3 in Tiffin board contest

Area school board races packed

Four people are vying for three seats on Tiffin City Board of Education.

Candidates on the Nov. 7 ballot for the Tiffin board are three current members — Chris Widman, Jeffery Hoyda and Randall Schwartz — and Victor Perez, who would be serving the board for the first time if elected.

Widman is to complete his third term this year, having been off for two terms.

“We have had some good moments going forward,” he said.

One of the primary reasons he has decided to run for another term is due to the hiring of Superintendent Gary Barber, whom Widman said he wanted to continue to support.

“It is just the right thing to do,” he said. “(Barber) has done a nice job bringing people together. All stakeholders, including the students, parents, teachers and leadership.”

Widman said another reason to run is that the school system is an important part of the community and needs to be strong.

“The school system needs committed individuals willing to serve on the board,” he said. “I felt responsible to run for the board and assist the system. To pay it forward.”

Widman said, if re-elected, he hopes to continue the handful of priorities they have been able to attain the past four years.

Having 16-years of experience within the community is not the only reason to be considered, Widman said, but he said he has done a “nice job” evaluating the opportunities and asking the right questions.

Hoyda has described his time on the board as “interesting.”

Hoyda is seeking another term to continue making improvements within the district and improving those that already have been improved.

For example, Hoyda said teachers have been coming together in a more “cohesive unit” and have been given more guidance and a vision to see what they can do and how to do it.

“There is still work to be done,” he said.

Hoyda said they hope to continue to work on the school’s state report card and to prepare students for the future.

“Even if we get all A’s on the report card, but not 100-percent, then there is still room for improvement,” he said.

One focus for Hoyda is to better prepare students going to college, those who are not going to college or who are entering the workforce or military.

“I want students to know they don’t have to go to college to be successful,” Hoyda said. “Students have to know what is out there.”

Hoyda said it isn’t just the students he wants to prepare, but the parents as well.

“I want to teach the parents to understand there is a variety out there and with variety it keeps the community better and the county better,” he said.

One accomplishment Hoyda is most proud of is rebuilding a working relationship with the local North Central Ohio Educational Service Center and other school districts.

To the voters, Hoyda said if they are happy with the direction the district is going, then “he’s your guy,” but if they’re not happy, “then he’s not your guy.”

Schwartz himself said his term was “rough at first,” but they were able to work through the issues they had, for example, the opening of the preschool.

“I felt it was a good decision at the time with the information we had,” he said. “And we have a great preschool now.”

Another issue Schwartz explained is with the district’s curriculum and making sure it is aligned with the state standards and that students are learning what they are supposed to. Schwartz said they are addressing the issues by utilizing the curriculum audit conducted by the NCOESC.

Along with Widman, Schwartz said one of the reasons he has planned to run for another term is to continue to support Barber.

“He has made a great start,” he said.

Along with the preschool, Schwartz said the district continuing to maintain the building is an accomplishment he is proud of.

“Our decisions are made with the best interest of the kids,” Schwartz said. “I feel I still have something to give. I bring a level-headed approach and attitude to the board.”

Perez said he decided to pursue a seat on the school board because he has a third- and fifth-grader in the district.

“I’ve always been an active member in the community, it is what my family does,” Perez said. “It is my way to give back.”

Perez’s focus is to bring forth what the main, long-term plan is for the district to the public. Such as, if the district is going to build a new building.

“That is something the public needs to know,” he said.

Another focus for Perez is meeting the needs of behavioral needs students and holding the district and administration accountable.

One change Perez would like to make is to hire an in-district social worker and resource officer.

“I want to be the voice of the parents and to make sure taxpayers are getting a return on their investment,” he said.