Chris Varwig

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Chris Varwig
Chris Varwig.jpg
Board Member, Toledo Public Schools, At-large
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionCommunity volunteer
Chris Varwig campaign logo
Chris Varwig is an at-large member on the Toledo School Board. She first won election to the board on November 5, 2013 against six fellow challengers and one incumbent.


Varwig is a product of TPS schools, and also raised a daughter that graduated from TPS. She is an active community volunteer, having previously served as Girl Scout leader, Chess Club adviser, lunchroom helper and tutor, among other duties. She has also served as President of the following organzations: TPS Parent Congress, a districtwide parent advocacy group, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at Beverly Elementary and Byrnedale Junior High and the Bowsher High School Boosters.[1]



See also: Toledo Public Schools elections (2013)


Toledo Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBob Vasquez Incumbent 19.3% 16,715
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPolly Taylor-Gerken 18.5% 15,947
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngChris Varwig 15.6% 13,505
     Nonpartisan Perry Lefevre 13.4% 11,589
     Nonpartisan Randall Parker III 10.8% 9,333
     Nonpartisan Aji Green 9.8% 8,423
     Nonpartisan Tina Henold 9.3% 8,023
     Nonpartisan Darryl Fingers 3.3% 2,852
Total Votes 86,387
Source: Lucas County of Ohio, "Election Summary Report for General Election in Lucas County, Ohio," accessed December 13, 2013


Varwig was endorsed by the Toledo Federation of Teachers; Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel; AFSCME; UAW; NOW Building & Construction Trades including IBEW Local 8, Sheet Metal Local 33, Cement Masons Local 886, Plumbers/Fitters Local 50, Roofers Local 134; AFL-CIO; and Teamsters.[1]


Varwig reported $16,800 in contributions but no expenditures to the Ohio Secretary of State, which left her campaign with $16,800 on hand.[2]

Campaign themes

In an October 2013 interview with the Toledo Free Press, Varwig stated the following when asked about her campaign priorities:[1]

What are the three most crucial issues — in order of importance — facing TPS? What would you do as a board member to address the issues you identify?

  • Graduation Rate
    • Continue with wrap-around services, and work to expand to additional schools
    • Encourage college/career tech opportunities by connecting with local businesses and apprenticeship programs within the trades
    • Strive for earlier connections with career tech programs
  • Early Education
    • Support of Head Start program
    • Continue with wrap-around services, and work to expand to additional schools
    • Create a Pre-School Fair (possibly per learning community) – invite families with toddlers into our schools; discuss what families can do at home to prepare for Kindergarten
  • Financial Stability
    • Continue to implement aspects of the performance audit as a tool to assist with savings
    • Lobby state and federal legislators to make public education a priority
    • Continue to look for creative ways to save dollars; bring staff, parents, community together per learning community to share ideas
  • Communication (this is my fourth crucial issue)
    • Share the positives within our district; better communication with parents; and work on letting our community know the needs within our district

TPS currently has a renewal levy on the ballot that will raise approximately $16 million annually for five years, or about the annual savings that can be obtained by implementing the performance audit recommendations. Why should the TPS renewal levy be approved by voters?
Your question assumes that all of the ideas in the performance audit are good. Some of the ideas are valid and are being implemented. The performance audit is a tool, nothing more, nothing less; the recommendations are forecasted savings only and could take years to implement. If would be great if some of the savings could be redirected into current and improved programs to help our students be more competitive upon graduation. Some of the ideas need to be thoroughly assessed before decisions are made. The renewal levy is crucial for the day to day operations of the district as well as the efforts for progress.

Ohio statutes require that TPS teachers and principals have regular performance evaluations with student performance on standardized tests a component of the evaluation. Should teachers and principals be held directly accountable for student performance in their individual performance evaluations? Why or why not?
No, teachers and principals should not be held directly accountable for student performance in their individual performance evaluations because it is very difficult to tie a teacher evaluation to a student’s performance when there are so many outside variables. Homelessness, absenteeism, emotional & social situations, socio-economic issues are a few of the variables that will affect a student’s performance in school. I do not believe the state’s mandates accommodate for these variables.

Ohio is currently implementing national standards regarding the skills and knowledge all students need for success, referred to as the “Common Core.” Why do you support or oppose the adoption of these standards?
While these standards are rigorous, I do support the concept of Common Core. In today’s mobile society, it’s important to have similar standards across the nation. On a personal level, Common Core would have been beneficial to me as I was one of those transient children and always felt behind as I switched schools. Unfortunately, classroom educators were left out of the initial development of Common Core so therefore implementation may be a challenge.

What was at stake?

Three at-large seats were up for election on November 5, 2013. Only one of the three incumbents filed for re-election. Voters also decided in favor of a $6.5 million levy for the district.

About the district

See also: Toledo Public Schools, Ohio
Toledo Public Schools is located in Lucas County, Ohio
Toledo Public Schools is located in Lucas County, which is situated in northern Ohio. The county's population was 441,815 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[3]


In terms of graduation rate, average household income and poverty rate, Lucas County underperformed in these areas. The graduation rate was 87.3% compared to 87.8% statewide. The average household income was $41,949 compared to $48,071 in the entire state. The poverty rate was 19.5%, while the poverty rate for Ohio was 14.8%.[4]

Racial Demographics, 2010[4]
Race Lucas County (%) Ohio (%)
White 75.7 83.4
Black 19.5 12.5
Hispanic or Latino 6.4 3.3
Asian 1.6 1.8
American Indian 0.4 0.3
Two or More Races 2.7 2.0

Presidential Voting Pattern[5]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 64.9 33.2
2008 64.8 33.4
2004 63.6 35.9
2000 62.8 33.1

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