School board contenders talk issues

Local school board candidates got a chance to voice their opinions during a public forum at the 2013 Candidates Night Wednesday evening.

Present were Jeffrey Hoyda, running for Tiffin City Board of Education, and Linda Depinet, candidate for Hopewell-Loudon School Board of Education.

Tiffin City Board of Education candidates not present were Randal Schwartz and Christopher Widman. Candidates for Hopewell-Loudon School Board of Education not present were Rick Breidenbach, Mary Ruth Crandall, Debra King DeVlugt and Ron White.

During the forum, three questions were asked and the candidates had one minute to respond. Following questions, the candidates had a minute to tell the audience why they are running for the school board and why voters should choose them Nov. 5.

Paul Harrison moderated the evening’s activities.

The first question Harrison asked the candidates was what creative ways they have to save on their budgets.

Depinet said saving on a budget is a challenge when finances always are getting cut.

“There are many ways to save on a budget. One is to restructure classes and utilize the faculty that we do have,” she said.

“We also have to fill the obligations of the academics that are needed and to remain fiscally responsible to the district.”

Hoyda also spoke on utilizing faculty and to use outside contracts such as services provided by North Central Ohio Educational Service Center. Schools should use local vendors, look for the best price in insurance contracts and use the Internet to purchase items, he said.

On how teachers can better prepare students for the changing curriculum, Hoyda said it is important for schools to keep class sizes small and to better instill the basics in the younger students.

“You can’t build a large house with no foundation,” Hoyda said.

The final question posed to candidates was to address how residents and board members affect what students are able to learn.

Depinet said Hopewell-Loudon has a very supportive community and a supportive board.

“It is a big collaborative effort,” she said.

“For local residents to get involved, they have to call the board of education and tell them what is on their mind,” Hoyda said. “They don’t know what you’re thinking. Also, call the administration. Talking to them is the only way that change can be made.”

Hoyda said he is running for the Tiffin school board because he was educated in the Tiffin City Schools.

“They did a fine job and a wise man once said that someone can take anything away from you, but they can’t take away your education,” Hoyda said. “I just want to give students the same opportunities I have had.”

“Being a part of the board of education, I want to give the students the best education and the best success in their careers,” Depinet said. “Every decision that I make I hold to my highest standards and I love to see the excitement in the students.”

Also during the event, Steve Snavely was presented as an uncontested candidate for the NCOESC Board of Governors. Snavely gave an overview of the center and the services provided. The center serves 32 school districts in seven counties amounting to 32,000 children, Snavely said.

“The center provides high quality services by high quality professional staff,” Snavely said. “The ESC is continuously committed to giving a quality education.”