Lantz seeks re-election to the board | The Star | – | Team Cansler

Greg A Lantz, 52, Auburn

Seat – DeKalb Central School Board overall.

education — Bachelor’s degree in Public Sector Management, Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, 1992; Project Management Professional Certification, Project Management Institute, since 2016; Blue Prism Robotic Process Automation Developer Certification, SS&C Blue Prism, since 2019.

Work/Career Experience — I spent my first six years out of college as a branch manager for various regional and national pharmacy-drugstore chains while the industry was consolidating and undergoing significant changes. I believe this experience gave me insight into how we can provide educational pathways related to these experiences and provide some level of accountability to the extracurricular funds that flow over $1 million annually. I have a simple and practical solution.

In addition to my retail experience, I have approximately 18 years of manufacturing experience in a variety of roles including developing best practices and governance for business processes, raw materials and production planning, detailed forecasting, project management and using my IT skills to improve processes for all. I have also been tasked with leading an IT project for a large manufacturing company which I believe will help with the IN-Mac program currently running at DeKalb Central.

I am currently a certified Blue Prism RPA (Robotic Process Automation) developer for a large financial institution. This opportunity has given me a glimpse of how we are changing the way people work and what skills will be valuable to companies in the future.

spouse/children — I have been married to my dear wife Holly (Morton) Lantz for a little over eight years and I am the proud father of three sons aged 27, 25 and 23. All five of us graduated from DeKalb High School after going through the kindergarten school system. We are also the proud grandparents of three granddaughters.

hobbies — Golf, indy car racing, live music, gardening, DIY projects and learning from others.

Volunteer/Community Leadership — DeKalb County Central United School Board Trustee; non-voting member of the Auburn Redevelopment Commission; coaches or assists coaches baseball, soccer, football and little league softball.

Why are you running for school board?

I ran for school board four years ago because I wanted to help ensure that our children, teachers and support staff have all the tools and resources they need for a quality education in a complex world. I believe we have a caring and talented staff throughout the school district, but I believe that strategically we are on the wrong track. I believe accountability and collaboration will put the district on the right path that is in the best interests of all children and our community.

What makes you the better/best candidate for the job?

Having worked as a project manager for a good part of my career, I know exactly how important governance and accountability are to the success of a project and an organization. A project manager of a cross-functional team needs to understand the role and responsibility of each functional area to mitigate risk to all stakeholders (the community) and ensure the continued success of the organization.

My almost 20-year career in manufacturing has also opened many doors for me. Most importantly, it enabled me to provide for my family and be active in their educational and extracurricular activities while continuing my personal professional development/education. I am grateful that the administration and school board are actively leading and supporting the IN-Mac program for manufacturing.

In summary, I believe that my diverse business background and personal commitment to my continued learning and development make me the best candidate for this position.

Targets, if selected — My goals, if elected, are to continue building trust and collaboration between the community and the school district. One way to do this is by holding decision makers accountable while also holding our community members accountable. Cooperation is the key to success. We recently held a discussion on safety that only a handful of parishioners attended. I believe it is the school board’s responsibility to find out why this event was not well attended and what we could have done differently to improve community collaboration.

After nearly four years on the school board, I have seen the frustrations of the staff and community and know that everyone is focused on the same mission, our children and their future. I believe that better communication and clear expectations for everyone involved will give DeKalb graduates a competitive edge and retain our talented faculty and staff.

I would also like to see Country Meadow and Waterloo Primary Schools get new play equipment. I think that should be the top priority.

What is the biggest challenge for your school district in the coming years?

I believe that inflation will be the biggest challenge for our school system in the coming year. As the cost of living continues to rise, this will put pressure on parents to provide for basic needs and I fear this will add to the number of mental health problems that have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I also fear that this will result in even more strain on the few mental health professionals who are already overwhelmed today. I believe the school district and community must work together to find innovative solutions and/or tools to ensure the spiritual wellbeing of our students. I believe together we can find appropriate tools that are effective and we can all feel more confident about sending our children to school.

I would wholeheartedly support evaluating the Lifewise Academy program or any other similar program that focuses on our children’s self-esteem as a possible solution. Even though the program has only helped a small number of our children, isn’t it worth a discussion within our community?

What can be done at the local level to retain and attract talented teachers?

In over 30 years of managing businesses, people and/or projects, my experience has proven that a positive and inclusive work culture is achieved through honest, fair and consistent managers. This type of culture will encourage innovation and creativity. We also need to look at the overall compensation package, wages and benefits, and understand if this meets the needs of all of our employees. Together we can build a model that works best for our community and doesn’t have to “keep up with the Joneses”.

What can be done at the local level to solve the problem of the shortage of substitute teachers?

All five board members need to better educate the community about the requirements of a substitute teacher and how this can support their child’s education. The school district and community members need to work together to ensure that we are aligned on student behavior so that all teachers (not just substitutes) can implement classroom lesson plans and don’t babysit children when they should be studying. I believe there needs to be a community contract/commitment with reasonable expectations for district employees as well. This will go a long way in building trust not only in the schools but also in the fact that parents stand behind our teachers and carers. As a former single mom of 12 years, I can offer lessons learned to make things easier for everyone involved.

Do you think our schools are doing enough to improve school safety in today’s climate? If not, what else can you do?

The variables that affect security are constantly changing, so the strategy needs to evolve with the current climate. I will fully support programs that allow our local and state police force to spend more time interacting with our students in our schools and allow them to continue teaching our children.

How should local schools address bullying issues within their walls and online?

I believe that a commitment to the community to work with the school district to develop a solid plan to create an honest, fair, and consistent work and study environment for all children will go a long way in curbing bullying activities.

Our local and state law enforcement officers play an important role in educating children and the community about bullying through education and engagement. People are already getting involved with our children and community members at various local events sponsored by small leagues and schools, and I’d love to help find more ways to drive this forward.

Leading by example and prioritizing integrity and personal responsibility will also go a long way in reducing bullying.

Additional Comments:

Examples of my accomplishments during my time on the board: Conducted board working sessions, previously the board only met once a month as a group and interacted with management individually and in pairs when the board was not meeting a $42 million audience at his company themselves more often as a group?; lobbied for a two-year teacher contract and a base salary increase for teachers at the top of the pay scale, previously awarded a $1,500 scholarship; suggested accepting credit cards for discounts and ticket sales.

Other suggestions that didn’t catch on and I think would be beneficial: turn the CCC into a commercial and technology hub, it would be a great place for the IN-Mac Manufacturing and Technology Academy; Add a point-of-service software system to track extracurricular income and create educational pathways.

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