While he isn’t a native of the area, Robert Coburn is hopeful voters will see his dedication and commitment to the Garaway Local School District.
Coburn, originally from Massillon, moved to the area roughly nine years ago to return to his wife’s hometown.
“It’s been a welcomed change from the big metropolis of Massillon to the smaller town of Garaway, the district down here.”
He has two children currently enrolled in the district and is wrapping up his first term on the Board of Education where he serves as the Board President.
Coburn explained to Newsymom.com that his first campaign focused on keeping buildings open within the district, but this time around he has different plans in mind.
“Now we’ve actually seen the finances, we’ve seen what’s going on, we’ve made a lot of changes,” said Coburn. “We’ve got some great administrators and now we’re not trying to change the direction, we’re just trying to accelerate and move forward and continue on.”
He highlighted several accomplishments he’s experienced over the course of his current term on the board including the inception of the Garaway Virtual Academy.
“A great success that gives many different avenues for our students to take classes that they might not be able to get in a regular brick and mortar setting, but also it equipped our classroom teachers with other tools as well as doing a blended learning for students who want some in class and some alternative learning.”
When Coburn was first elected the district saw a roughly $300,000 deficit due to open enrollment. He told Newsymom.com that the current board has managed to turn that deficit into roughly a million dollars coming into the district.
“That’s one of the huge assets moving forward but also we’ve done major improvements to our building, we’ve done major improvements to our curriculum and so as we move forward it will be great to continue to push those out.”
He noted a concern in terms of continued budget shortfalls as a result of state cuts.
“Even though we’re in the climate of cutting funding for public schools we’ve been able to increase our revenue and do the best we can with what we have and we just want to continue that trajectory,” said Coburn.
Overall, Coburn said he hopes voters will continue to support him so to give him the opportunity to reach additional goals for the district.
“If you look at the record of what we said we were going to do and how we delivered on that promise and how we’ve taken the district in a more accelerated direction to give more opportunities and more fiscal responsibility that had been in the district prior, I just look forward to people seeing those numbers, hearing the story and then supporting us to move forward in another four year term.”
Michaela Madison Reporting
Januery Tango – Did not return a message seeking comment.