Tom Schott
Endorsed by the
West Lafayette Education Association

Tom Schott for West Lafayette School Board

I have thoroughly enjoyed my previous nearly eight years on the West Lafayette school board. I have a passion for our community and for public education. There is no better way to give back to those passions than by serving on the school board.

I believe my greatest skill when it comes to serving on the board is my willingness to listen with an open mind and make decisions based on common sense (my head and not my heart) with the best interest of our students as our No. 1 priority. I also believe my longtime affiliation to Purdue University and 30-plus years of living in Greater Lafayette provides credibility. I believe I am uniquely qualified to effectively serve. My ultimate goal as a school board member has been and always will be to ensure that as a district we are successfully fulfilling our mission of engaging our students in a world-class educational experience while preparing them to be well-rounded, ethical, innovative, creative, productive and adaptive citizens who will shape our global society.

About Me

I came to the Purdue University athletics department in 1990 on a 10-month internship … and stayed for 29 1/2 years. In January 2020, I started in my current position of senior director of strategic communications for Purdue.

My wife, Jane, teaches honors chemistry at the West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School and serves as head girls basketball coach and assistant athletics director, as well. Our older son, August, is a 2018 West Side graduate and now attends Purdue. Our younger son, Sam, is a senior at the high school.

I also currently serve on the West Lafayette Education Foundation board of directors.

I recently published my sixth book, “100 Things Purdue Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.” Featuring traditions, records and lore, this lively, detailed book explores the personalities, events and facts every Purdue fan should know.

Senior Night

Issues

Top Priorities

School safety – As a school district, we have no greater charge than ensuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Now that we have correctly eliminated our “open lunch” policy because of COVID-19, we need to examine that subject post-pandemic. Additionally, we need to ensure that the presence of our safety resource officers is viewed positively by all students while they continue to serve their crucial role in our district.

Teachers – We must continue to fully support our teachers – ensuring they have the necessary resources to be successful, while making sure they are fairly compensated. We must recruit, mentor and retain the best.

Addressing Challenges

We need to make sure we strive to continue providing a world-class education to our students; this includes pursuing the benefits of a racially diverse and culturally comprehensive education for every student in our district. In instances where individuals in our community feel as though we have not listened to their thoughts or concerns, we need to make sure they feel they have been heard. We have taken positive steps to change the gender makeup of our administration (specifically at the Jr./Sr. high school) but need to make further progress in this area from a diversity standpoint across the district.

Welcoming, comfortable and educational for all

No type of racial discrimination in any West Lafayette school or program will be tolerated. We are committed to pursuing the benefits of a racially diverse and culturally comprehensive education for every student in our district. As such, we will provide available resources and energy to best serve our current and future students, parents and community members. As a long-time member of this community, my greatest desire is for our school district to be welcoming, comfortable and educational for all.

Looking back and looking ahead

During the last eight years, we have maintained our outstanding combination of providing our students a world-class K-12 educational experience with a tremendous breadth of co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have successfully executed our second referendum effort. And we have been able to significantly improve the physical aspects of our district with building/facility enhancements and new construction.

We must continue to strive for sustained excellence and not rest on our laurels. Our students, faculty, staff and community deserve nothing but our very best, and we owe to them to strive to be even better.

COVID-19

Thanks to the hard work of our administration, teachers, staff and students – and collaboration with the county board of health and doctors – our reopening plan and its execution have been extremely successful. After receiving community feedback to our initial plan, we made modifications to ensure that every family could make its own decision about whether to select in-person or e-learning and allowed them to change that decision during the first two weeks of the semester. Furthermore, all in-person and e-learning instruction is being done by current or a handful or retired West Lafayette teachers, not an outside vendor. We have permitted e-learners to participate in extracurricular activities. In instances where we have had had positive cases of COVID-19, our administration has successfully and swiftly conducted contact tracing for the safety of all involved.

WL