Three school board seats are up for election in North Callaway, and four candidates are running for a spot on the board.
Two incumbents are seeking re-election - Sandy Lavy and Regan Love. Hadley E. Linnenbringer and Mike Shryock are also seeking a position on the board. Board Member Chris Gilman did not re-file, leaving his seat open. The three candidates with the most votes for the April 5 election will win a three-year term on the North Callaway Board of Education.
Lavy, current board secretary, has been on the board for one term. She said she wants to continue on the board, seeing many challenges for the district ahead and not wanting to "bail out" in the midst of them.
"We still got a lot of projects that are ongoing, and I wanted to definitely see those through," Lavy said.
She explained that the district is near completion on installing air conditioning in its schools, may be facing the open enrollment issue and has tough decisions ahead when it comes to budget cuts. She said not only is the district wrestling with hard financial times, but the families in the district are struggling with them, too.
"It's hard times all around," Lavy said.
So far, district staff have been "very understanding" of the cuts, she said, and the board's challenge is to make cutbacks without affecting education.
"We have a very good group of teachers, and we want to be able to keep them."
Lavy, from Auxvasse, has worked for Kingdom Telephone Company for 31 years and is a 1977 graduate of North Callaway High School. She has two boys who graduated from NCHS and one son who is currently a junior there.
Love has also been on the board for one term. He said one of the accomplishments of the board during his time in office has been passing the bond issue. With that, he explained, the district was able to obtain air conditioning for the school buildings, which he believes will greatly benefit the students. He said the district is "right on course" with its bond projects, and he wishes to be re-elected to see those through.
"I want to do what I can to give back to our community," Love said.
He said even though the district's budget has been slashed "severely," the board's job is to give the students the best start possible.
"With what we have to work with, we need to do the best we can with our students."
Love, who grew up just outside of Auxvasse and still resides there, has worked at Kingdom Telephone Company for 14 years. He is a 1984 graduate of NCHS. He has a son in Auxvasse Elementary and a daughter at NCHS.
Hadley E. Linnenbringer
Linnenbringer ran in the previous school board election but has not served on the board before. He said he'd like to serve on the board to help out.
"I'd like to be in on the decisions on what cuts we're going to make if we're going to have to make cuts and how we're going to spend what money we got," Linnenbringer said.
He explained that he thinks it's important the district give the best education possible to the students with the amount of funds it receives.
"We don't want to go into deficit spending," he said.
He added that he attends most of the board meetings so he thinks he is prepared for the issues the district faces.
Linnenbringer is a crop and cattle farmer who resides just outside of Hatton. He is a 1963 graduate of Fulton High School. He has two children who graduated from NCHS and one who is currently a senior there.
Shryock is running for a board position for the first time. He said he has two young children who will attend Hatton McCredie Elementary when they are of age and so he and his wife will be involved in the district for many years to come. That's why Shryock said he is interested in being on the board.
"If elected, I'm really looking forward to the opportunity of working with the board to continue making good decisions for the district," he said.
He added that the current board members have done a "fine job," and he hopes to join them in the decision-making process.
"The main issue is to continue to make the best decisions we can for the kids in the district."
Shryock lives in the rural part of the district and is a partner on his family farm that raises corn and soybeans. He is a 1995 graduate of NCHS and received his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1999 from Westminster College.