My name is Jason Simmons, and I am running for a seat on the Forest Hills School District Board of Education. My family and I moved to Anderson Township in 2014 primarily for Forest Hills schools. My son is a fifth grader at Wilson Elementary.
My job brought us to the Cincinnati area. I am a professor and program coordinator for the Sport Administration program at the University of Cincinnati, teaching and researching in the area of sport marketing and consumer behavior. In 2011, I earned my PhD in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development with a concentration in Sport Administration from the University of Louisville.
After the 2021 school board election, I felt a need to "do something." Low voter turnout resulted in four politically minded candidates taking control of our school board and swiftly drafting policy opposing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools. Our children are not political pawns. No child should be made to feel excluded on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
As a career educator, I understand students learn in a variety of ways and face a myriad of challenges, uncertainties, and pressures unique to this generation. Our school board must prioritize our teachers and students, and move beyond partisan politics that have no place in local elections.
For me, this is not a political position. It's about values. I value belonging. I value community and collaboration. I trust our district's teachers, staff, and administrators. It's time for the school board to get out of their way, let the teachers teach, and provide our schools with the support needed to maintain our district's status as one of the best school districts in Ohio.