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Neuspickle Takes Appointment to Dayton Board of Education

Bret Neuspickle is the newest member of the Dayton Board of Education.

In last November's election, not enough people ran to fill the three seats up for grabs amid the retirement of longtime member Tom Dilts.

The Kentucky Education Department tapped Neuspickle to fill the role. 

"I can't lie, the first year I was here I was frustrated with the way things were handled," Neuspickle said. He has lived in the city for a little more than eight years. "But then I got word that Jay Brewer was taking over as superintendent. My dad coached JV basketball at Ludlow High School when Jay was a senior, so I knew of him, and since he has taken over he has built a good team and turned things around. I am so glad he took over."

Neuspickle was so pleased with the changes at Dayton Independent Schools that he moved his son, Ben, who has special needs, out of Redwood, which serves special needs students, and enrolled him at Lincoln Elementary in Dayton.

Neuspickle said the change has been good for his non-verbal son who uses a wheelchair.

"We are blessed," he said. "They are great with him."

Another son, Gabe, graduated last year, and Neuspickle said that his son's was one of the larger classes where the whole class was committed to going to college from Dayton High School. Neuspickle credited Brewer for the culture change.

Two cycles ago, Neuspickle ran an unsuccessful campaign for city council. He is now an appointed member of the Bellevue-Dayton Fire Board.

He still wants to see more from his city.

"I wondered what the plan B, C, and D are for the city," he said. "It looks like they have all their eggs in one basket. I think the true future of Dayton is what's going on in the schools. The student body is becoming more and more successful. When they decide to come back to Dayton and settle here, that's where the growth point is."

He remembered when he ran for council, there were nine candidates, and at a debate, he was number seven to speak.

"I listened to everyone talk about rainbows and unicorns, and I talked about the problems, but that's not what the people wanted to hear," he said. "Sometimes things need to be heard. I don't look at things through rose-colored glasses."

When Brewer called Neuspickle to see if he would be interested in putting his name in to be considered for the board position, he said yes.

Neuspickle thinks his background in accounting and financial Insurance services will be good for the board.

He said one of his goals is to look into restoring bus service because he commented that Dayton schools reduced their bus fleets from 19 to 6, and even though most kids can walk to school, Neuspickle worries about kids walking in the intense cold. He said once he gets in the position, he will try and understand why they did away with the buses.

Neuspickle would also like to look into more guidance counselors.

He said he would like to talk to Brewer about having seniors take freshmen under their wing, so to speak, to give them someone to look up to. He would like to see seniors come over to Lincoln Elementary and read to the younger grades. He thinks it would be like a big brother-big sister program.

"Some children don't get much encouragement at home," he said. "Seniors could come and collect attendance cards, like they did when I went to Calvary Christian. Little kids like to see the older kids and will give them high fives."

Neuspickle said he grew up around an educational environment. His dad was a guidance counselor in several communities, and his mom was a substitute teacher.

He likes the idea of encouraging different educational experiences because he realizes that college is not everybody's cup of tea.

"Going to a trade school might just be perfect for some kids, while others want to go to college," he said.  "The important thing is to never give up."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photo: Bret Neuspickle