Cloverdale Board interviews 8 for member vacancy

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Cloverdale Community School Corp. took the first steps Wednesday to replace former board member Barb Petro.

The school board conducted a special meeting Wednesday to interview eight candidates for the position, which opened in April, after Petro announced she would be stepping down due to health reasons.

"I'm really pleased that many people are interested in the position," CCSC Board President Linda Mann said prior to the interviews.

The board position is temporary. Whoever is elected will serve until July 2007 because Petro's position will be up for grabs in the November election.

Prior to beginning interviews with the candidates, Mann read off the requirements of being a board member, which included being at least 21-years-old, living in the school district, and receiving $1,500 yearly in compensation in two installments.

The board did not make its decision Wednesday on who would replace Petro, but said that could be made by either its next board meeting or by the high school's graduation on May 27.

The first candidate to interview for the position was Don Albietz.

Albietz has lived in Cloverdale since 1976 and told the board he previously ran the Lieber State Park Recreation Area. He also had seven kids in the school system.

"I've had quite an interest in the school," Albietz said. "And I just paid my property taxes, so I'm real interested."

Albietz told the board he was concerned about a recent rash of teachers retiring from the system and its recent "revolving door of administrators."

"We really have to find a way to get the best quality people in," Albietz said of replacing long-time teachers in the corporation.

Max Cassida was up next. The 1973 Cloverdale graduate told the school board he had four kids, three of which were currently in the system. He is also a high school sports official.

"I feel like I can contribute to the board," Cassida said.

Cassida told the board he wanted to place more emphasis on students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He also said he planned on being on the ballot for the November election.

Up next was Cloverdale resident Tony Hacker. A 1981 CHS graduate, Hacker told the board he had lived in Cincinnati for a while before coming back to live in Cloverdale.

"I'm the kind of person who cares about kids," Hacker said.

He said he wanted to see more emphasis on foreign languages, especially Spanish, to continue keeping up with the world. He also expressed interest in promoting a positive image within the community.

"There are a lot of really good things going on at the school," Hacker said.

Following Hacker in the interview process was William Henson.

Henson told the board he had lived in Cloverdale practically all of his life and previously taught in the system.

"I've always been interested in this community," Henson said. "I've always been interested in this school.

"I'd like to see us have the best school we can possibly have."

Henson said he was concerned about the possible lack of money in the future, something that is affecting quite a few corporations in the state. He also expressed a concern for physical fitness.

Former CCSC Transportation Director Bill Terrell interviewed next. The former Owen County resident said he had worked in the CCSC system for nearly 17 years.

Terrell said he knew Petro well, telling the board Wednesday she was instrumental to his hiring in the system.

"If she was coming back, I wouldn't even be doing this," Terrell told the board.

Terrell said he believed the budget could become an issue for the school in the future as it has with many other boards, and added he had no plans of making drastic changes if he was appointed.

"I have no agenda to change anything," he said.

Rebecca Mannan followed Terrell. The life-long Cloverdale resident graduated from the system in 1994 and said she wanted to become more involved with the system because she has children enrolling in the fall.

"You have to balance the financial aspect with what is best for the children," Mannan told the board.

Mannan added she had considered running for a board position in the past as well.

Following Mannan was Cathy Tipton. The Cloverdale graduate said she felt she had "a lot to offer" the board.

"I have a strong interest on being on the school board," Tipton said.

Like many of Wednesday's candidates, Tipton said she was concerned with the school's budget.

"I have some ideas on what we can do different," Tipton told the board. "We have to come up with some creative ideas."

The final candidate for the position was Charles Mowery.

He said he had lived in Cloverdale since 1972 and currently has one child in the school system.

During his interview, Mowery said he was willing to put himself in a situation of on-the-job-training if he was appointed, and said he would take time to analyze information when it was presented to him.

"I try to get involved in the community," Mowery said, adding he only wanted what was "best for the community."

Petro submitted her resignation from the board in April after suffering a stroke. She had served on the board since July 7, 1987.

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