GCSC interviews to fill vacant board position

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

GREENCASTLE -- With Jack Berry and his 16 years of experience leaving the Greencastle Community School Board, some big shoes are left to fill.

The board took the first step in that direction at a special public meeting Monday, interviewing four candidates to fill the remainder of the term, which ends June 30.

Those seeking to fill the term are Wayne Lewis, Wesley Sampson, Todd Sutherlin and Doris Miller. The four candidates bring a variety of personal and professional backgrounds to the table.

Lewis is a local chiropractor. He is a 1962 Greencastle High School graduate, whose four children are also GHS grads. He also has five grandchildren currently in the school system.

He said his first priority as a school board member would be the students.

"Kids first, teachers second, and then the school board has to make decisions," Lewis said.

Sampson is a numismatist (coin dealer). His background includes a number of positions in the education system, from a bus driver in Kansas City to teaching from the elementary to college level. He has also served as a college administrator.

His work in administration actually came in the central African country of Malawi.

"Working with that budget, I was able to distribute the workload and help train others. I actually worked myself out of a job," Sampson said.

Sutherlin has operated One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning in Greencastle for 11 years. The GHS graduate has also worked with local youth sports, including serving as the president of the youth football association.

He shared with the board his aversion to the reductions in force that the current budget situation has forced so many school systems into.

"You kept hearing of teachers being RIF'ed, and that scared me," Sutherlin said. "There are other ways, I feel, that we might be able to think outside the box and save money in other ways."

Miller is a retired teacher from Greencastle Community Schools. She is also a GHS graduate, and had two children graduate from the school.

She said her background as a teacher would bring a unique and important perspective to the board.

"I've always wondered when I taught why there wasn't a representative from the teachers, whether it be a teaching teacher, or someone who teaches at another level," Miller said.

"Teachers will open up to other teachers."

All candidates expressed their desire to run as wanting what is best for the school system, its students and its employees. While each brought his or her own set of strengths and concerns, the overwhelming sentiment was a desire to serve the community well.

Following the public interviews, current board members Bruce Stinebrickner, Kelly Lewis, Mike Dean and Monica Fennell reconvened for an executive session to further discuss the interview process.

The board will announce another public meeting, likely next week, at which it will officially choose the new board member. As stated above, the member will serve the remainder of Berry's term, which expires June 30.

Prior to June 30, Greencastle Township Trustee Steve Butts will appoint the individual to serve the next term in the position.

One of only three public school board in Indiana that is appointed, not publicly elected, the Greencastle Community School Board is composed of two appointments by the Greencastle City Council, two by the Greencastle Township Trustee and one by the Madison Township Trustee.

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  • I know many think with age comes experience and wisdom, but I would love to see some younger individuals on the school board. I think it would help tremendously.

    -- Posted by Greencastle7 on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 8:14 AM
  • All four candidates are qualified for the position.

    The choice will be a difficult one to make.

    My preference would be that in the future the Greencastle School Corporation board members be elected to the positions. What does it take to make this change, a referendum? It needs to happen.

    -- Posted by Lookout on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 12:11 PM
  • i agree- We need to have an ELECTED school board- mostdistricts have upgraded to this- why can't we?

    -- Posted by talkymom3 on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 12:43 PM
  • In order to get an elected board you need to present to the exisiting board a motion staing your intention. Along with that, you need an attorney to file the proper paper work with the state and county to get it on the slate to be decided. I am all for it, but good luck in this town getting that passed.

    -- Posted by idiot on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 8:13 PM
  • How about choosing someone with a financial backgroud to help the board! It would be even better if they had no children currently in the system (no dog in the fight so to say). I don't think anyone doubts the current members intentions, but they seem to get muddied up in all the goings on, if you know what I mean. I do believe I would be in support of ELECTED school board members ( even though 8 years from now we will all regret that change, for whatever reason ). But, I do think it should be mandatory for all board members to VOTE ON ALL DECISIONS, NO ABSTANING!! If we are giving you compensation in whatever form, you need to VOTE rather than be afraid to have a backbone!! Also, limit the boards influence on everyday operation of the schools, that is the Super's job, the board does need to know their place. Dr. Green is good, no better than good. Let him do his job, he has the educational background to justify his decisions. I don't think the board needs to deal with trivial items such as coaches and such ( unless that is why they are on the board ).

    -- Posted by idiot on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 8:21 PM
  • Not sure if electing members would work either. If you monitor other corps.and their boards that are elected,many of these same problems and worse exists. For a worst case scenerio,look down in Cloverdale.Board fails to be over the Supt.,rather they are her puppets. Totally backwards.Members serve so their kids get to start on teams when everyone knows they wouldnt otherwise.They are vindictive,cranky,my way or no way people that as a group(not every individual of course)put whats best for students somewhere behind their own agendas in priority.So,not sure things would run any better if elected.Its all about the collective professionalism,genuine care for the kids and willingness to do whats best regardless of self that would make a good board. Good luck with THAT in this county.....

    -- Posted by taintedtown on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 9:14 PM
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