 2016 and came in a close second,” Whelan said.
Whelan announced his candidacy July 12 for a District Two spot in the Nov. 6 election. The seat is held by John DeLucia, who is stepping down. The filing deadline is July 25.
Determining the school district’s mission is crucial to Whelan.
“We need to look at what the role of our schools will be in the future,” Whelan said. “I believe our success is measured not only with awards and high test scores, but also by enabling our students to become tomorrow’s engaged citizens and leaders while simultaneously pursuing their passions. In trying to fulfill our mission, there are some questions that we need to address. How are we preparing our children for employers and careers of the future? Are we connecting with all of our students to meet their needs? Student impact needs to be considered first in all of the board’s decision-making practices.”
DeLucia said school safety is a crucial concern all school districts face.
“Metal detectors are not the answer,” Whelan said. “They are cost prohibitive and would cause more issues than they attempt to solve. We need to continue to expand our programming with the district’s school resource officers, making sure they are fully integrated into our administrative, academic, health and counseling teams. We need to continue to further develop and refine the delivery of our mental health initiative and continue to allow our counselors more face time with students. Identifying and preventing issues up front is how we protect and help our children long-term.”
Whelan said funding is another challenge.
“Whether it’s reduction due to property tax caps, charter schools, vouchers, per-student funding from the state or another issue, the fact of the matter is that the HSE school district needs to be creative with budgeting, aggressive in finding funding sources, transparent with the staff and community and conservative in being good stewards of the funds we receive,” Whelan said.
Whelan, a commercial lender for Salin Bank, and his wife, Cathy, have three children. Jessica graduated from Fishers High School in 2011 and James is a 2014 FHS graduate. John will be a FHS sophomore this school year.