SIDNEY — Three candidates — two incumbents and one newcomer — are vying for the two seats on the Nov. 3 ballot for Fairlawn Local Schools Board of Education.
Incumbents Matt Caldwell, 49, of Conover, and Robert “Bob” Gold, 48, of Sidney, along with Michael Henman, 51, of Sidney, are seeking votes from the residents of the Fairlawn School District.
Caldwell said he wants to continue to be part of the Fairlawn School District through his service as a board member.
“I still have a child in the system and I don’t plan on leaving the district anytime soon . I am pleased with the direction the school is going and I want to be involved as long as I can,” said Caldwell. “As a board member one must see all sides of an issue. I might believe my thought is the ‘best’ , although I need to understand the other views, so that I can make and assist with a decision that is in the best for all the kids and parents. I can not have an agenda of what I demand to be done. I have four other members on the board and we must work together.”
Caldwell said he would like to get the parents in the district involved in their children’s school activities.
“I want more parental input in the booster groups. I want too see more visitors to the board meeting. I want parents to come see what is going on and ask questions. The only time we see some people is when it negative and that is no way to start. A child’s’ education and schooling are the building blocks of the rest of their life. We as parents and educators need to work side by side to develop
this young mind and body to be the best it can be.,” said Caldwell.
The biggest challenge the board and district face deal with governmental funding and levy issues, he said.
“There is statewide a teacher shortage. The way the state grades the level of schooling changes year to year. Most everything can be accomplished with a good team and direction.,” he said. “I have become a student of the Board and have attended classes to better myself. A member needs to for see situations and obstacles that could happen and how to handle it . I have spoke with other board members and administrators in Ohio and discussed policies and practices that have been or might be an issue at sometime. We need to be aware of all aspects of the school district and beyond Fairlawn and Shelby county. Our children are communicating on a Global level and we need to be there to help them.”
Gold, who has been on the Fairlawn Board of Education since 2002, has enjoyed his time on the board and hopes to continue serving the school district.
“I feel Fairlawn Local Schools have improved greatly of the past few years,” said Gold. “That improvement and potential to improve, is what sparked my initial interest in being involved with the Fairlawn BOE. With a wife and three daughters who have all graduated from Fairlawn, it has become a very positive focal point in our lives.
“For that reason I would love to continue to help Fairlawn improve and make it even better when my grandchildren start school. Like all schools, Fairlawn will continue to face challenges due to constant changes in testing requirements, graduation requirements, and ever changing financial structure for public education in Ohio.”
Gold serves on the Ohio School Boards Regional Executive Committee and the OSBA’s Small School District Advisory Network.
“I feel that the friendships and contacts that I have cultivated in the capacity of those positions helps provide Fairlawn with invaluable resources to turn to,” said Gold.
Newcomer Henman has never held elected office before throwing his hat in the political arena for the BOE seat.
“My motivation for running for the Fairlawn school board is quite simple, I believe we can and need to do better for our children’s future,” said Henman. “As a long term resident with ties to the Fairlawn community, I care about our school district, our children, and making the best choices for a bright future for both of them.”
Henman said he wants to help enrich the education of the students in the school district.
“My hope as a member of the board is that I would have a positive impact on our school system and be able to improve and enrich the education of our children,” said Henman. “The future of education holds many challenges. One of these challenges being financial responsibilities, another being the safety and security of our children, and lastly the trials of staying current with technologies.
“I believe the strengths I would bring to the board are that I am outgoing, open, and honest. I also have several years of business experience that could be helpful in meeting the financial requirements of the school district,” he said. “ I appreciate your consideration for the Fairlawn School Board when you vote on Nov. 3.”
Caldwell and his wife, Jody, have two children, Kaitlyn and Jacob. He is the parts department manager and warranty administrator at Buckeye Ford Lincoln in Sidney. He furthered his education at Wright State University and Edison State College.
Gold and his wife, Marjie, have three daughters, Jessica, Kiersten and Hannah. He graduated from Covington High School. He is an engineering coordinator in maintenance for Honda of America Mfg.
Henman and his wife, Julie, have two children, Jordan Henman and Alex Henman. He is a sales engineering manager with Rosewood Machine & Tool. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.