PANDORA — Are new people needed to guide Pandora-Gilboa schools?
That’s the explanation at least one candidate provides as to why there are six people vying for three seats on the Pandora-Gilboa Local Schools Board of Education in the November election.
Current members Marcia Sue Hovest, who serves as vice president, and Richard Wahl are up for re-election while Angie Basinger, Vance Nofziger, Jill Torres and Vanessa Wilson are challenging.
Basinger said she thinks the reason so many new candidates are interested is because the district wants to see some new faces on the school board.
“I think a lot of people are looking for change,” she explained. “There have been a couple candidates there for over 20 years and people are looking for someone that is more in tune to what is going on right now in the school system. Not that I’m downplaying those candidates, I’m very grateful for their years of experience, but maybe it’s time to let new people step in that are more involved and have kids going through the system currently and see what’s going on.”
Basinger currently has two children enrolled in the high school —her son, a junior, and her daughter, a freshman.
With new faces, Basinger said she hopes to see a more accessible and open board.
“Maybe we can create a different atmosphere where people feel more welcomed to share ideas,” she said. “My vision is to create an accepting environment in which the staff and community can openly and honestly express concerns and ideas about the school system — an environment to work together to prepare students for success.”
Torres is one of those candidates who has come to the board a few times. At the May board meeting, Torres discussed the decision making behind a Code Yellow that was issued by the school in May as a result of a threat made against the schools.
Also at that meeting, and the September village council meeting, Matt and Sandy Steiner proposed beginning a LifeWise Academy program at the school by the fall of 2020 for students in grades kindergarten through four.
Nofziger is an assistant coach with this year’s high school football team and Wilson has served as a substitute with the district. Brandy Rose Hovest withdrew her candidacy.
Hovest and Wahl are joined by Kathi Amstutz, Steve Doseck, Dawn Schulte as current board members.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.