Ardre Orie: Candidate profile
Name: Ardre Orie
Office sought: School Board Member
Family: Married (Sherrick Orie-Spouse, Shamon Orie-Son, Lauren Orie-Daughter, London Orie-Daughter)
Occupation: CEO, Small Business
Education: Ed.S., Educational Leadership
Civic involvement: Annual Christmas Angel Program, Cardinal Health Care; Pink Wish Foundation (Florida Based) Scholarship Fund; Girls Who Brunch, Annual Donor; *Bernie's Book Bank, Annual Donor
Previous elected offices held: No
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected?
Facebook: Ardre Orie
What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?
Continuing to find ways to maximize the use of state funding and to establish innovative ways to raise funds from which to increase the per student capita allocation is key. Efforts to keep the amounts requested of families in property taxes conservative is paramount. In doing so, increasing efforts to recruit and retain families who share common goals and those who aspire for their children to live in a society in which they become active, productive members of the community as well as businesses who deem the efforts of the school board and school district to be worthy of support and financial as well as in-kind funding is essential.
It is also important that we work to maintain or decrease class size to increase student learning gains and promote teacher retention. Establishing a school community that is competitive will further promote the Millburn District as a viable choice for new teachers and engage a new talent pool, ready to educate the next generation of leaders
and implement best practices.
How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
Our district is working diligently to prepare students for the next stages of their lives. The success stories and rate at which students achieve has demonstrated the effectiveness of the task at hand. Respectively, our world is ever changing and allowing for increased opportunities to cultivate young minds with possibility will be necessary to ensure that our district remains on the cusp of advancement. As the parent of a child who has matriculated through the middle school system and one who is currently in the elementary school system, I believe it necessary to increase exposure to a diverse offering of career paths as well as practical skills required for real world application and success. Additionally, I would support the ongoing efforts to provide a wider array of extracurricular activities of interest to the students to assist in the continued effort to broaden their horizons. In lieu of the vast requirements for excellence in the real world, exposure to global perspectives from a series of disciplines would give students an advantage.
Additionally, there must be efforts to increase STEEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Math) integration to allow students a diversity in opportunities to think and draw conclusions about the ways to capitalize on the resources to bring about positive change and to explore the world in which they live.
What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases? Be specific.
The current board and leadership is to be commended for overcoming the negative $5.6 million balance. Millburn has proved its resilience and tenacity to leverage its citizens as well as innovative methods to acquire funding necessary to ensure that students have adequate funding to support educational initiatives. Although there is no escaping the need to utilize property taxes to supplement the financial necessities, there will always be room for revenue generating activities, sourcing outside funding from entities who are in alignment with the vision and mission of the district, the acquisition of grants and private funding as well as the establishment of corporate sponsorships. The measure of success to this end is the slow, continuous decrease in the funding required from property taxes.
Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one?
I was previously a member of Leon County Schools in Tallahassee, Florida, as a salaried employee. My roles included Educational Specialist for Special Education.
Additionally, I was a member of Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Florida. In this district, I served as an Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction.
Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?
As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take?
Contract negotiation is a part of the process. A clear understanding of the needs of all key players and stakeholders is vital to maintaining open lines of communication. The goal is to work collectively toward a desired outcome that places the students at the center of the discussion. No one group should feel as though their voice is not heard, yet there should be a consistent stance that each group will realize some form of compromise to ensure that needs are met and that there is room for growth and development as the district continues to cultivate community, teachers, staff and students who are energized to show up with the anticipation of excellence.
Do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
Teachers and staff, purposed with preparing the next generation of leaders currently have high expectations placed on both their physical and financial responsibility. Finding innovative ways to fundraise, establish corporate endorsements and partnerships and to bring new resources into the district to assist in fiduciary responsibility is paramount to increasing results without placing further hardships on the staff who is expected to carry out the daily tasks of empowering students.
* If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
If the district had a superintendent or administrator nearing retirement, the decision to increase pay would be based upon whether or not the needs of the students and curriculum has been addressed and attended to in the absence of outstanding needs. It would be difficult to make a judgment call without having all of the key details surrounding the budgetary needs of the students, upcoming calendar year properly assessed. In this same light, it is also important that those who are of service and give of themselves to serve in leadership capacities are attended to. This is also inclusive of teachers. Recruitment and retention of staff is key to the district's success and efficacy.