Last updated: August 24. 2013 9:13PM - 142 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. St. Marys - School Board (Choose two)Keith D. JacobsParty: Non-partisanResidence: Auburn Drive, St. MarysAge: 33Education: Graduated in 1996 from St. Marys Memorial High School; doctorate of pharmacy in 2002 from Ohio Northern University.Years living in area: 33 yearsMajor issues: I want to help bring St. Marys school system back to the excellence that I was used to when I went through.Kenneth J. KovermanParty: Non-partisanResidence: Holly Street, St. MarysAge: 53Relevant experience: This would be my first attempt running for a public office. I have been involved in both operating and overseeing a public office during my last 16 years before retiring. I was the assistant commander and the commander of the Lima and Wapakoneta Patrol post during these years. This involved directing resources and personnel to achieve goals on a daily basis.Education: 1976 graduate of St. Marys Memorial High School; Attended Lima Technical College for two years in criminal justice; Attended and graduated from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, 1979.Years living in area: I have lived in the St. Marys school district most of my life.Major issues: The new school board members will be interviewing and selecting a new superintendent in 2012 to lead the St. Marys district. St. Marys, like most districts, face the continuing challenge of funding the district’s continuing education system and facilities. In addition, the school has the challenge ahead of upgrading its current athletic facilities at the new high school and middle school campus. Keeping costs down, while continuing to provide quality education for the students and community, will be an ongoing challenge to the school board over the next four years.John B. LampertParty: Non-partisanResidence: State Route 66, St. MarysAge: 50Relevant experience: Former board member, served 1995-2003.Education: Graduated in 1979 from St. Marys.Years living in area: 50Major issues: First is the hiring of a new superintendence. We need a superintendent who can work well with the board of education, staff and, most importantly, the community.Second, we should continue to strive for an “excellent” distinction. The district should work to improve its state test scores.Third, we must earn the trust of the voters back. There was a major defeat of a recent levy, which shows the current board’s irresponsibility of fiscal management.Brian A. LittleParty: Non-partisanResidence: Sturgeon Street, St. MarysAge: 42Relevant experience: 19 years working with the public; involved in many community organizations and groups.Education: Graduated in 1988 from St. Marys Memorial High School; Lima Technical College; University of Cincinnati.Years living in area: Over 30 years.Major issues: We must hire a superintendent who works well with the employees of the district as well as the community. We need to address the current financial situation in the school district, in regards to the new athletic complex and the new high school, middle school and elementary schools.Ronda L. ShelbyParty: Non-partisanResidence: Neil Avenue, St. MarysJosie SlaterParty: RepublicanResidence: South Main Street, St. MarysAge: 45Campaign website: j.mp/n8iAneRelevant experience: Personnel management, fiscal accountability and public relations experience via past corporate employment. As a past business owner, I have learned how to handle people tactfully, business management and problem solving. Since fall 2009, I volunteered a minimum of once a week in my daughter’s various classrooms. I have also been a Girl Scout troop leader since that fall. Since April 2011, I have been gaining experience in parliamentary procedure as a member of the board of trustees for the Auglaize County Historical Society.Education: Bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from University of Tampa.Years living in area: Five.Major issues: We have a massive budget gap and a community that does not trust its board of education. In order to successfully address the budget issues, we must first deal with the lack of trust. My top two objectives if elected would be to improve relations between the board and the public as well as the board and our teachers. I feel the creation of animosity by the board in these two areas has limited the board’s ability to be well-received by the community.I have witnessed verbal mistreatment by the board of some concerned community members that came to speak at meetings. How else can this treatment be interpreted but as disdain for the public in general? Some of our teachers are made to feel it’s the board’s way or the highway. How can any teacher ever feel comfortable about contacting the board with a good idea or a concern?I feel that by creating an air of respect and trust, we can get further. We may still disagree, but we will understand each other. If we are willing to listen to others’ ideas or concerns without belittling them, we’ll get further in our discussions and problem solving.Bob ValentineParty: Non-partisanResidence: North Wayne Street, St. Marys

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