My name is Jim Roenick and as you know I am running for a seat on the Carroll County Board of Education. I’ve been married to my lovely wife, Rosemary, for 35 years.   We have resided in Carroll County since 1982.  Our three grown children have graduated from South Carroll High School.  I have been a member of the St. John Catholic School Board for the past six years. Currently, I am serving as the Facilities and Maintenance Chair of St. John School.  My education includes a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Maryland, College Park and B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.  I am the Vice President of Sales and Services at C&E Services. For over 25 years I have been employed in the power plant industry, where our services aid our clients' general daily operations.  In that capacity, I am responsible for the proper operation and maintenance for equipment valued at more $200 million, primarily for steam and chilled water production.  The budgetary requirement of all the power plants I manage is well over $100 million per year.  Those costs include equipment, engineers, maintenance personnel, parts, capital expenditures and contractors for the operation, repair and replacement of the plant equipment.  

I coached basketball for St. John Catholic School for 3 years and baseball for Taylorsville-Winfield Lions Club for 10 years including South Carroll Babe Ruth Baseball team for 3 years with my sons.  Concurrently, I coached my daughter’s basketball teams in Westminster, her lacrosse teams in Gamber-Deer Park and her field hockey, lacrosse and basketball teams at South Carroll High School. 

While my kids were growing up, I was involved in several charitable organizations.  I participated in the Catholic Heart Workcamp in Pittsburgh. I led mission trips to Preston County in West Virginia, the northern tip of Appalachia for 2 years. I worked with Habitat for Humanity in both Carroll and Washington Counties. This lead to the creation of a Carroll County based charity of which I was the founder and president, named TOOLS, which stood for Teens Offering Others Love and Service, Inc.  TOOLS was highly unusual in that we  offered teenagers the opportunity to learn construction and repair work as they provided a very valuable service for the indigent, the elderly and disabled in Carroll County, at no cost to our clients.  We installed grab bars, handicap access ramps, both inside and outside their homes, replaced doorknobs, sidewalks and plumbing fixtures.  We painted houses, we fixed electrical work, we cleaned up yards and even replaced roofs. We did whatever work was necessary to enhance the value of their lives and to allow them to safely remain in their homes. 

In all of these undertakings, the children and teenagers were always excited to learn and excel, to go beyond what was expected.  We did this always having fun, while succeeding with some rather extraordinary results under some very difficult conditions.  
In those organizations there were always challenges that arose.  We worked hard, in spite of conditions, and successfully completed the tasks we were assigned in a timely fashion.   Armed with his can-do attitude there was literally nothing that we could not accomplish.   It is that can-do attitude that brings me to my candidacy for a position on the Carroll County Board of Education.

I’m not a lofty politician, I’m not a career politician. I do not intend to make a career out of what I am offering to do in this campaign. I am just a grandparent of soon to be 3 grandchildren and I just do not like what this country is doing to the future of our children and grandchildren.  A recent poll (by Rasmussen) showed that nearly two thirds of Americans believe this country is headed in the wrong direction. George Harmening, Bud Nason and I agree.   We firmly believe we can make a difference and stop the slide that our country is on by implementing change, beginning here in Carroll County. 

Over the past several years, we’ve seen many examples of our state and federal governments overreaching their Constitutional authorities. I have sat idly by, as a concerned citizen, knowledgeable of what I thought was occurring, studying the issues, learning the issues confronting our county and nation. But something just was not right with me sitting there not becoming involved. As my father, who recently passed away, often told me, “Son if you have a problem, face it head on, attack it and overcome it.” That has brought me to George, Bud and my own campaign today.

We all know that our children are our future. In some ways the future does not seem to be as bright as it did 5 or even 10 years ago. We live in the United States, the greatest nation on Earth. There is no problem we can’t overcome if we put our hearts and minds to the solution. Our educational system is broken.  We no longer have a public school system, we have a government school system. Our classrooms have become dens of indoctrination. 

This indoctrination begins with this national Common Core Curriculum.  This is a national set of rigorous standards, one size fits all curriculum, originally funded by the U.S. Department of Education to the tune of $4.35 billion.  Many of us believe that the implementation of Common Core is illegal.  In the past, both parties have attempted to get control of the public school curriculum.  To prevent this, on three separate occasions, Congress has felt it necessary to pass legislation prohibiting the institution of a federal national curriculum: 1. The General Provisions Act, 2. Department of Education Organization Act and 3. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  Yet 46 states blindly signed on to Common Core in exchange for the opportunity to receive grant money from the Department of Education. Standards were put in place long before the curriculum had ever been written. The standards had to be accepted, sight unseen, with no curriculum changes (15%).  The consequences of this hurriedly implemented Common Core have resulted in deep frustration for parents for students and teachers alike.

Last school year, the Carroll County Board of Education had a budget of over $330 million. There were 26,317 students in Carroll County. That equates to nearly $12,500 per student that is being spent on their education. A fairly lofty sum, wouldn’t you say? Now, if I would give each one of you $12,500 for each one of your children’s annual education, I believe you would come up with fairly good education option for your children given the opportunity. 

Unfortunately this is a trend that we’re seeing nationally - more money buying less results. I’m sure we’ve all heard the term American Exceptionalism.  A term that is rapidly becoming passé, old fashioned, extinct. But if we agree that our children are our future and our government school systems continue to fail our students, what future does our country have?  Our educational system is failing our children. 

This Board of Education continues to ask for more money and is disappointed when they don’t get the budgetary funds they’ve asked.  We need to find better ways to empower our teachers and our parents and return to the proper coursework that again will, once again, educate our students to compete with the rest of the world.  To lead the world, not lag behind; to restore this nation once again as the greatest nation on the planet status.  As Americans, we do not fail, we cannot fail. 

We know it in our hearts that this is the greatest nation in the world, but we must fight to save it…and it starts with the proper education of our children.  If we give up on ourselves, we have nowhere else to go. We must succeed. We may not get another chance. I firmly believe the best way to improve our chances of success in saving this nation from falling to third world status is educating one student at a time with the needs that that student requires, just like it has been in the past—not a one curriculum fits all. Bud Nason, George Harmening and I believe we can turn this mess around.  As you know, it requires a lot of time to turn a ship around.  As with a ship, it will take a long time to turn this around.  We won’t do it in 1 week, 1 month or 1 year, but the longest journey starts with the first step.  The first thing we must do is stop the slide downward.  We are problem solvers.  Please elect us to the Board of Education, so that we may begin to solve this huge problem that has befallen us in this county.