Barbara Dixon

What is your educational background?
Born in Scranton, PA
Graduated from West Scranton High School
BS in Business
Masters in School Leadership

Describe your commitment to ethics and open records on the school board.
During my entire career I have always made ethical decisions regarding my students and personnel. I signed an Ethics Report as a principal and this practice continues as a School Board member.
I believe transparency is important for us to service our two biggest customers: the children and the taxpayer. There is always room improvement on any current practice.
I participated in many community efforts while working as a teacher, principal, and business owner.

What is your experience managing budgets or programs? & Describe your community leadership.
As a teacher:
Advisor: FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) – Lead my students to create The West Scranton Alumni Association. We started a Spring Fling that was held in the back parking lot to raise funds for the Alumni Association. Many community members volunteered to help with this event. Under my direction, an Alumni Room was created. Once, we started the organization, it was handed over to the community to continue.
Worked with administration to implement a community service program where students designed the center of the school with donated materials from local businesses.
Advisor: Student Council
Participated in many community programs, food drives, Angel on the Tree through the Salvation Army to name a few

As a principal:
Started the Northeast Theatre at Northeast Intermediate School through a grant that was secured through our after-school programs. Teachers and musicians came together to host plays for the community and public.
Participated in many community programs, food drives, Angel on the Tree through the Salvation Army, Thanksgiving Feed a Family, etc.
I worked as a Business teacher for 18 years teaching all business subjects: Technology, Business Principles, Marketing, and Accounting.
As a teacher, I implemented a Pilot Program where students who were planning on majoring in business in college, students who planned on opening a business, or students who were planning on following a business trade participated in this program. This Program was designed through a collaboration of administration, other teachers, and the Guidance Department.
These students followed a career pathway from Freshman through Senior years completing specific subjects to prepare them for their college courses or planned careers. In Senior year, we traveled to Florida to participate in a week long internship. Under my leadership, students were responsible for developing territories to market for fundraising for this experience, completion of a Business Plan, and all Accounting transactions for their internship.
As a school principal and leader, I was totally responsible for the entire building, students, and personnel. My responsibilities included all phases of curriculum, supervision of staff, budget/finance, discipline and programs, special needs and ESL programs. My 8 years of administrative experience prepared me to make informed decisions about public school issues.

As a business owner:
I supervised and implemented the entire restaurant operation including marketing, budgeting, and inventory.

What is the biggest issue facing Scranton schools and how would you address it?
Fiscal responsibility is my number one priority. Budgeting is simple accounting – Revenue minus expenses equals profit or loss. Spending in excess of collected revenues is not fiscally responsible. I would propose establishing and maintaining a long range financial plan including a fund balance policy for reserves. I also believe that it is critical to perform a cost-benefit analysis on all line items of the budget making necessary cuts to decrease the expenses. Future budgets will have to be prepared realistically aligned with revenues received.