By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
As the Easton Valley School Board election nears, 10 candidates are eager to fill the seven spots.
While all 10 candidates are working toward a common goal, five represent Preston and East Central each.
The new school board will be responsible for big decisions for the merger, including appointing a superintendent and business manager, establishing new curriculum and classes and much more. The election will be held Dec. 4.
Candidates with varying experience share common goals and a desire to make Easton Valley a thriving atmosphere for students to learn, grow and expand their opportunities.
Current Preston School Board President Craig Thines says he is ready for whatever changes the merger will bring. Thines has served on the board for five years, with three years as president, so he’s no stranger to the ins and outs of the education system. He is also a farm loan officer for the local Farm Service Agency branch.
“We’ve got a lot ahead of us between December and July,” Thines said. “We will have to work together, which might be a stretch, but that’s a good thing.”
In order to all work towards a common goal, the candidates chosen should be at least somewhat evenly split, according to Thines. Benefits like offering more classes, some special classes, and being more competitive in sports and band, are just a few reasons Thines supports the merge.
“The main thing is to do what’s best for the students and heal the community,” Thines said. “People got to vote and now it’s our turn to make the best of it going forward.”
Ronald Regenwether, of Spragueville, is also hoping to help with the unprecedented merger. After being involved with Easton Valley efforts for a number of years, Regenwether said he hopes to see it truly thrive.
“Our schools are very important to community and in incurring a new community,” Regenwether said. “It’s not just about the next few school years, but about creating a school district that students will want to return to and raise their kids.”
Education reform and raising expectations of students and teachers are key components that led him to run. Regenwether says he hopes to be part of a board that better represents the consensus of the community and is a firm believer in the strength of the merger.
“There will definitely be a transition period, but this is something we should have done 10 years ago,” Regenwether said.
Sally Marvin brings more experience on the school board than all the Preston candidates combined, having sat on the Preston School Board for nine years, under three different superintendents. Marvin believes that the benefits of the merger go even beyond the three communities of Preston, Sabula and Miles.
“It’s a great thing for Jackson County and will help create a vibrant community,” Marvin said. “Jackson County has been encouraging tourism and getting families to come here and this is something that could help with that.”
Marvin says the spirit of cooperation between all three communities has been great and that nearly everyone wants to make it work. After years of hard work to get the merger moved forward, she says that she hopes to see it flourish.
“Our little school system cannot stay the same,” Marvin said. “We have to be able to change and embrace changes. I hope I can contribute to the positive changes.”
Having two young ones prepared to enter the new school district motivated Scott Bormann to run for a spot on the board. As a manager at Wendling Quarry in Clinton, Bormann brings extensive experience in dealing with budgets and holding a leadership role.
“I want to see the new district have a bright future,” Bormann said. “With everyone working together, we will make a very good transition.”
Tom Feuerbach, a former Preston School Board member in the 1980s, is also running for a spot on the new board.
He declined to comment until after the election.