G-RF candidates offer their views

GEORGETOWN — Candidates for the Georgetown-Ridge Farm school board answered questions and gave their views to an audience of about 65 at a forum this week.

Three four-year seats on the board will be up for election on April 9, as will one two-year seat.

The two-year seat is currently held by Phil Hummel, who was appointed to fill a board vacancy in 2012. He is not seeking election to the remaining two years left in that term and is instead seeking one of the four-year seats.

Sandi Doggett is the only candidate seeking election to the two-year seat.

The seats held by board members Carla Pollman, Lisa Coburn and board President Cheryl Kestufskie are all up for election. Of those three, only Pollman is seeking re-election.

In addition to Pollman and Hummel, three newcomers are seeking to be elected to the three four-year seats: Mindy Herrin, Theresa M. Bogard and Diane E. Dawson.

The forum was sponsored by and moderated by the Georgetown-Ridge Farm Education Association. Hummel was not present at the forum.

There was a great deal of consensus among the candidates about the biggest issues facing the district: improving student performance, managing district finances, and smoothly transitioning the students and staff of the two grade schools into a single school starting next fall.

"We need to engage everyone to get through these tough times," said Doggett. "It won't be easy."

Dawson said she would try to use the experience she gained during her eight years on the Georgetown City Council to help the board. "While I was on the city council, I gave it my whole heart, and I hope to do the same here," Dawson said.

Bogard said she would help to create and implement a plan of action on the board, to give direction to the district.

"Parents should want to send their kids to our schools," Bogard said.

Pollman said she wanted to build on the eight years she has spent on the school board.

"We have been through so much as a board, and we have started so much work, that I would like to see it through to completion," Pollman said.

Herrin said she would bring her experience working in education and her pride in the community to the board.

"I want to make this a place we are proud to have, proud to work at, and proud to send our kids to each day," Herrin said.

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