Last updated: August 22. 2013 5:51PM - 255 Views

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Each general election, The Lima News provides this section profiling the candidates and issues. The Lima News sent questionnaires to every candidate in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Candidates had the opportunity to give biographical information and discuss major issues in their races. Candidates also had an option to submit a photograph. Only names and residences identify candidates who did not return a questionnaire. Elida - School BoardDon KissickParty: Libertarian (in non-partisan election)Residence: Kimberly Drive, LimaAge: 41Campaign website: www.donkissick.comRelevant experience: Seven years with YMCA in the Detroit area and in Lima; worked in fitness centers; taught teen weight-training class; volunteered; six years in U.S. Navy.Education: Three years college at Ferris State University, majoring in technical communication.Years living in area: Four years as an American Township residentMajor issues: Cuts are coming to our school districts from Washington and Columbus. We can be ahead of the curve or left scrambling to react after the fact; being proactive will help eliminate the need for layoffs within the Elida district. I will not support a new millage. One area of academics I would like to see in full effect is civics, followed by economics.Terry G. KristoffParty: Non-partisanResidence: Cherry Blossom Court, ElidaAge: 68Relevant experience: Current board member, serving as student achievement and legislative liaison and current vice president; Attending Ohio School Board Association Capital Conferences, various workshops and meetings on school trends and improving student performance; retired Elida High School teacher; past adjunct instructor at University of Northwestern Ohio; retired Tom Ahl Family of DealershipsEducation: Ashland University, B.S. in education; University of Dayton, Master’s degree in education, administrationYears living in area: 43Major issues: Public education has been dealing with many issues in regards to finances. Elida has been fiscally responsible to the many demands of lost funding due to state budget cuts. The students at our school are our biggest concern as to maintain a competitive spirit in academics and athletics. Two issues today facing schools are House Bill 136, parental choice and taxpayer saving program and Senate Bill 5 that will impact public employees.While on the board Elida passed a school levy to build a new high school building that was completed on time and under budget this year. This is a fantastic facility for our students and community. Having three grandchildren in Elida and one in preschool at Gomer I want to help make sure they get the best education possible.I have learned while on the board that it takes a tremendous amount of time and teamwork to maintain positive results for our school. With experience as a teacher and 15 years in business I have a unique outlook on school and community issues. Being retired from both careers I have the time to be a full-time board member that attends many activities in our school. It is my desire to serve the community and help be a part of a great school board team.William D. McDonnellParty: Non-partisanResidence: East Road, ElidaAge: 48Relevant experience: Concerned parent; 20+ years of problem solving, working with legislative initiative, budget negotiations and being a lobbying liaison were all skills I acquired while working in the Department of Corrections.Education: 1981 high school graduate; 2006 graduate of Rhodes State CollegeYears living in area: 48Major issues: The main issues I want to work on with the board would be the problems in the transportation department which I saw firsthand while being a school bus driver. The safety of the children and the drivers is the biggest concern. By making some revisions and ironing out the bumps we can heighten the safety level while making Elida fiscally responsible. I have spoken to a lot of taxpayers and parents. The consensus is there is money going out on things that in these tough economic times could possibly be better suited being used elsewhere. Next, the community feels the school board simply does not listen or care about their concerns. I want to be the change that makes everyone’s voice heard and then I can be the people’s voice. With having children in the schools, being retired and being active in the community I feel compelled to step forward and initiate the changes that are necessary to make us a forerunner in the future. New school+change in board membership=unlimited potential.Brad A. SettlageParty: Non-partisanResidence: Pioneer Road, ElidaAge: 45Relevant experience: American Township zoning inspector and patrolman; appointed as Allen County Children Services board member.Education: Graduate of Elida schools; graduate of Apollo Career Center policy academy; associate’s degree in public service professions from Rhodes State College; bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Tiffin University.Years living in area: 40 yearsMajor issues: If elected, I will bring to the Elida school board a fresh, open-minded, diversified perspective. I will not hesitate about asking questions about issues and policies that affect students, parents and teachers. As an Elida board member, I would encourage input from all parties involved. I will research, seek out and listen to the creative ideas that are abundant in our community and evaluate them in a transparent, thoughtful, intelligent manner.My primary focus would be on academic achievement and student success. Children are our greatest resource, and we need to do everything within our power to assist our teachers and give our children the appropriate tools to achieve success and become productive members of society, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds. As a representative of the Elida school board, I would like to bring the board, school officials, teachers and the community together in order to reach this common goal and assure that our students are given every opportunity to excel scholastically. I believe that a school board in its entirely must be responsive to parents, staff, students and the community at large.Precedence for the Elida school board is to create a long-term vision and/or comprehensive plan, mapping a course that provides the necessary opportunities students need to reach their full potential. The board is responsible for establishing and maintaining a structure that supports this vision, empowers the staff and provides leadership and direction.Thank you for your consideration.Brenda Stocker (incumbent)Party: Non-partisanResidence: Spruce Drive, ElidaAge: 47Relevant experience: Elida school board president, vice president, legislative liaison and core team member for the building project; church board member, Lima Community Church of the Nazarene; bookkeeper for my husband’s dental office, Jon Stocker DDS; lending operations and loan officer, Citizens Loan and Building Co./AmeriCom Bank; held various volunteer positions of Elida schools, including elementary and middle school PTOs, athletic support groups and levy/bond issue committees.Education: Graduated in 1982 from Celina High School; bachelor’s degree in 1986 from The Ohio State University.Years living in area: 21 years in Elida school district.Major issues: My first four years of being on the Elida school board have been a rewarding and challenging experience. It was very rewarding to get the bond issue passed that enabled the district to build the new high school. The feedback from the community has been wonderful regarding how the building turned out.Concerns for all board members must include the ever-increasing legislative demands put on public schools. School districts are all different, and mandates that are the same for every school district do not help our schools improve. Another concern is the decline in revenue for our school district. For the past six years, Elida’s funding has remained flat or declined from the state. With salaries, benefits, utilities and cost of supplies going up over that same time period, the school board and administrators have been very careful to trim anything unnecessary from the budget.Finally, fostering a spirit of cooperation and support between the community, parents, teachers, administrators and school board members is what makes schools successful. I hope that I am able to continue for another four years. I bring no agenda; I only want to work my hardest to make Elida the district of choice.

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