Columbus Board of Education
Tina Pierce, CEO and founder of a local nonprofit that empowers individuals through civic education and leadership training, is a passionate community leader with extensive education experience. As a lifelong resident of Columbus, a Beechcroft High School graduate, and the mother of Columbus City Schools students, she is both a product and a strong supporter of CCS schools. If elected, she will work on behalf of all Columbus City Schools to set students up for success as they graduate into a 21st century global economy.
In 2020 Tina will begin her work as a Columbus Board of Education Member.Website
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
My initial journey to filing as a candidate started in the Spring of 2013 when my friend Laura Kraus asked me to run for our Columbus City Schools Board of Education. As a professor of political science, I often teach my students that it takes a person being asked 3 times to run for office before the person actually runs. That was the case with me. Laura not only asked 3 times, but recruited additional community members to help ask the third and final time. After campaigning for a board seat in 2015, I gained board governance experience through our CCS Policy Committee and CCS Partnership Committee. This service has given me a keen understanding of the committee structure within our district and how it helps to create a culture of accountability and transparency.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I’m a living example of the African proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” I believe there is a communal responsibility in educating our children. Growing up in a single parent household, me and my younger brother were raised with help from our maternal grandparents and extended family. My upbringing in a strong working class family instilled in me the belief that education and hard work provide the critical foundation for success in life. My mother and grandparents set high academic expectations early and provided me with the tools and support I needed to thrive in and out of school. I believe that our world is full of Tinas. When parents, extended family members, educators, and community members come together to provide our children with a high quality education and the equivalent resources to excel in school and beyond our children can and will achieve greatness we can’t being to imagine!
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?
Educator is the core of who I am and what I do. My experiences as an educator have shaped my purpose and passion for servant-leadership and teaching. I have the great honor and pleasure of helping numerous people from a diversity of backgrounds as they work to achieve their academic, professional, and life goals. As an educator, I teach not only academic skills and knowledge, but also important life lessons that help people succeed beyond term papers and exams through my: academic classes as an educator at OSU; and community and school-based workshops as an education consultant with my company WORTH. I am an educator who inspires, empowers, and invests in people to create positive transformative, sustainable change in their communities.
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?
I believe addressing issues and capturing opportunities in our complex political system requires building cultures around servant leadership; investing in empowering strategic action; and collaborating with purpose, discipline, and focus. This work must involve women and young people in meaningful ways. Women and young people are rarely given a voice where decisions and policies are being made even when they are the most affected. My vision for our community in 2028 is: A community elevating the voice and power of women and young people shaping the future.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Two challenges facing the Columbus City Schools are student learning and board governance. Research indicates that economically disadvantaged students must overcome multiple barriers to perform at their full academic potential. We can work to improve learning outcomes by tackling the socioeconomic barriers that keep our students from learning. As a CCS board member, I will advocate for our schools to become centers of learning that provide holistic wrap around services such as referrals for food, behavioral, medical, and housing assistance to ensure our children’s basic needs are met before they walk into the classroom. When elected my major priority will be establishing a board governance model that sets clear expectations for operational, financial, data management, regulatory compliance, and reporting processes to ensure the board receives accurate and valid information to fulfill our oversight and governance responsibilities.
The stakes are simply too high for school board members not to engage in advocacy and legislation efforts on state and national levels. I will advocate for legislation requiring our school board be involved in all discussions and decisions regarding property tax abatements and diversions. I will support state legislation for a state report card rating system that is a meaningful indicator of the quality of a school district. I will support federal legislation providing public schools with resources and supports for all children to have equal access to a high-quality education that prepares them for college and career success. Stable and adequate funding is essential to a high-quality educational system.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
My daughter Michelle helped me with this question. Michelle says, “you spend a lot of time in the community and you’re a very loving person.”