School board hopefuls outline qualifications

The Advertiser-Tribune asked candidates for school boards why they are running and what strengths they bring to the position.

New Riegel

Scott Hohman – I am running for New Riegel School Board because I believe in our entire community. Our community’s strengths are tied together by a combination of family, faith and work ethic. My goal is that we consciously take advantage of those strengths to strive for the highest levels of accomplishment. I believe my strengths are fostering open discussion to get to the best solution, and communicating in a rational manner that helps others understand my views.

Jeff Hohman – Did not respond before deadline.

Cynthia Hughes – Did not respond before deadline.


Neil Carlson – Did not respond before deadline.

Valerie Gore – Did not respond before deadline.

Buckeye Central

Steve Aichholz – Strengths are, building, equipment and grounds maintenance knowledge, as well as a lot of community involvement and civic connections.

Chris Martin – Strengths in the area of safety and security and also in student leadership, development and illegal substance resistance.

Elizabether Diesch – I have experience in public funding and services, as well as grant writing, public relations and technology.

Bernie Kessler Did not respond before deadline.

Bettsville Local

Nick Baker – Being a product of the Bettsville School District, I know the benefits that Bettsville School District can bring to the education marketplace. My goal is to keep the district operating in a fiscally sound manner and to keep the small schools alive in Ohio. Bettsville is very much underrated because of its size, but that is exactly why I choose so send my children there.

Carey Exempted

Gregory McCartney – Did not respond before deadline.

Mark Armstrong – Did not respond before deadline.

Douglas Keller – Did not respond before deadline.

Matthew Stombaugh – Did not respond before deadline.

Tony Wenzinger – Did not respond before deadline.


Chris Widman – I believe I bring a comprehensive scope of experiences to the board. I previously served eight years on the Tiffin Board and six years on the Vanguard-Sentinel Board, each in a variety of capacities including vice president and president. I bring with me an openness to listen to others and support their good initiatives and ideas. As we strive for excellence the board must establish the acceptable standards and then hold our professionals accountable.

Jeffrey Hoyda – Did not respond before deadline.

Randall Schwartz – Did not respond before deadline.


Kathy Koehler – I decided to run for school board after attending meetings for two years and realizing, if I want to make an impact and promote positive change, I needed to put my money where my mouth is. As a nurse, I am accustomed to making decisions based on objective versus subjective information. My strengths include being able to listen to all available information, and making decisions based on what is best for students and voters.

Michelle Konkle – Did not respond before deadline.


Patrick Grine The resounding answer would be “we are not finished” and “we still have a long way to go!”

My strength, as well as the strength of the current board, is the commitment of each individual member to see this to the end. We believe accountability, from community member to superintendent, is the key to our future success. It is my belief that achieving “excellence” should be the only goal of every member of this district.

Sharon Stannard – Did not respond before deadline.

Anthony Thompson – Did not respond before deadline.


Mary Ruth Crandal – I am running for the Hopewell-Loudon Board of Education because I care about the students and the faculty. I also have great pride in the Hopewell-Loudon community. I bring to the board 32 years as an educator and four years as a board of education member. Thus, I have an understanding of education plus board of education experience.

Linda Depinet – The most important reason that I am running for the Hopewell-Loudon Board of Education, is because of the students. Being able to help students fulfill their educational and career goals is what I strive for when making decisions. I have been a member of this board for 12 years facing and overcoming many challenges a district endures. With my educational knowledge, I fully understand the importance of keeping students focused first.

Debra deVlugt – A passion for Hopewell-Loudon. I was given a well-rounded education and opportunities there that served me well as I went to college, moved away to begin a career and then eventually back to the community. My children were well-prepared by H-L for their next steps in life. I want to ensure the students in our district today are offered that same quality education and opportunities for growth that I was years ago.

Rick Breidenbach – I like to spend my time helping others any way that I can and I feel at this time in my life this is what I would like to do for my children. I have been involved with the community since returning home from the military. I’m an H-L graduate, chairman of my church board, president of Chieftain Youth Football and member of the advisory board for the Sentinel Fabrication Program.

Ron White – Did not respond before deadline.

Old Fort

Don Ellis As a long- term board member I am running for the Old Fort School Board of Education to continue to provide our students the best education possible with limited resources. My years as a board member give me the background and knowledge to assist in guiding the district to continued success. I approach issues objectively in making decisions that affect the district. I look forward to contributing to continuity and stability in the district.

Lindsay Sooy – I have a heart for the Old Fort community and want to continue giving back to the district that has given me so much. In this time of reduced school funding and ever-changing regulations, I want to help OFS continue down the path of excellence. These challenges require commitment and great leadership from our board, administrators, teachers and parents to provide the best learning and nurturing environment for our children.

Jay Pence – I am running for the Old Fort School Board because I am a lifelong resident of the school district and community. I have seen many changes happen, and I can help make positive changes in this district that are facing us in the future. I would also like to better the communication as a whole.

Sheri Lehner – I have lived in the Old Fort community all my life. During that time, I have been involved in many community and school organizations and feel the next step in helping is to become a board member. I believe that my strength is my commitment. I am vested in Old Fort and the school and will work to do what is best for our students.

Larry Bowman – With school budgets getting tighter, it is time to maximize the productivity of every employee and minimize the effects of budget constraints to the students. Running a successful business for the past 25 years, I feel that I have to offer my financial ability to the board of education. Being a father to a current first-grader and two Old Fort graduates, I have a vested interest in this district.

Kristin Woodall – Did not respond before deadline.

Clyde Green Springs

Denise Vargas-Hamrick – I’m running for the CGS BOE because I care about my community. Our schools are a critical part of our community. I attended CGS Schools. I have benefited from the quality education provided. I understand the challenges our state tax structure change has presented to the fiscally responsible management of our system. My objective is to contribute to sound management while actively communicating with our citizens. We need to invest in our children, future, community.

Nancy Greenslade – Did not respond by deadline.

Zachary Selvey Did not respond before deadline.


Fred Keith – Did not respond before deadline.

Seneca East

Jamie Beamer – Did not respond before deadline.

Larry Lucius – Did not respond before deadline.