BIDWELL — Students, parents and staff assembled at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening to discuss the future of Gallia Local Schools and to listen to individuals vying for a spot on the district’s board of education in the coming Nov. 3 election.
Pastor Gene Armstrong spoke with audience members and introduced Gallia Local Schools Superintendent Jude Meyers, who stepped forward to speak about the past school year. Meyers detailed a list of new school programs with an athletic council and arts council that attempt to pair students with older mentors to promote discipline and creativity in student personalities. Each school in the district has been equipped with wireless Internet connections both inside and outside buildings. Gallia Local Schools enacted new preschool programs at the beginning of the current school year to put younger students ahead of the academic game as well.
Meyers praised the hard work of students and staff and said he looks forward to a future with students returning to Gallia County after taking their first few steps into their adult lives. He emphasized the importance of students being ready for the future and taking the lead as the new leaders of Gallia County’s future.
Beth James, Brent Shultz, John Davis, Billy Swain and Terry Halley are all campaigning for two positions on the Gallia Local Schools Board of Education. All of the candidates elaborated on the importance of students staying in the county and contributing to its economic strength in the future.
Cathy Greenleaf moderated the discussion while Cindy Graham watched and timed the candidates as they were given a couple of minutes to respond to questions.
Shultz spoke of his experiences in the military as an officer with more than 20 years of experience in leadership and his understanding of the role of making tough decisions. He also hit on the necessity of trade schools and jobs as important options for the future of students. He referenced that “college wasn’t for everyone.”
Swain, as a past board member, spoke of his experiences in helping form Gallia Local School policies. He used short and direct communication with the crowd and explained the basic functions of a school board, having been familiar with the organization’s operation.
Halley spoke of his devotion to the future of students in the county and how he had helped accomplish that with his previous years of service on the school board, as well as several other academic organizations that spanned across southeast Ohio.
James, a recently retired teacher of 30 years, listed her teaching experience as being what made her a strong candidate for the board. Davis cited his three college degrees in business administration, computer science and accounting, along with his experience working for American Electric Power and the need for organization with local businesses to promote student futures.
Voters in the Gallia Local School District voting boundaries can expect to see these candidates on their ballots Nov. 3.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.