G-A school board interviews candidates for open seat

PAT FRIDGEN
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Four candidates for an open seat on the Greencastle-Antrim Board of School Directors introduced themselves to seven of the other board members Jan.13. They were interviewed for the one-year seat to complete the term of Arnie Jansen, who resigned due to his employment responsibilities.

The board will make the appointment Jan. 20 and the new member will be sworn in Feb. 3.

Melinda Cordell, Sheldon Schwartz, Ginny Lays and Robin Hansen shared their reasons for seeking the position and revealed issues that were important to them. President Joel Fridgen, Mike Shindle, Kristy Faulkner, Eric Holtzman, William Thorne, Paul Politis and Brian Hissong presented the questions. Howard Ritchey was absent.

Cordell, 47, a native of Greencastle, said she was most interested in working on the educational component of the school system. She believed some students were not ready for the real world once they graduated.

As a board member, she said she would be committed, available and tough. She would vote her conscience if it differed from public opinion. Once her tenure was up, she hoped she would be remembered as a member who was respected and made a difference.

Cordell and her husband Jim have five children, three still G-ASD students, and she is co-owner of Greencastle Notary Services.

Schwartz, 74, an Antrim Township resident for two years, thought his background in management, public and private employment, and volunteer activities would be useful for the board. He wanted students to do well once they graduated, and also to feel good about their social environment while in school.

He wanted to pay teachers what they were worth and make sure the district could afford any projects. He would vote his conscience as he strove to “do good for the kids.”

Schwartz and his wife Maryrose have two grown children. He is a retired mechanical engineer.

Lays, 52, has lived in Greencastle for nine years. She wanted to remain connected to the community though her daughter had graduated, stating children were the most important resource. She would want to be remembered as a person who served and made a positive difference.

She expected to work as a team with the administration and vote her conscience, even if it made people unhappy. She was on a school board in another town 17 years ago.

Lays owns The Write Group, Inc. She offers grant development and writing services for school districts and non-profit organizations.

Robin Hansen, 37, has lived in Antrim Township for two years. A graduate of Leadership Franklin County, she wanted to give back to the community. She said all decisions would not be fair to everyone, but she would take the effects into consideration and put a plan into motion with the least conflict possible. She would try to find a balance on her voting style.

She hoped to find more opportunities for students to be motivated to become successful, and wanted the board as a whole to be remembered for its actions.

Hansen has two children enrolled in the district. She is an accountant with Community of Healthcare Employees Credit Union.

All four indicated if appointed, they would seek re-election in the fall for a four-year term.

ROBIN HANSEN