Four vie for state school board seat


LIMA — Four candidates for the District 1 Ohio Board of Education position bring a wealth of talent and experience to the forefront.

Lilli Vitale, Martha Manchester, Linda Haycock and Tanyce Addison all are vying for the seat. The seat became open because of Ann Jacobs, of Lima, being term-limited out of the position.

Addison, 57, of LaRue, retired as a public school teacher in 2011 and now serves as a substitute teacher. She and her husband, Frank, have been married for 36 years and they have five children. Addison said she is running because she wants to help make sure every child gets the education he or she deserves.

“I believe in Ohio’s promise that every child deserves a quality public education no matter where they live, their race, creed, gender or abilities,” Addison said.

Addison said that state testing should be used as a diagnostic tool rather than as a ranking, rating and punishment marketing method. She said Ohio should not keep Common Core standards. She said the current opportunity presented by the Every Student Succeeds Act gives Ohioans the chance to voice ideas for change in how students and staff are evaluated. Addison said many different tools should be used in evaluations.

Addison said she believes issues surrounding online and other charter schools has an easy solution, accountability.

“The way we track students should be consistent between charter and public schools,” Addison said.

Manchester, 65, of Lakeview, is a retired teacher and managing partner at Manchester Farms. She said she felt she had the ability to have a positive impact on education in Ohio.

“I believe we have gone overboard on assessment,” Manchester said. “Assessments need to be directly applicable to enhancing the education of students.”

She said she didn’t believe that state testing always gave a true picture of accountability. Manchester said that she agreed with charter schools as a choice but that they should be held to the same high standard that public schools are held to.

“We need to have a stable and predictable school funding system so that all children can have access to a high-quality education no matter where they live or where they go to school.

Haycock, 52, of Lima, is business manager at Haycock Foot and Ankle Center and is the president of the Shawnee Local Board of Education. She said she would like to be part of the defining process of where Ohio goes with public education.

Haycock said that Ohio school districts have been forced to adapt to four different school funding formulas in the last eight years, making it difficult to budget. She said cuts in school budgets over the past several decades have led to eroded educational experiences for students.

Haycock said the most important issue facing public education was maintaining an efficient and equitable education system for all students. She said charter schools should be held to the same standards as public schools. She said teaching assessments should be more objective and less quantitative.

Vitale, 49, of Urbana, is an Ohio State University graduate and a stay-at-home mother. Vitale supports policies that allow teachers to use individualized approaches so that students become lifelong learners.

Vitale also agreed that parents should have school choice, saying that parents know the needs of each child and should have the ability to decide. She says that her experience as both a teacher and in business gave her diversity in educational choices.

All four candidates agreed that more control needed to be put in the hands of local school boards, staff and parents.

By Lance Mihm

Civitas Media

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