Two NB board seats up for grabs

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

NEW BREMEN — Voters here on Tuesday will select two people to join the New Bremen Local Schools Board of Education.

Five candidates are hoping to fill the open positions.

Kyle Schmiesing has not held elective office in the past.

“I am running for office because our school district is facing a number of challenges that require commitment and great leadership to help work through these challenges. I also believe there is a large opportunity to increase the trust, transparency and communication between the New Bremen Local School Board and the members of the community and staff in New Bremen,” he told the Sidney Daily News.

Scott Bertke is running for re-election to the board after serving one, four-year term.

“I am running for office to continue to serve as away to give back to the community and school. I want to see the board’s five-year plan for facility improvements continue to be moved forward so the district’s students have the best possible learning environment the community expects and will support,” he said.

Dana Blanchard, Bruce Spragg and Cory Suchland could not be reached for comment. However, they did give statements to the Cardinal Newsletter, published by the school district.

“I am interested in serving our community as a liaison for children and parents to communicate … to the board,” Blanchard told the newsletter.

Spragg said board membership would allow him to contribute to future plans to improve the school and Suchland’s interest in running “is driven by my strong desire to maintain the superior education our children receive,” he wrote.

Bertke and Schmiesing both say that funding will be a huge challenge for the board to meet. A five-year plan unveiled at a recent board meeting showed that the school system will run out of funds by 2020 if the situation doesn’t change.

“I will meet the challenge by addressing the hard issues and formulating plans with the board and community to put together a budget that will ensure the long term financial success for New Bremen Local Schools,” Schmiesing said.

“Tough decisions on spending changes will be a start in working towards a reduction in spending. We will also have to look at what, if any, cuts the board can make to reduce spending,” Bertke said.

Spragg has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Toledo. He is a database administrator at Crown.

“I believe that … outside experience will allow me to bring a different perspective to the school board,” he told the Cardinal.

Suchland is a 1995 New Bremen graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Tiffin University. He is a child welfare investigator in Auglaize County.

“I have developed a large network of colleagues within every school system, mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence agencies in the area. This knowledge will empower me to help the school district appropriately direct faculty and families to services that can allow a child to obtain necessary help,” he told the Cardinal.

Bertke, too, is a New Bremen graduate. He is a life-long resident of the village.

“I bring four years of board experience to the office. I bring a common sense approach to discussions and decision-making. I will listen to all sides during discussions before making a decision. I believe in strong traditions but also believe some changes have to be made to reach our goals of providing the best learning environment for the students while preparing them for the next chapter of their lives,” he said in an email to the Sidney Daily News.

Blanchard told the Cardinal her degree from Ohio University and “experience in interior design will be beneficial in formulating creative solutions. My character is to always keep the greater vision in mind and analyze the steps to achieve the vision.”

Schmiesing is a small business owner.

“During my entire career I have spent time communicating with others forming relationships to achieve common goals. Throughout that process I have learned that quality communication with people who agree and disagree solves problems faster and helps bring people together,” he said. “At the end of the day the students, teachers, parents, and the community need and deserve results from the New Bremen Local School Board.”

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.