Patch sent all local candidates for office identical questionnaires in order to compile candidate profiles prior to the April election. Each candidate who returned the survey will be featured on the site.
Find out who else is running for Lindbergh School District Board of Education.
Vic Lenz, 71, 4628 Bridlewood Terrace, St. Louis, MO 63128
Occupation: Retired-Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction, Lindbergh Schools. Current-Usher, St. Louis Cardinals
Education: B.A. in Political Science from Central Methodist University (1964), M.S. in Guidance from Southern Illinois University—Edwardsville (1968), Ph.D. in Administration from St. Louis University (1978)
Family: Wife, Sharyn; sons Troy, Ty and David all attended Lindbergh Schools
Years lived in the Lindbergh District: 64-I have been a resident of Lindbergh since 1949
Provide a brief summary of your background: Employed by Lindbergh Schools for 37 years as a teacher, counselor, principal, and assistant superintendent. Served 9 years on Lindbergh Board of Education. Member of St. Lucas United Church of Christ, Crestwood-Sunset Hills Rotary Club. Served 8 years on Board of the Missouri School Boards Association, and President of Missouri School Boards Association during 2011-2012.
Please provide a brief summary of your reasons for running: I received a good education at Lindbergh; I had a great career at Lindbergh; and I have lived in the community for 64 years. I feel that I have an in-depth understanding of the school district and the community and would like to give back to the schools and community and use my knowledge and skills for the good of the schools.
What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the Lindbergh Schools? The biggest issue facing the Lindbergh Schools is twofold and interconnected, that being increased enrollment and financing the district. Lindbergh is in need of additional classrooms to meet the needs of increasing enrollment as well as additional staffing to work with students. All of this must be accomplished within the current budget, which means trimming programs outside the classroom while not enlarging class size and maintaining strong instructional programming for students. This will take a lot of work on the part of the Board of Education, Administration, and staff along with input from the community
How would you address the continuing uncertainty over state funding for schools? Lindbergh is 91% self funded with most of our budget coming from the local taxpayer through property taxes. The underfunding at the state level does affect Lindbergh in that, as a Hold Harmless District, we were told when the current state funding formula was put in place that our very low state funding would never be lowered. When the funding formula was adjusted last year, however, our Hold Harmless funding was lowered in order not to cut funding for outstates schools more than it was cut. Although we get a comparatively small amount of funding from the state, every dollar that is cut takes more money out of the local budget which means more program cuts or asking the community to make up those shortfalls. We must work very hard to keep the current state funding level for the district as well as taking a long look at our budget to insure that we can continue to fund critical instructional programs for our students.
In what area does the Lindbergh Schools need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating? The district needs to continue to plan ahead for the increased enrollment that we are expecting over the next several years. In addition to the enrollment increases we must find a way to pay for the costs of educating the additional students without, if possible, going to the voters for additional funds. Yes, I am satisfied with the way that the district has been operating; being the number one academic school district in Missouri for three years in a row is quite a positive accomplishment.
Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your three years on the board? I would want to maintain the academic excellence that we now have while serving the additional students that we are expecting without going to the taxpayers for additional funds.