Local voters will choose among 13 candidates November 8 to fill three, six-year terms and two partial terms on the Farmington Public Schools Board of Education. Farmington Voice sent all candidates a questionnaire; responses are published as they were received.
James Stark, Farmington – candidate for six-year term
A Royal Oak native, he has lived in Farmington since 1993 with his wife Janet, an executive at FCA, and daughters Alexis, a 2015 FHS grad and Mackenzie, an incoming sophomore. After earning a journalism degree from Oakland University for ten years he was the owner/publisher for the F/FH Gazette and for 13 years served as the Executive Director of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. From 1994-2012 he worked as a sports broadcaster with 3 Ann Arbor radio stations. He is currently the president of JLS Ventures, a non-profit consulting firm. A long time community supporter, he spent 8 years on the board of the F/FH Chamber of Commerce, served as president of the Farmington Area Philharmonic and the Farmington Area Founders Festival Inc., and was member of the Multicultural Multiracial Community Council, Farmington Area Families in Action and the FPS Community/Business Council. In addition to being a parent volunteer at Flanders, Power, East and FHS, he currently serves as president of the FHS Music Patrons Association.
What is the most critical issue facing Farmington Public Schools, and how will you work to resolve it?
My highest priority is keeping the focus on what’s best for students – despite the fiscal, economic, infrastructure and social pressures facing our district. To achieve my priority, I have created a three point plan targeted at increasing this focus.
#1 – drive improvement of both the classroom performance and educational experience of all students.
#2 – I will seek to help stabilize current funding levels as well as locating new, alternative revenue sources.
#3 – increase the connection and communications with both our business and residential community.
My action steps to successfully implement my three-point plan include encouraging working more closely, more cooperatively and improving communications between the administration and educational staff to jointly find ways to improve the classroom performance and educational experience of all students; maintain responsible fiscal oversight while working with state and local government representatives to find new and creative funding sources; and help create new initiatives and concepts to share the positive school district stories and work to rebuild better lines of communications and relationships with the leadership of both cities.