Westlake Board of Education
Northeast Ohio, Local
Elizabeth (Liz) Pirnat is a PTA pro running for the Westlake Board of Education. She currently serves on the Dover Intermediate School PTA and is on the Westlake Council of PTA’s. Liz understands the need for good communication between the parent community and their schools and will work for the district to be more accepting of diversity; not only cultural diversity but a diversity of ideas, circumstances, and experiences. Liz wants to make sure no student is forgotten and wants to ensure parents are involved in school decisions. She views her role on the school board as a partnership with parents, having served among them already for so many years. As her community grows and changes Liz knows it will be imperative that every child has access to quality education and has attended nearly every school board meeting over the past 5 years she understands the challenges the district is facing and the opportunities that exist to improve their schools.
In 2020 Liz will begin her work as a Westlake Board of Education Member.Facebook
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I had been asked for several years to run for Westlake School Board, and always had said no. About a year ago, I realized I was just making excuses to not run. My involvement in the schools, from volunteering in classrooms, PTAs, ballot initiatives, strategic planning committees and much more, lead me to my decision to run for Westlake School Board. This has helped me see the big and small picture of Westlake Schools to better prepare me to run for School Board.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
Ever since I was little, my parents encouraged me to voice my opinion, and that has driven me to be as outspoken as I am. I am inspired to run by my friends, Amy Green Havelka and Carol Winter. Amy ran for Westlake City Council in Ward 5 two years ago, and Carol has served on the Westlake School Board for many years. Carol’s dedication to all Westlake students and Amy’s commitment to improving the Westlake community inspire me daily. Both Amy and Carol have been serving as mentors through the campaign process and I could not go through this without them.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
I am a wine educator for Napa Valley Wine Academy. Through my wine education, teaching, and travels, I have found the breadth of knowledge I learned in school has all been relevant. Topics that I often wondered how they would be meaningful, I have found useful on a daily basis: math, biology, chemistry, history, English, foreign language, computer programming and more. This has driven me to have a thirst for knowledge on a variety of topics, and to never stop learning.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
By 2028 I would love to see equal representation for women at Westlake School Board, Westlake City Council, Cuyahoga County, and in the state of Ohio. Women’s voices need to be at the table. We also need to have representation that reflect the diversity of the communities we live in.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
A local school board is local politics at its core. I have experienced the heartbreak of a school levy failing by 44 votes. Voter turnout in these elections is extremely important, and too often overlooked.
For Westlake, one of the key issues is understanding and respecting the changing demographics of the community and respecting the diverse population. I believe we are at our best when we embrace the diversity in our community. This means not only cultural diversity, but also diversity of ideas, circumstances, and experiences. We all must learn from each other.
For Ohio, funding education has been a problem since before the DeRolph ruling in 1997. And funding has only gotten worse with state cuts from the recession in 2010, the ending of tangible personal property tax reimbursements, the rise of charter schools, and more. We need adequate funding for all schools in Ohio.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I am an avid fan of musicals. I adore going to Playhouse Square and their Broadway subscription series. Playhouse Square’s Broadway series launch events announcing which shows are coming for the next year are my personal sports draft nights. I’m looking forward to seeing “Mean Girls” and “Anatasia”. I greatly enjoyed “Frozen” in New York and am excited to see it tour. I really hope “Six” is on the 2020-2021 season as it’s a new personal favorite for my daughter and me after we saw it in Chicago.