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Wendy Strickler Biederman

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Wendy Strickler Biederman: Team Members

Q & A

- All candidates received the same questions.
- Answers were copied directly from each candidate's response.

Wendy Strickler Biederman: FAQ

What are your reasons for seeking a position on the Board?

As a mom, I want the best educational experience for my children and all of the students in Forest Hills. As a teacher, education has always been my passion. I have incredible respect and appreciation for our educators, staff and administrators and the work they do. I would like to be part of supporting a positive vision for FHSD moving forward, supporting the district’s work from the highest level, demonstrating fiscal responsibility, and most of all ensuring a rigorous, relevant, research-based education that meets the needs of every student. In the 21st century, we must ensure that our educational experience
helps our kids, yours and mine, to thrive in our global society. At the end of the
day, the work should always come back to the best decisions for our kids.

What specific strengths would you bring to the board table?

My PhD in school psychology, with expertise in child development and the
science of learning, guides me to help support the district in decisions about
social-emotional development and needs. My doctoral focus was organizational leadership and systems change and my advanced license is in curriculum and instruction, allowing me to work collaboratively with the Board and FHSD administration to envision and design action plans focused on continuous improvement of our system. My work experience includes almost a decade in Forest Hills, providing great background knowledge and relationships on which to build. Finally, I’m a mom of three amazing children in Forest Hills and an awesome husband who also works across many schools in the district, providing me with a broad perspective on student, teacher, and parent needs, as well as connections throughout the district.

In what school or community activities have you been involved?

I worked in Forest Hills School District, across pre-school -12th grade, helping to ensure strong academic and social-emotional systems of support for all of our children. My passion and purpose was, and is, making sure all of our students thrive every day. In 2021-23, I was a co-coordinator of the Task Force for Youth Mental Health. This task force was designed to assess and meet mental wellness needs within our community. Through this work, I designed and delivered a Community Diversity Day: Cultivating Compassionate Community, in which about 70 community members participated in the opportunity to learn and reflect together in a positive and
supportive environment. I was also the Forest Hills Council liaison for the Sherwood PTO board in 2022-23. Finally, I was a part of the community levy committee and in particular supported the Get Out the Vote initiative with 18-25 year old high school seniors and recent graduates. As a wife and mom, I’ve attended many sports events, arts events, band concerts, and other school events. As a working mom, it is sometimes challenging to engage in all of the school activities that I would like, but I try to help with at least one event for each of my kids each year.

What are 2 strengths of which our district can be proud? Why do you see these as strengths?

The first strength I would identify is the strength and breadth of strong curricular and extra-curricular opportunities offered to students. We have great teachers with strong professional knowledge. This is indicated by our State test performance and awards for sports and arts as well.

Secondly, the fact that the FHSD spends less per pupil than the Hamilton county average, asks for levies less often than the state suggests, and yet provides all of the amazing opportunities listed above should be acknowledged and commended. The reputation of the district as a strong educational experience draws people to want to move to Anderson Township and Newtown, maintaining and improving our home values. Because our strong schools are critical for student growth AND foster our strong community, we must continue to recognize this strength and support it.

What do you see as the major issue facing our school district?

I believe that there are several critical issues that deserve mention as we consider how to best lead our district forward and ensure all of our students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. First, we need to re-establish trust: trust of the community in our educational system; trust of the teachers that they are supported as the professionals that they are; and trust of the students that they are valued in their school and classrooms.

Secondly, mental wellness continues to be a significant need in our district. There are many strong supports in place that must continue including behavior frameworks; school engagement survey check-ins; helping teachers better understand the diverse needs of their students; and school psychology, counseling, and mental health support. Finally, we must continue to be accountable for strong academic outcomes and fiscal management.

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