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Updated Saturday, May 01, 2010 6:21 PM

Sherman ISD trustee elections -- Kiki Osterman


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Kiki Osterman

BY KATHY WILLIAMS

HERALD DEMOCRAT

Kiki C.M. Osterman said her leadership on volunteer boards and her role in their reorganization have prepared her to serve as a Sherman school trustee. Osterman faces two other candidates in the May 8 election for Sherman Independent School District Board of Trustees.

Asked why she is running, Osterman said, "I'm interested in it. I'd like to see term limits, actually at all levels of government. I'd like to see Sherman Independent School District have a five-year strategic plan. I'd like to see the district have a parent involvement program."

Osterman explained that she has been walking door to door, talking with voters and also has heard teachers describe some really tough issues of poverty and discipline facing Sherman students.

"And not just that, there are also a lot of parents out there who work all day and who really want to know what's going on with their children. They don't want to bother a teacher, because there's not a problem, but they just don't have a comfortable environment to show up and learn about the schools."

Osterman said she would like to see far more community involvement in the school district, for example neighborhood meetings. She said such meetings might also involve presentations on neighborhood services the city provides.

"Get to know your mayor, get to know your superintendent ... we need to work closer between the city and the school district," she said.

She said to develop a five-year, strategic plan, the community needs to come together. She said she has noticed in the past that community groups that advise the SISD Board of Trustees is just a handful of people who serve over and over. That needs to stop, she said, and fresh faces should be appointed to study different aspects of the district.

Osterman also advocated for a new discipline plan to be developed. She said a community committee to produce that plan should include police officers. "When we're talking about a financial plan, we need business people, people with financial background, business degrees. And a strategic committee would be a combination of all those. And definitely a teacher should be on every committee that there is.

"I am a big believer in lots of committees, coming together, doing the research, getting the information from the people, a huge array of people. If someone was on a committee five years ago, they shouldn't be involved this time."

Osterman, like the other two candidates in the race, said she believes Sherman does not have the tax base currently to pass a bond election sufficient to build new athletic facilities or even a new high school. There have been conversations in the community about such issues.

She said, however, that she thinks the strategic plan should look at many options to accommodate growth and the need for more football, baseball, softball, and especially soccer fields in the city. She said these would involve cooperation with the city of Sherman. Ideally this cooperation would be with Denison city and schools as well. But with the long-standing rivalry between the two towns, it might be more realistic to look at working with some of the smaller towns in Grayson County.

She added that she would also consider some type of realignment of the high school structure to allow for population growth, such as an all-freshman campus.

Osterman and her husband David have four children. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from St. Louis University and a nursing diploma from DePaul Hospital School of Nursing. Her work experience includes nursing at four hospitals, with the Indian Health Service and with her husband's medical practice.

Among her community leadership service are service as a board member of the United Way of Grayson County, and as chairman of its Redesign Task Force; on the boards of Child Guidance Clinic, Belden Street Montessori; PTA's at all four school levels in Sherman and on the Area 15 PTA as well as on the Grayson Appraisal District.



Comments ... 18 found!

stadium : 5/9/2010
I would suggest that the school board meet with leaders of other school districts who have built new stadiums without significant tax increases and find out how they did it. A lot of small school districts with little tax base have built great facilities. To say you just can't afford it is a very backward and self suppressing approach. Remember the Law of Attraction: the thoughts you put out is what comes back to you. If you continually say you can't afford it then you will never have a new stadium. Positive and creative thinking can get things done. As educators you try to teach your kids that they can do great things in life. Now is a good time to set an example for them.

Sherman Ex

Pay it Forward : 5/8/2010
That is what this town needs...to pay it forward. Some people might not know what that means. It means INVEST in the FUTURE. Even though all investments involve a certain amount of risk, we have the ability to make some things happen that will put Sherman back on the map as a destination, rather than a punchline.
Investing in a new Multi-purpose athletic facility, for example, is NOT just building a new football stadium. It is creating a state-of-the-art complex that a vast majority of both the student population AND the community can utilize. Graduations, concerts, tournaments, playoffs, kids leagues...you name it. What does all of that equal?? REVENUE!!!!!! Not necessarily within the next few months, but over the course of time. By hosting multiple and varied events at a new facility will bring untold income to the community in the form of sales tax when people buy lunch from a restaurant, rental fees for use of the stadium by visitors, parking fees, concessions, patronizing businesses for gas or hotel or a bite to eat, security, advertising, a kid with a lemonade stand. What else do you want?
There is never a "good" time to raise taxes; but when the benefits can be quantified and over the course of time more than cover the costs of initial construction, I say why not??
Also, think about the potential creation of local jobs. A simple contractual requirement of hiring a certain percentage of local labor is not without precedent.
What about the intrinsic value? How about having something that a "depressed" area can be proud of? A source of pride among the entire citizenry, not just a few high school athletes.
There are so many ways in which building a new multi-purpose complex is a good thing; that to dismiss it as simply "we can't afford it" is ignorant AND it is being dismissive of our future.
Sherman will never recapture its glory days unless we take the "bull by the horns". Take the initiative and political risk to invest in our future. If the people of Sherman would look upon this issue analytically and void of emotion, I believe reason, logic, and good old fashioned common sense would prevail and we can begin to build for our future...NOT BEMOAN OUR CURRENT INADEQUACIES!!!!

Start now.

: 5/7/2010
The stadium is pathetic. Sherman needs a nice multi-purpose stadium.

Time to Be Big Time

PK2ZH : 5/6/2010
Listen to the right people and get in the know. To conquer the enemy is to know the enemy. What questions are "not the right ones"? Any question that get the dialog going, makes the administration accountable, empowers teachers, encompasses parents, and discloses financials need to be asked. Read Osterman's platform and you will see these will be asked and answers will be received in detail. Listen to the community leaders and get in the know, then cast your vote.

Voted for Osterman

Low Cost Rentals?? : 5/6/2010
Hopeful, I agree with your philosophy and think you are sincere, but Sherman, unfortunately, is fast becoming a community of low rentals. Not because of the schools necessarily, but because community leaders have FAILED the community. Not only are there no new businesses coming in (none significant anyway), but established, stable businesses that have been here for years are leaving and nothing is being done about it. You simply can't expect a depressed area with no tax base or decent jobs to support new state-of-the-art school/athletic facilities. As I often explain to my democratic friends, the money has to come from somewhere? When the "gettin' place" is gone, what then? I will agree that some of this should have been done when we were all more able and times were better, but we didn't so here we are. I think step one is to improve the economy locally. SEDCO, Chamber of Commerce, Mayor, Commissioners, etc, what are we doing in this regard?

Donny

True Colors Response : 5/5/2010
She is not afraid to ask questions... but never the right ones. Let's paint a pretty picture to get elected then follow suit. Same old story is all I hear.

PK2ZH

True Colors : 5/5/2010
True Colors, you clearly don't know Kiki. Kiki isn't a go with the flow person; she's not afraid to speak her mind.

Osterman Voter

Reality : 5/5/2010
The reality is that if we as a school district and community continue to give excuses instead of hard solutions, then we will one day wake up and be Pleasent Grove in south Dallas. The current state of SISD facilities are the result of years of neglect. We chose to look the other way during "better times" to wait for a still better economy, look where that has gotten us. I disagree with the opinon that a fully informed public would not pass a well thought out bond package. The reality of a continued disinvestment will be a community of low cost rentals rather then a community of high wage earners who bring their disposable income to Sherman. The reality is that in these "tough economic times" intrest rates are at an all time low and construction and material costs are down. You are aware that the high school is 40 years old, the stadium is 70 yrs, old and the middle school is 80 something years old? You are aware that these facilities have a negative impact on student retention? You are aware that SISD state funds are determined by student enrollment? The reality is that unless we are growing then we are dying.

Hopeful

SAD & Paula Are Sad! : 5/5/2010
SAD & Paula, what is said is that we are in such tough economic times with so many of our local folks out of work AND our academics continue to suffer but, regardless of all of this, all you can focus on is a new athletic complex. Wow! Do you honestly think this is a good time to try and increase taxes (notice I said "try" because most of us know it would never happen now anyway) on people?!? Unemployment is running rampant and teachers are being laid off but you want to increase our tax burden for a new football stadium? I'm sure your kids will be drafted right into the NFL like most football players from Sherman........GET REAL!!

Not Yet

SHE HAS MY VOTE : 5/5/2010
I received a letter in the mail today outlining Mrs. Osterman's issues and she is right on target. As a current teacher I am thrilled to see a candidate who recognizes the low compensation for the job we do each day. Don't get me wrong, I love my job but it would be nice to receive something close to the benefits teachers in Collin Co receive. There is talk of budget concerns in SISD so seeing where the money is going monthly is a welcomed idea. I am not sure what a 5 year strategic plan includes but if it gets the community talking about education and sets us on the right track for the future I am willing to volunteer my time. Good luck to all the candidates and thank you for volunteering to serve on the SISD board.

Voter

Food for Thought : 5/4/2010
This is a total political response to the issue at hand. Yes, vote Kiki just like you did Obama. We have already seen what happens when we let people into positions who will go with the flow. If you want change, then you are looking in the wrong direction. If someone will spend a large amount of money on singage for their own campaign, what will they do with the funding for our schools? Yes, get to know your leaders. In fact, get to know your candidates and see just exactly what they stand for. Do you have a personal agenda? Do you practice what you preach?!?

True Colors

Fish Bait vs. Caviar : 5/4/2010
Confusion- Let me help you get things straight. This ain't Highland Park. Drive around Sherman, we don't generate enough funds from property taxes. Kiki may pay a chunk, but not everybody else. The median home in Sherman is 60K. If the Townies want Highland Park, then they need to move.

Confucius say we screwed

Elections : 5/3/2010
Things need to change in Sherman. We need a new sports complex. If we had this, then maybe we could host some of the playoff games to help pay for it. We do need new faces, so we can have these changes. The same ole people are there and they will never change. I bet that WAKE UP has no children.

Paula

Confusion : 5/3/2010
Did I miss something? K states in her answers that she does not believe that we have the tax base for a new stadium or high school. That sounds to me like the same old attitude of it costs to much so let's do nothing. I am all in when it comes to meeting the needs of our students. I know that it is going to cost alot of money and that money comes through a bond which increases my tax burden. Do it already. I also know that we are in this situation because of years of it costs to much. So what I want to hear is a clear call for a new high school, middle school, and multi-purpose athletic complex. Let's hear a candidates talk about those real problems.

SAD

: 5/3/2010
Don't be sad in Sherman......Osterman will get some things done if the rest of the no can do board will get off their a__. Too bad we can't get rid of each current board members and replace them with all new faces. Changes in our times require change at all levels of government.

Time for change

WAKE UP! : 5/3/2010
I am all for KIKI! VOTE her in! What are you thinking? Do you think we are going to get improvements totally paid for by someone else? It IS OUR responsibility to pay for our childrens education! Life is NOT free!!!! Wake up and take responsibility for your child! VOTE KIKI!

Shertown Res

: 5/2/2010
oh boy here we go, trouble!

none

Disappointed : 5/2/2010
Sounds like more of the same old same from Osterman. More committees with no action. More "woe as me" attitude about we don't have the "tax base" to meet the needs of our schools. More of "let's get the city to pay the bill". I was hopeful that this candidate would be a trailblazer with a can do spirit, but it looks like more of the sky is falling.

SAD IN SHERMAN
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