Harry DiamondTipton School Board - Jefferson Township
Preferred Contact Information
Years as Tipton County Resident?
BS, Electrical Engineering - University of Massachusetts, Lowell MA
- Board Member and Vice President to the Tipton County Public Library
- Board Member and Vice President to the Tipton County Planning Commission
- Board Member and President of the Tipton County Economic Development Organization (TCEDO)
- I currently serve as a Member of the Tipton County Foundation Broadband Initiative, which seeks to establish high-speed internet connectivity across the County.
- I am also the Education Chair for the Tipton County Economic Development Foundation (TCEDF). In my capacity as the TCEDF Education Chair, I serve as an Advisor to Tipton County Robotics (TCR), a program I initiated while at the TCEDO. Through the collaboration of my colleagues at the TCEDO and both Tipton County school corporations, alongside our financial sponsors (The Tipton County Foundation; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; The Indiana Municipal Power Authority, Mid-State Engineering and others) we were able to launch Tipton County Robotics in 2016. Had the pandemic not taken hold, 2020 would have been our 5th continuous year of operation. Tipton County Robotics is a program that promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) interest and skill development by using Robotics as a vehicle to engage 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade students drawn from both the Tipton and Tri-Central Community School Corporations.
- In addition, I completed the Tipton County Community Development Course, a community leadership program, taught by Ball State and sponsored by the Tipton County Foundation, in February, 2020.
Please see above
1. What is your number one reason for wanting to serve on the school board?
During my time at the TCEDO, I came to better understand the impact that high-quality education has on economic development. As the TCEDO stepped back and looked at the bigger picture, we realized that successful economic development was closely tied to excellence in education. Great public schools vastly contribute to the appeal of a community. They foster positive economic outcomes, which attracts families who value education and are looking for a place to settle and raise their families. High-quality companies and entrepreneurs seek great communities in their quest for the highly-skilled workers who settle there. Education is at the center of successful economic development, which drives the prosperity of a community and its residents. I believed that my experience and my appreciation for the impact that excellent education can have on a community and my desire to serve this community was the driving force that convinced me that I could meaningfully contribute to the Tipton Community School Corporation and its Board, so I decided to run.
2. What role does policy play/have in the function of the board?
Policy is the primary instrument by which a School Board exerts its influence on a school corporation, but is goes further than that.
School Boards set expectations. If a Board has high expectations and they clearly communicate them; is proactive in working to understand and eliminate the barriers that hinder excellence, and they provide and instill a sense of trust, empowerment and a spirit of partnership in their Corporation, then great things can happen.
Boards are most effective when they are engaged, have open minds, are looking for opportunities to achieve excellence, are eager to collaborate, work creatively to find solutions and are supportive of their Administration and Staff. When expectations are not met, then it is up to the Board to recognize those shortcomings and work to correct them. Training and communication are essential tools to be used in meeting expectations. Understanding “best practices” and embracing a philosophy of continuous improvement to achieve excellence is indispensable to success. Paramount is a guiding belief that the actions of the Board, the Administration and the Staff should be centered on the Student.
3. What do you think is the biggest issue facing your district?
Broadly speaking, I believe the continuous challenge to create and instill excellence is the paramount goal. If we can reinforce the expectation of excellence and that serving our students is always at the center of our thinking, I believe we can reverse population decline and increase satisfaction, as families seek communities with a reputation for great education, making for a conducive environment for high-quality community growth. The goal of achieving excellence has many fronts, not only for kids who wish to pursue four-year degrees, but also for those kids who want to pursue lucrative opportunities in the vocational and industrial arts. I will examine the many factors, with a focus on academics and teacher readiness that nurtures successful student development, not only so that our students can achieve personal and economic success, but also so that they are prepared as informed citizens, able to participate in a democracy. If done successfully, it will create opportunity.
4. If you were elected what one thing would you like to accomplish during your term?
My greatest desire is to make the Tipton Community School Corporation a highly sought-after destination for great education. Tipton has done well, and it can do even better.
Admittedly, this is an ambitious goal, and it will take time and the effort of many individuals, including the Board, Administration, Staff, as well as Parental involvement. It will also involve many factors, including increasing teacher readiness, promoting expectations for academic excellence, focusing on meeting student needs, and other considerations. I will think holistically to identify opportunities for improvement by looking at the broader picture and attempting to integrate the thinking of those who are invested in our success as well as the insights of experts, to guide us.
5. What legislative action at the state level would you support to improve education in our community.
As educational excellence is a key element in creating prosperity, or economic well-being and public education is a sacred responsibility of government, it is imperative that the State fund local public schools at robust levels so that the teaching craft is enhanced, drawing the best candidates to the profession, while also providing funding for the facilities needed for great education.
According to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/statistics/state-and-local-general-expenditures-capita) released on 20 April 2020, for the fiscal year 2017, Indiana was ranked 5 (lowest) of the 5 states in the Great Lakes region, by direct per-capita expenditures for elementary and secondary education, and 43rd nationally, ahead of just 7 other states.
In a very recent article entitled “Some Thoughts on the Rural-Urban Divide,” published by Prof Michael Hicks of the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) on 04 October 2020
(https://commentaries.cberdata.org/1076/some-thoughts-on-the-rural-urban-divide), he states:
“Urban counties have more than a 50 percent higher share of adults with a bachelor’s degree than do rural counties. Part of this is clearly attributable to household sorting. The income benefits of education are higher in urban places. In short, that is why cities exist in the first place, as clustering places for skilled workers.
A full 76 percent of the differences in income between rural and urban places are explained by differences in educational attainment. By itself, this is strong evidence that rural areas are unlikely to grow without capturing a larger share of educated adults. And this fact ties together the challenges for population growth, taxes and spending and education for rural places.
The most likely way outsized spending on rural places will benefit the nation as a whole is if the result is more resilient and prosperous communities.”
Education and prosperity are intimately intertwined. Great education draws families that value and demand it, and those who seek it often are educated themselves and want it for their children. This, in turn, creates prosperity. Indiana must value and invest in education more robustly, and Tipton County and our school corporation benefits when we maintain that education is a high priority. It is an investment for the future, both for our County and for its children.
Thank you for your interest in my campaign. For more information on my candidacy, follow me on Facebook at Harry Diamond for TCSC.