4 seek Lanesville board seats
Voters in the Lanesville Community School Corp. district will have the opportunity to pick their candidates for three seats on the school board during the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Vying for the Lanesville school board seats are two incumbents, Sharon Rothrock and Robert L. Schickel, along with Jaycen Marat Abell and Chan Bailey. Denzil McKim, whose term is also up, is not seeking re-election.
Because school board candidates are non-partisan, voters who cast a straight-party ballot also will need to mark their choices for the school board.
The other two seats on the school board, currently held by Marg Meyer and Ronald Wolfe, will be on the ballot in 2018.
Name and age: Jaycen Abell, 44
Residency: Franklin Township
Family: Wife, Lisa Abell; 3 children currently attending Lanesville Elementary and Junior High schools.
Education/Occupation/Political experience: Twenty-six years residential and commercial construction, Navy Reservist, board member of Lanesville Youth League, active member of St. Mary Church, Lanesville.
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I am running for election to the Lanesville School Board because I believe it is important to have a member of the school board with children currently attending the school. I feel it is important to be involved in our children’s lives, whether it is sports, 4-H or academics. The current school board has done an excellent job at overseeing the continual growth of the Lanesville School community. I know that I can make a positive contribution to helping improve and grow the school.
How do you propose to keep spending down yet meet the needs of the students (in 100 words or less)? Keeping spending down is an issue that will always exist. I have been attending the school board meetings for over two years now and have been impressed how our small school makes the most of such a small budget. The continuous monitoring and comparing of health care options will be extremely important as health care is increasingly eating more of everyone’s budget. Seeking out better deals and more options from book and technology suppliers and contractors to keep pricing fair and competitive will also be important, as well as communicating with other small schools to see how they make their budgets stretch, so we can continue to improve.
What do you consider to be the top issue in the school corporation and how will you address it (in 150 words or less)? In my opinion, one of the top issues facing the school is the ever-increasing implementation of technology into the education system. We are at the beginning of technology becoming part of the education system in ways it never has before. We live in an area of limited Internet access for many students, and we will have to find ways to make sure a student does not fall behind because their home lacks the ability to receive Internet. Another is the continuing emphasis on test scores, which forces our teachers to spend too much time preparing our children for test taking so our government officials can judge our schools, as opposed to giving our children a well-rounded education, in which music, art and physical education play a key role in helping our children evolve into confident, compassionate and imaginative adults with the skills necessary to contribute positively to their community and the world.
Contact information for voters: [email protected]
Name and age: Chan Bailey, 44
Family: Wife, Holly (22 years), children: Mitchell (16), Justin (15), Anna (5)
Education/Occupation/Political experience: 1990 graduate of Silver Creek High School. Driver UPS (25 years). Board member of the Lanesville Youth League for 10 years, president 2010, 2014-present.
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I like to be involved in the community especially when it concerns our youth. I think there needs to be many sides represented on the board. Teachers, former teachers, parents with children still in school or have had them in recent years and life-long residents of the community make up a well-rounded board. I have no hidden agenda or ax to grind with a teacher, administrator or a coach. My theory is be part of the solution not part of the problem.
How do you propose to keep spending down yet meet the needs of the students (in 100 words or less)? First, you have to explore the needs of the students and staff and find the most economical way to fulfill them.
What do you consider to be the top issue in the school corporation and how will you address it (in 150 words or less)? It seems every few years Lanesville is mentioned for consolidation. Former boards and the community have come together each time to ensure this doesn’t happen. This school is our industry, and this would be devastating not only to the students and staff, but also to the community. If elected, I will work diligently along with the other board members to do everything we possibly can to ensure that this never happens.
Contact information for voters: 812-989-7447, [email protected]
Name and age: Sharon Rothrock, 65
Residency: 5160 Rocky Way NE, Corydon, IN 47112
Family: Married to Steve Rothrock for 36 years; three grown children: Mike, Erin, Katie; eight grandchildren
Education/Occupation/Political experience: Graduated Belmont High School, Dayton, Ohio; degree in English education from Wright State University, Dayton Ohio, 1973; retired English teacher from Lanesville High School; currently serving on the school board of Lanesville Community Schools (4 years)
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? Serving Lanesville students, faculty and community has been a joy for me. I taught in Lanesville for 14 years, my children are all graduates, and I now have three grandchildren attending school here. I feel as though I have represented the students, faculty and community very well. I’m proud of our school and want to see Lanesville schools continue the great job we are currently doing. I put students first, trying to make suggestions and policy that reflect my concern for making them well educated and productive citizens of the future.
How do you propose to keep spending down yet meet the needs of the students (in 100 words or less)? Funds are a major concern. Much of our funds are received from the state. The board and superintendent draw up a budget and have to make whatever the state grants us work for our needs. We are fugal, always looking for ways to cut expenses yet maintain our facility and offer better educational opportunities. Obtaining grants, searching for medical plans which are more affordable and still offer sufficient coverage for our faculty is a challenge. I will continue to work with our board and superintendent to find ways we can continue our great reputation while retaining excellent staff and facilities.
What do you consider to be the top issue in the school corporation and how will you address it (in 150 words or less)? Our major concern at the present is growth. Growth is great, but we’re running out of space for classrooms and, thus, students. Are there ways we can more fully utilize our existing space? Are we at a point where we need to add classrooms? These questions need to be embraced and resolved as soon as possible. Our current board and superintendent are considering these issues now. As a board member, I hope to continue to search for resolutions which would be affordable and, ultimately, offer better educational opportunities for our students. We face challenges every day in education. Public education is being battered by our politicians. Our image as a school that sends great young people on their way as educated and prepared members of the workforce is my main concern, and I will continue to work as a team member of our board to assure we do just that.
Contact information for voters: [email protected]; 812-952-2643
Name and age: Robert L. Schickel, 66
Residency: 6954 Corydon Ridge Road NE, Lanesville, IN 47136
Family: Wife: Teresa; sons: Kevin and Mathew; daughter: Lisa; grandchildren: Six and a new baby due Nov 21.
Education/Occupation/Political experience: 1968 Lanesville High School graduate; Two years Purdue University Agriculture Short Course; businessman, owner and operator Hay Day Inc.; Lanesville School Board, Harrison County Farm Bureau, District 10 Indiana Farm Bureau Director, Harrison County Farmland Preservation Task Force, Spriestersbach Farmland Board of Directors
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I have a sincere passion to be a part of helping make Lanesville Community School a school of excellence and a school where every student is encouraged to achieve his or her best. We are very fortunate that there is a lot of community pride at Lanesville as well as great support from all our local churches. I want to be a part of helping shape the future leaders of our community, state and nation. I enjoy working with youth of all ages. It’s rewarding to observe a child enter elementary school and watch them grow and mature into adults and graduate high school and college and become outstanding citizens of society.
How do you propose to keep spending down yet meet the needs of the students (in 100 words or less)? With the squeeze on school funding, a close eye needs to be kept on expenses, but not when it jeopardizes the quality of education for our students and comparable salaries for our staff. For example, as a current school board member, a spread sheet is provided monthly so that we can review the utility expenses and compare them year-to-date. Until this year, most repairs and maintenance were outsourced. In July 2016, a maintenance supervisor was hired so that maintenance and repairs could be taken care of in-house. In time, we feel that money can be saved and will help provide more educational resources.
What do you consider to be the top issue in the school corporation and how will you address it (in 150 words or less)? Increase in enrollment. With normal population growth and community development, along with students being able to transfer now to any school of their choice, student enrollment will gravitate upward. In addition, the quality of education received at Lanesville Community Schools helps to attract students to attend here. We need to look into how we may modify some current rooms (that are not being used as much) into classrooms, with no additional increase to the present tax rate.
Contact information for voters: Cell: 812-989-3542; email: [email protected]