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Posted on Sunday, September 30, 2007 - 7:52 pm:   

Biography of Dr. Bob M. Drake

Dr. Bob Drake grew up with a passion for politics and an appreciation for the value of money earned through hard work and personal sacrifice. Like most people, Bob's childhood experiences helped mold him into the kind of person he is today -- compassionate toward those less fortunate, yet fiscally conservative.

"When I was a child, my mother and grandmother used to let me keep the change when we'd go to the store," says Bob. "They'd give me whatever coins were left over, and I would take them home and save them in a cardboard box. Before long, I had 20 dollars. When my mom saw how much I had, she took it from me. I guess she didn't think a five-year-old needed that much cash. I was a little upset, as you might imagine."

As a child, Bob lived with his mother and grandparents. Pictured left to right: Florence Overpeck (Grandmother), Max Overpeck (Uncle), Bob and Carl Overpeck (Grandfather).
Shortly after Bob was born in 1953, his father died. To make ends meet, Bob and his mother moved in with his maternal grandparents near the town of Mooresville, Indiana. Their small farmhouse had electricity, but little else. There was no indoor plumbing, and the only heat during the frigid Hoosier winters came from an old-fashioned coal-fired stove. Bob passed the time by reading books.

"We weren't poor in the way that people are poor today," says Bob. "My grandparents grew their own food, so we were never hungry. But we weren't rich."

At age 11, Bob began earning money by mowing lawns for neighbors and loading hay wagons for local farmers. Later as a teenager, he worked as a church custodian, never forgetting the important lessons he had learned from his grandparents.

Bob played in a rock-and-roll band in high school. He later realized that he was a better mathematician than musician.
"My grandparents were conservative with money," says Bob. "Having lived through the Depression, they were pretty frugal and I think a lot of that rubbed off on me. They taught me at an early age to be careful how you handle it and to invest wisely."

After graduating from Mooresville High School, Bob enrolled at Indiana University. With no financial support, he left the Bloomington campus, moving to Indianapolis to work while finishing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at Indiana University/Purdue University - Indianapolis in 1976. He continued his education at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he earned a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education. In 1987, Bob earned a Doctorate in Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Mathematics/Science Education from Indiana University.

During and after college, Bob held a variety of teaching jobs, primarily working with disadvantaged children, or mentally and physically disabled teenagers and adults. From 1977 through 1985, he taught mathematics in the public schools.

In 1985, Bob was hired as Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he taught mathematics education and computer science for elementary teachers. He held that position until 1988, at which time he came to the University of Cincinnati where he earned the rank of Associate Professor.

Bob has taught mathematics education at the University of Cincinnati since 1988.
Throughout his years at U.C., Dr. Drake has won the respect of his colleagues and the admiration of education professionals nationwide. He has published articles in many major professional journals and has presented numerous papers on mathematics and literacy.

Bob has long been active as a volunteer leader in a variety of worthwhile causes in Hamilton County. Since 1994 he has been on the advisory panel for Project Succeed Academy, a school designed to keep at-risk youth from dropping out. He has also served on the Hyde Park Neighborhood Council Education Committee, and was elected to two terms on the Board of Trustees of Mental Health Services East. He now resides in Anderson Township.

As a professor of mathematics education, Dr. Bob M. Drake understands the importance of good schools and competent teachers. As a homeowner, he understands the need for lower property taxes. Bob admits he did not comprehend the significance of property taxes until he bought his first house at the age of 25 in Indianapolis.

"Property taxes were held in escrow as part of the mortgage payment," says Bob. "I didn't realize how much the tax was until I got my first statement. I was absolutely stunned."

It was his experience as a first-time homeowner in Indianapolis that showed Bob the negative impact high taxes can have on individuals and communities.

"It took me two years to sell my house in Indianapolis because the tax rates were so high," says Bob. "Then, when I got to Wisconsin, I couldn't even afford to buy a house because of the property taxes. I can empathize with people who are in the same situation. That's why I want to help by reducing property tax liability here in Hamilton County. The county treasurer can't change property tax assessments, but I can change the payment system and actually reduce the amount people pay. I call it the Bob Drake Tax Break."

The Bob Drake Tax Break was first proposed in 2000, when Bob first ran for Hamilton County Treasurer. Bob's opponent, who unfortunately is still the county treasurer, dismissed the idea as unrealistic and too complicated, ignoring the fact that similar plans have been working successfully in other parts of the United States and Ohio for many years.

Although he lost the election in 2000, Bob Drake is running again because he remains convinced that the Bob Drake Tax Break and other proposals will save taxpayers money, without reducing county revenues. (To learn how, click here.)

Dr. Bob Drake has dedicated his life to helping others through the universal language of numbers. He has spent years educating teachers how to communicate mathematics skills that will enable our children to grow into productive adults. With his background in mathematics and a dedication to community service, Bob Drake is the ideal choice to be the next Hamilton County Treasurer.

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