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Four vie for 2 seats on Lanesville school board

Kenneth Dale Acton, 45, is a lifelong resident of Lanesville and has served on a school board before, including one year as president, at St. John’s Lutheran School near Lanesville.
Acton lives on Rolling Hills Road with his wife, Lori, and children, Shelby, a Lanesville graduate and sophomore at Spalding University in Louisville, and Kenton, a sophomore at LJSHS.
A graduate from Lanesville High School in 1978, Acton lists community service among his pastimes. In addition to being part of various committees at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Acton has been a director of Lanesville Heritage Committee for nearly 10 years.
He is vice president and cofounder of Job Rentals and Sales, a heavy equipment dealer in Jeffersonville, and said his knowledge of business and construction could benefit the school corporation.
‘I want to give something back to the community,’ Acton said.
Among his top priorities is reaching a settlement in the two-year dispute over a new teacher contract.
‘Let’s see if we can’t get a teacher’s contract settled quickly and make both sides happy,’ he said.
He’s also concerned about money management, and he said that St. John’s gave him experience in dealing with both financial and personnel matters.
‘It seems like we’re always saying, ‘We can’t do this because we don’t have any money. We can’t do that because we don’t have any money.’ We need to be able to balance money to best serve education. We need to make things more efficient,’ Acton said.
Over the years, Acton has been outspoken on various issues that have come before the school board. He said he wants to see others contribute to the discussion.
‘I would like to see more public input at meetings. I would like to see more public forums where we explain, like for a building project, why we do things.’
Acton said he believes posting of the meeting minutes on the corporation’s Web site and better advertisement of issues may help increase interest.
‘Bring me facts, bring me numbers, and prove to me what you want to do or build,’ he said.
Donald J. Hussung,, 49, is often casually referred to as ‘the banker’ when the dynamics of the school board are discussed.
Hussung is vice president of First Harrison Bank in Corydon and has brought his knowledge of finance to the school board for 15 years, nine as president.
The Indiana School Boards Association has recognized Hussung as both a Master and Outstanding Board Member.
He has also served on the Lanesville Town Council and the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Lanesville Volunteer Fire Dept. and St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Hussung said his family has lived in Lanesville for six generations, since the 1830s.
‘The farm originally settled by my great-great-great-grandfather is still owned by a member of our family. I’ve been fortunate as a graduate to have experienced first-hand that feeling of ‘purple pride’,’ said Hussung, who graduated from Lanesville High School in 1974.
‘Service to our communities,’ Hussung said, ‘is one small way to honor and preserve the commitment to freedom made by those who have laid down their lives for our country.’
Hussung and his wife, Jan, have three children: Erica, 28, Cory, 20, and Cody, 16. He also has two grandchildren.
Hussung is running on his record.
‘Lanesville schools have consistently graduated one of the highest percentages of students among the county schools, a consistently high number of our kids go on to pursue college studies. Lanesville students outscore students of larger schools on ISTEP and the GQE. Lanesville schools are using technology and the calendar to help teachers teach, assess and remediate students more effectively,’ Hussung said.
He said maintaining programs and fiscal integrity while avoiding any reduction in staff in the face of education funding changes made by the state legislature was a top issue in this campaign.
Another issue, he said, was how to gauge and prepare for future growth.
Development in the district is a given, Hussung said, because of the Interstate 64 interchange, and the Lanesville-to-Georgetown connector road and the county’s commitment to a county-wide sewer plan.
Ron Wolfe, 63, is also a lifelong resident of Lanesville and a graduate of Lanesville High School, the Class of ’61.
His current term on the school board is his first in public office. He is, however, a three-time president of the Lanesville Alumni Association.
Wolfe has been associated with the Harrison County Alternative School for three-and-a-half years.
When the Alternative School obtained non-profit status he was asked by the county’s three public-school superintendents to be their representative, Wolfe said.
This position was put on a two-year rotation. Wolfe has served about a year in that term and will be replaced by a member from another school district at the term’s end.
Wolfe is a full-time farmer, having retired from Kentucky Blue Cross-Blue Shield after 31 years. He and his wife, Nancy, have two sons, Michael and Danny, both LHS graduates, just like everyone else on both sides of his family, Wolfe said.
He said that he feels what qualifies him for office and why he is seeking reelection go together.
‘I’ve been on the school board for four years now. I think I’ve learned a lot about how a school and its board operate. And there are things at Lanesville, number one being the teachers’ contract, that need to be top priorities to resolve,’ he said.
Wolfe placed the construction of a new gymnasium and addition of five classrooms near the top of board accomplishments during his tenure.
‘I played basketball there. It was kinda sad to see it come down, but I think what is there now is a big improvement over what we had,’ he said.
Candidate Steve Price declined to be interviewed.