Menard said in the announcement he is a nine-year resident of Woodstock and is a vocal advocate for public education and its beneficial impact on the local community.
The candidate said he plans to emphasize the need to include voices on the school board who are directly affected by its decisions.
As a father of two children who attend schools within the Cherokee County School District, Menard said he fills an important role on the board.
“At this time, there is only one board member who has children in our award-winning school district. While there are outstanding board members who have been educators or members of our strong PTA organizations, a number of those with school-aged children have decided to send them outside our district. It is time to ensure that the real constituency of our school board is adequately represented,” he said.
If elected, Menard said he plans to offer substantive solutions to the core problems that are being faced by students.
“There are many challenges faced by the Cherokee County School District and as a board member representing District 5, I bring a unique skill set to assist with identifying the appropriate solutions. My professional history includes holding both a CPA as well as a Bachelor of Science in accounting, and years of helping school districts and other public entities implement their financial accounting and budgeting systems,” he said in his announcement. “If you have been reading our local newspapers lately, you realize how valuable my understanding of the financial reporting process will be to our BOE.”
Menard said the single biggest challenge facing students today is simply graduating. He said Georgia offers one unified diploma, which labels all students as college ready.
“The unfortunate result is that you have young men and women forced to complete a program that ill prepares them for the next stage in their lives, because they have neither the ability nor the desire to attend a university and are under trained for entry into a highly technical workforce,” he said.
Several of the other challenges faced by students are rooted in state budgetary cuts, he said.
“It is understandable in a time of financial difficulty for the state to make cuts to its largest fiscal outlay. However, the degree of these cuts, the lack of their reinstatement and the other state programs that still receive funding suggest that education is not the priority that it should be,” he said.
Menard works as a financial information systems lead at InComm and attended Indiana University.
The candidate lives in Woodstock with his wife, Dina, and two daughters.
He is a member of the Carmel PTA and has volunteered as softball coach for the Cherokee Recreation and Parks Association recreational league at Twin Creeks since 2009. The Menards attend His Hands Church in Woodstock.