A Message to the Community


Children are the collective responsibility of our community. This fundamental belief has guided much of my decision-making as a community and elected leader throughout my career. It has been with much sadness that I have watched the public divisiveness and conflict unfold as it relates to the Akron Public School Board. Our kids and our community deserve better.

This November, we have the opportunity to once again exercise this collective responsibility and elect new members to the open seats on the Akron Public School Board. Traditionally, I have not been involved in school board races. However, in Ohio, the responsibility of workforce development is charged directly to counties. There is no bigger pipeline for our workforce in Summit County than the Akron Public Schools. Education, workforce, and economic development are pillars on which opportunity and economic advancement expand and flourish. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option; the success of this district is foundational for the success of Summit County families and businesses, and to grow our community to its highest potential.

It is with workforce, economic development and community commitment in mind that I am proud to endorse Phil Montgomery and Patrick Bravo for the upcoming open seats on the Akron Public School Board. Phil and Patrick are not strangers to this APS community, and both have a long-demonstrated commitment to public service.

Phil has two young children enrolled in the Akron Public School District. But it’s not just personal for him. His vested interest is in the overall success of all students, staff, and administrators. It is grounded in his dedication to serving the public in his career as well as his participation in countless community non-profits. Phil knows and understands our community. His experience in public finance will be an incredibly valuable addition to the board. As Director of Summit County's Department of Finance and Budget, Phil oversees a public budget of more than $600 million and will bring an important understanding of the complex funding structure for public education in Ohio.

Patrick brings significant experience and a history of service to the Akron Public School Board where he successfully served as president. Patrick also has a child enrolled in APS and is committed to ensuring every student has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Patrick's service to the community on the boards of Child Guidance & Family Solutions, Summit County Children Services, and the Akron Zoo, further demonstrate his commitment to children and families in our community. As Executive Director of the nonprofit Summit County Land Bank, Patrick has a deep understanding of what it takes to strengthen neighborhoods and communities and the importance of strong and healthy relationships between a board, its staff, and the community they serve. His demonstrated track record of civility and finesse in challenging negotiations will serve the Akron Public School Board and this community well.

Phil and Patrick both made a choice to live, work, and raise their families in the Akron Public School District. I know them and their families personally and I am gratified these individuals, with the character and integrity both Phil and Patrick display on a daily basis, are willing to serve in this capacity. It is without question that the dedication they have shown to this City and County will be carried into their service on the Akron Public School Board. I know their number one priority will be the students, families, staff, and administrators of the Akron Public School District when they are serving as members of the school board.

Recess is over. It's time to get to work and I hope you will join me in supporting these two dedicated candidates for Akron Public School Board.


Ilene Shapiro