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Westlake School Board Election 2011: Michelle Albert

As part of our election coverage, Westlake Patch will provide profiles of each of the candidates for school board.

Editor's Note: As part of Westlake Patch's , we will provide profiles of each of the candidates running for office. These profiles will offer biographical and issue-oriented details about each of the candidates to help you, the voters, make more-informed decisions at the ballot box. Stay tuned for more coverage of the election.

Name: Michelle Albert (Most people call me Shelley.)

Date of Birth: June 1, 1974

Occupation: Physical Therapist and Center Manager at in Westlake

Education: (1992), Bachelor of Science Physical Therapy from Bowling Green State University, Masters of Health Science from University of Indianapolis (2003), Board Certification in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (2009)

Family: Husband David, sons 5-year-old Andrew— a kindergartener at — and 3-year-old Carson

Years residing in Westlake: 23

Office Sought: Westlake Board of Education

Previous Public Offices Held: None

Registered: No affiliation

Email: michelle@michelle4schoolboard.com

Campaign Web Page: www.michelle4schoolboard.com

Candidate Statement: I am running for school board because I want to give back to the community and enhance the education of our children. I had an excellent education in the Westlake School District. My teachers not only gave me an academic education, but I learned life lessons that shaped who I am today. I learned the value of team work, finishing strong, and a positive attitude. These attributes will benefit our school board.

I am willing to work with others and listen to all potential solutions. I pledge to look for leaks in our expenses and problem solve cost savings measures to stay within our current budget. As a manager of a health care facility, I have to meet the demands of budgetary constraints while providing exceptional patient care. I am experienced in implementing cost savings measures for my center.

I pledge to balance the fiscal limitations of the taxpayers and slow the growth of expenditures per student. Westlake is an Excellent-rated district, however, we are also the 16th highest in the state for expenditures per pupil. A school board should consist of a diverse group of people that are interested in the achievement of our students while being good stewards of the taxpayers investment in our schools.

Please vote for Michelle Albert on Nov. 8.

To see more candidate profiles and election news, check out the .

David Albert September 13, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Joe, you are correct that I voice my opinion or as you state "I like to be heard". Keep in mind that the vast majority of my statements to the board have surrounded being civil toward one another. The statement that "I like to be heard" could easily be applied to yourself, given that you have posted on this site more than 35 times since joining in April.
Michelle September 13, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Joe~ I typically do not respond to these comments because I find it futile to get into an online debate with someone who has already made up his mind. Although, I do have some comments for you. You have a concern about whose voice you will be hearing as a BOE member, mine or my husband's. That comment can easily be misconstrued as a sexist remark. Do I understand you correctly, that because I am married I don't have a mind of my own? I am my own person with my own ideas and opinions. I am educated and resonable, and I am able to make my own decisions. I will be the voice you hear on the BOE. Secondly, David is the owner of that site. I do not agree with him posting it, in fact I asked him not to (this is an example of us making individual decisions). However, I do agree that all of our board members should treat each other civilly. Also, if their emotions get the better of them they should offer up an apology. Finally, you suggest that I will be a vote for "NO progress." My children are my first priority. My OLDEST has just started kindergarten at Hilliard Elementary. So we have a long way to go in the Westlake School District. Our family values education. David has 2 bacholor's degrees, and I have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. I have also recently decided to back to school to get my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and will be starting the enrollment process soon. I have NO intention of degrading the quality of my children's education.
Westlake Resident-Joe Smith September 23, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Mrs. Albert... You have misunderstood my concern over the voice we will be hearing if your are elected. It is my concern along with many others I have spoken with that while you may make individual decsions in your home, you may be influenced by your spouse David . As with many successful marriages comes compromise. My fear is that a positive compromise in the home may not be the best for the Westlake City Schools and the BOE. In my humble opinion, I see the opinionated site about Andrea anything but civil. Actually I see it as childish and immature. I don't even see the rationale since her seat is not open for this election. What I have seen is uncivil actions by the minority views of the current BOE - Sullivan and Cross -. And instigating turmoil instead of reaching a compromise. Mrs. Albert... how do you plan on ending these argumentitive and unproductive BOE meetings? How do you plan to help this BOE begin to move forward instead of spinning their wheels with no progress? Westlake residents are tired of the negativity and attacks brought by two members.
David Albert September 23, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Joe, there is no doubt that badrocco.com has opinion within the site. It also has facts. Unlike many of the posts on this and other sites, my facts and opinions are referenced with sources. Although not surprising to me, I don't understand how anyone can feel my site is immature, while her language is not. Keep in mind a simple, "I should not have used profanity" would have prevented all of my comments and the site. Badrocco.com itself is not uncivil. It is a collection of public comments about Ms. Rocco all placed in one location. It has a place for anyone to voice their comments and then I post those comments. It is transparent. Far as the rationale is concerned, just look under the tab "site rationale" within the the body of badrocco.com. Should I assume that you feel only board members up for re-election should be criticized? If that is the case, you are failing miserably short with your comments about Mr. Cross. I have asked this question several times with no response from you. Why do you go under a pseudonym? If your arguments are so powerful why don't you have your name behind them? It shows a lack of confidence and as Ms. Rocco likes to say is cowardly.
Michelle September 24, 2011 at 01:05 AM
Have you asked Mr. Mays that same question? His wife is a teacher.
David Marlette September 25, 2011 at 06:12 AM
Michelle, You decide to respond based on a alleged gender bias...If Andrea Rocco's husband ran instead of her in the next election, would people think that her voice was the one that would be heard in BOE meetings. Don't play the sexist or gender card here...Your husband has a loud voice in your family's feeling about current BOE members (or should I say, memeber, singular). If you want your voice to be heard...SHUT YOUR HUSBAND UP!!!...If you want to play the card of "My husband is his own soul and whatever he does I can not control"... Then don't run for Westlake BOE. You conveinently use the "my husband opinions are not mine"...but unless you say "My husband is crazy and has no idea what the hell he is talking about", you basically endorse his retoric.
David Albert September 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Dave M., The "alleged" gender bias appears to have a significant amount of merit based on "joe's" comments. So, if Ms. Rocco's husband were to run for BOE, you are assuming that he would be a mindless zombie for his wife? I would disagree. Ms. Rocco's husband likely shares many of Ms. Rocco's views, but I would not assume that he agrees with everything that she does or says. A good example would be the profanity. I would assume that her husband agrees with her views, but could certainly think that better vocabulary would have served her in that situation (I certainly could be wrong). As far as "Shutting" me up, good luck to both you and my wife. We have a strong marriage and part of that is because I respect her points of view and the way that she expresses those and she extends that same courtesy to me. It would not be beneficial for my wife to call me ridiculous names the "crazy". Ironically in all of my statements regarding Ms. Rocco, Mr. Cross, and Mr. Sullivan, I have never call any one of them names. I point out the bad behavior and request that it changes or an apology. You on the other hand resort to name calling when you disagree with my position. Which is also amusing, since my greatest issue has been the rhetoric (spelled correctly in my post, but I do hold two bachelor's degrees and value education and the English language).
David Albert September 25, 2011 at 01:12 PM
Joe and Dave M., If you an others want to "shut me up", then vote for Michelle Albert for school board. One of us has to stay home with the kids and expand their parental responsibilities, so if Michelle is on the board, I will be out of the picture.
Gail Golembiewski September 29, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Mr. Albert, as a parent of children that attend Hilliard as your child does my youngest is in half day kindergarten, does your child attend half day or full day? My child was left behind because of the budget and as a voter that has a vested interest, how can I feel good about voting for a candidate that would allow attacks on a sitting board member, if you cared about your wife being elected it seems you should take a higher road. Are you at all concerned that you are derailing any chance of your wife being elected? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that don't like some of the school board members but they don't go and put up a website that is an outright attack, and I understand that your wife asked you not to do it, and you showed a total lack of respect to go against her wishes and why would you intentionally do the things that you claim Ms. Rocco has done isn't that just a bit hypocritical? Your wife is the one running for election, your place is to support her, not to do things to damage her reputation as well as possibly alienating her from the voters...Mr. Albert you should have thought about what this could cost before you created this web site all I can say is shame on you, and shame on Michelle for sitting back and accepting this as she has....I for one have no need to vote for someone that has such disregard for a sitting board member.
David Albert September 29, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Gail, As much as you and others like to point out that my website is an attack on Ms. Rocco, you fail to mention that she has admitted to using profanity in a district-owned building. Prior to publishing the website, BADRocco.com, I requested an apology on multiple occasions. This was done at various board meetings in an extremely respectable fashion and in letters to the westlife editor. Only after she refused did I publish the site. Additionally, the "attacks" are primarily her own words. I find it amusing that you fell re-publishing her own comments is an attack. If Ms. Rocco were not being obstinate then the website would not have been published. You disagree with my site, but my guess is that you would not agree with profanity in a school building. With bad behavior comes consequences. Far a disrespect for my wife, you couldn't be further from the truth. I do NOT control my wife and she does NOT control me. I support my wife running for the BOE and if you do not want to vote for her based on my actions, then shame on you for not looking deeper into the candidates.
Gail Golembiewski September 29, 2011 at 10:48 PM
The reason I also asked about whether your child attends half day or full day, because I was curious where your wife stood on the issue?
David Albert September 30, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Gail, I am not sure if you know or speak with Audrey Forrest who frequently posts on this website. If you do know her and you ask her about our email conversation you will find that I respect others opinions. and enjoy discussing our differences (personally it is quiet beneficial for me). As far as my wife's position on all day kindergarten please feel free to contact her at michelle@michelle4schoolboard.com. She will happily answer any of your questions. I genuinely respect Audrey and found her to be both polite, respectful, and direct. I know that she disagrees with BADRocco.com, but at this point she understand why I created the site. I would happily discuss this with you if you engage me in a respectful fashion and I stress this: I will extend you the same courtesy to you. I have been called names and challenged on why the site exists. But let me ask you one question: would you demand that your child apologize for using profanity in a school building? If the answer is yes, then why would you expect anything less from a board member. Keep in mind that is all that I wanted and requested multiple times prior to publishing.
Gail Golembiewski October 01, 2011 at 03:32 AM
David, yes I would demand that my child apologize for using profanity in a school building or any building for that matter, with that being said I respect your right to free speech and to the importance you place on appropriate behavior, but as the old saying goes "two wrongs don't make a right" applies here, you should not lower yourself as well as Michelle's reputation and chances at being elected. I have talked to numerous people in the school district and community that frankly are a bit taken aback at the tactics you have used, I am not alone in feeling that the road you have decided to travel is going to come back and haunt your wife and the good that she may have brought to the school board, was an apology really worth costing your wife the election? And I say this with all due respect as you have asked me to show to you....We are all adults and we are all concerned for our children and districts well being, but nothing will be accomplished with dysfunction and even though you say that is what you want to get rid of, your website says different.
David Albert October 01, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Gail, You and others are certainly free to express your opinions both regarding me, BADRocco.com, and any other individuals. I completely disagree with the notion that I have lowered myself to Ms. Rocco's level. If anyone reviews the site, they would find that it quotes her and others response to her. I don't use profanity, in fact I police to the site to avoid this. I do express my opinion that she is not good for the district due to her behavior, specifically that she refuses to apologize for behavior that she and many others (even her supporters) would condemn. That is the definition of hypocritical behavior. I have never thought that everyone would agree with the site and I do not dispute that some are "taken aback" by my highlighting her behavior. Having stated that there are numerous people that hold the exact opposite opinion. I have had over 5,000 hits on the site. BADRocco minutes are more accurate and have been posted on the site that reflect the board meetings. I have been transparent and post the BOE minutes (draft and finalized). BADRocco minutes have been downloaded over 25 times in but a few days and I have not promoted the site. I have had 2 individuals email me with negative comments, yet over 5,000 hits. Either people don't care or possibly agree. Lastly, there is a difference between dysfunction and differing opinions. A robust opinion base is good for the district, board, students, teacher, and community.
David Albert October 01, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Gail, With regards to anyone that does not vote for my wife based on my comments/actions; rather than her's, would illustrate an individual that is voting on an uneducated basis.
Suzanne Matwell October 09, 2011 at 02:33 AM
"With regards to anyone that does not vote for my wife based on my comments/actions; rather than her's, would illustrate an individual that is voting on an uneducated basis." I beg to offer that an uneducated vote is indeed a vote. They all count, after all. It doesn't matter if someone vote is based on a candidate's clothing choices, the actual issues, or the candidate's hudband's persona. You see, Mr. Albert, in this case it can be said that your wife is indeed "running a popularity contest," quite literally.
David Albert October 09, 2011 at 03:23 AM
Suzanne, you can choose to look at elections for public seats as "popularity" contests. The facts about Westlake are fairly clear. This is an educated community and the vast majority of the residents take their responsibility of voting seriously. Most will look into all of the candidates and vote for the individuals that they feel best represent the needs of the community. If the community feels that we can spend money with reckless abandon without any consequences then my wife will have a difficult road ahead. If the community feels that the district should balance the need for excellence in education with what the taxpayers can afford then I would not count my wife out. This and all elections are primarily about the popularity of the ideas not the persona.
Suzanne Matwell October 09, 2011 at 04:41 AM
"Suzanne, you can choose to look at elections for public seats as "popularity" contests." Um, noooooo, Dave, that's not necessarily my personal philosophy regarding what elections should be about. I'm just puttin' on my friend hat here and telling you that the most popular candidates will win. What makes a candidate popular? I hate to tell ya this, but it's not simply their one line mission statement. I don't care how educated either of your constituencies are. People have unquantifiable emotions and feelings. If they don't like your wife - or you, for that matter (since you appear to be representing her in this campaign) - she won't get the vote. Please don't tell me that you think that votes of this nature aren't worth having, or that they're small in number. That might make you a bit naive on both counts. Bottom line, do you want to see her get elected, so that she can so some real good, OR do you want to use this time and exposure to bloviate. Pride comes before a fall, Dave. Be sensitive - use your E.Q. - or I don't care how qualified, good or right your wife is, you're on the path to helping her fail.
David Albert October 09, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Suzanne, posting comments online is not the best way to communicate as both tone and context cannot be evaluated. My wife agrees with that position. As a result she has chosen not to read the patch or any other online communications. If you or anyone else would like to speak with her she can be contacted at michelle@michelle4schoolboard.com. She is happy to answer any questions or schedule a meeting a mutually beneficial time. As far as the statement that that I "appear to be representing her in this campaign", I only comments on your post because it was directed to me. If the post was directed to my wife then I would have said nothing.
Suzanne Matwell October 09, 2011 at 01:52 PM
You still don't realize how deeply you are disrupting her campaign. Best of luck to her.
David Albert October 10, 2011 at 07:18 PM
I realize what you are saying. You feel that I should look solely at my wife’s campaign. I believe that there is a much bigger picture. Do I want my wife on the board? Yes. Will I do all that I can to assist? Yes. Is there something more important than one respectful, intelligent, and moderate voice on this board? Yes. Although I believe that my wife would add so much to this community’s BOE, I would trade my wife’s campaign for five respectful, independent, and intelligent voices any day. Having a board comprised of five independent and respectful members that are willing to entertain all ideas and discuss all options would be utopia. I don’t think that this heaven can exist with any of the current members. There is just too much baggage. I certainly could be wrong and if the voters choose to keep Mays and Winter we will certainly find out. It makes far more sense to replace the two incumbents with fresh faces. There are five to choose from and I am not stating that one should choose any specific three out of that five. Two years from now, the other two will be up from re-election. If nothing changes, then they also should be shown the door and the community should bring in two additional new faces. This is the only way to change a system that doesn’t care about the wishes of the community. We have all asked that they behave themselves and the board has ignored us ALL. Thank you for the good wishes and the sentiment is also extended to you.
Duane Gibson October 11, 2011 at 11:59 PM
David, I'm not a big blogger but sometimes you see things that just need a comment. You are absolutely correct in that the BOE needs two new faces.......one left (Sullivan), and one still needs to go (Cross). I have attended several BOE meetings and was appalled at first, then frustrated, and finally just furious at the childish behavior exibited by both Cross and Sullivan. Kudos to Mays for having the backbone to challenge what was commonly inaccurate and provocative comments by Cross. I must give him credit though as you never seen his hand up Sullivan's back as Tim spoke. Your insistence on an apology from Rocco for profanity in school building is petty and really reaching. We're all adults. Make no mistake that your website has acted to galvanize support AGAINST Michelle. Don't assume that all the hits are due to a positive response. I viewed it because I was told to look at this ridiculous site that was started. I was not disappointed. Interestingly you pick and choose your "facts" to publish. I stand in total support for Mays and Winters. I need swayed for my third vote. You're not helping your wife, which is disappointing because she does present herself to be an interesting candidate.
David Albert October 12, 2011 at 12:20 AM
Duane, apparently you have not read the body of the website as there are multiple occasions where Ms. Rocco has behaved poorly. BADRocco.com allows every visitor to see this bad behavior in years 2009, 2010, and 2011. All are quoted and referenced so it is easy to determine if I am taking quotes out of context or misrepresenting any facts. The profanity was only the pinnacle and most recent. If it is "petty" as you state, then would you allow your child to act that way? My guess is no. I could be wrong and I could be wrong about how you parent, but I would never allow my child to act like that in public or at home. Why do we (all of us) give our representatives a pass at behavior that we would condemn personally? Far as the hits to BADRocco.com, there are now 8,000 an climbing. And as much as many likely do not support the site, ALL view how she has behaved. We are all adults, so WE should ALL behave that way. And WE should DEMAND that all FIVE members also act in a respectful fashion. I have not seen that out of ANY of the members on a consistent basis. I highlight Ms. Rocco because she has been the worst.
Duane Gibson October 12, 2011 at 01:10 AM
David, I really don't need your site to evaluate how Ms. Rocco has acted. I have witnessed it first hand through my 16 years living in Westlake. I applaud the time and energy she has shown during her tenure. If you honestly believe that all adults do not have an occasional slip up then i will meet you anywhere to witness the walking on the water. You will have my vote instantly. I'm not sure why you referenced my child in your attempt to defend your shaky ground, but to each his own. I wish people with your never ending energy would attack the real problem.......the State. Kasich has taken yours and my tax dollars and redistributed our money throughout the state and "allowed" us to keep 9 cents for every dollar we send him. Yes, 9 cents. This along with ignoring an Ohio Supreme Court ruling to fix state funding of education. Did I mention the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the funding method unconstitutional 4 times. Yes, 4 times. Let it stand that I do not agree with your assessment of Ms. Rocco or her behavior. You come across as childish and immature. It doesn't sit well with people who really just want the facts (not just your version). Lastly, if 8,000 people passed a car wreck and looked, it doesn't mean they agreed with the accident.
David Albert October 12, 2011 at 01:49 AM
You do believe that ALL adults have slip-ups; however, when an ADULT has a slip-up they acknowledge it and apologize. It is only children that need reminded of the appropriate response to a slip-up.
Gail Golembiewski October 12, 2011 at 02:51 AM
Duane, you are beating a dead horse, you are spot on but nothing or no one is going to keep Mr. Albert from derailing his wife's election, he has tunnel vision and believes that he is an authority on how people should act. He also referenced my children in one of his comments to me, he doesn't know me or my children so he has no right to bring my children into it, I am a concerned parent I care about what happens to the schools and yes Dr. Keenan and the board did the best with what they were given by the Kasich administration. I too would like to witness the walking on the water as well...maybe we can sell tickets, I'm sure a lot of people would like to witness this feat. A man that has never uttered one swear word in his entire life......
Duane Gibson October 12, 2011 at 03:39 AM
What's that saying..........never argue with a fool. People watching can't tell the difference.
Tom Horwitz October 12, 2011 at 07:10 AM
Duane, that's not always true. There are times when people <can> tell the difference between the fool and those who argue with him. In fact, I'm thinking of one of those times right now.
David Albert October 12, 2011 at 11:39 AM
So you are actually implying that it is foolish to expect adults to be accountable for their actions?
David Albert October 12, 2011 at 11:44 AM
This group fails to understand that there is a large segment of Westlake that is outraged at her actions/language and failure to acknowledge that it is wrong. I have called out the bad behavior of multiple members of the BOE. Cross and Sullivan apologize. Only Ms. Rocco feels she should not be held accountable.

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