School board interviews for open spot

New and returning school board members are sworn in during a special meeting of the board on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Scott Hoffman, District 1; Sarah Kyle, District 6; and Rex Baxter, District 7 (from left) took the oath of office. Photo by Lauren W. Wilson.

New and returning members of the Huntington County Community School Board were sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 9, and those members immediately set to work interviewing candidates for a seat which is currently vacant.

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters administered the oaths of office during the special meeting.

The returning school board members, who were re-elected in November 2012, are Rex Baxter, District 7, and Scott Hoffman, District 1.

New to the board is Sarah Kyle, District 6.

Following the swearing in, the new and returning members joined the rest of the board in interviewing five candidates who have applied to fill a vacant position for District 4, previously held by Dr. Jennifer Goff.

There were no candidates for election for District 4 during the November elections, and Goff's term ended Dec. 31. According to board policy, the empty seat must be filled by the end of January 2013.

The interview questions were written by the school board members and delivered by the school board's legal counsel, Joe Wiley.

The questions were asked of each applicant in the same order during each interview.

The questions were:

• Tell us about yourself.

• Why didn't you file for this open position in the November election?

• Describe previous experience on any type of committee (boards, not-for-profits, etc.).

• What qualities and skills do you think an effective school board member possesses? Which of those qualities do you feel you possess?

• Why do you want to serve on the school board and how are you able to devote sufficient time to do so?

• What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of public school system in Huntington County?

• If elected, how would you address concerns brought to you by your constituents?

• Do you have personal priorities you are bringing to the council?

• What is the role/function of a school board member? What is the role of the school board as a whole?

• Give an example of a cost saving program you've been involved with either professionally, personally or through some type of committee work.

• How do you advocate for students?

• Why are you the best qualified candidate for this position?

Applicants for the position are:

Anthony "Tony" Herber - Herber is a lifelong Huntington County resident and a 2004 graduate of Huntington North. He is also a 2008 graduate of Manchester College.

After graduation, Herber taught chemistry and physics at Huntington North for several years. He now works for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Herber has served on the citizens advisory council for solid waste management and on several student boards throughout high school and college.

Mark Mason - Mason is a lifelong resident of Huntington County and aPurdue University graduate. He is a retired dairy farmer and member of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

He has previously served on 4-H advisory committees, the Huntington County Coop Board and the Kids Kampus advisory committee.

David Miller - Miller is a life long resident of Huntington County and worked for the Huntington Fire Department for 24 years before retiring.

He says he and his wife also have owned and operated a real estate and automobile business in Huntington.

Miller and his wife served as foster parents for several children who now reside in Huntington County.

He served on the board at Good Shepherd Church, was union president for the fire department and served as fire chief for one year.

Bonita Price - Price is a life long resident of Huntington County and a Huntington College graduate. She is a retired teacher.

Price volunteers at Flint Springs Elementary School, for a reading initiative group and for LaFontaine Arts Council.

Holly Thompson - She is a 10-year resident of Lancaster and holds a master's degree in business administration.
She is involved with the organization Parents at Lancaster.

She currently works in Fort Wayne. Previously, she worked for Parkview Health managing finances, where she says she garnered experience working with for-profit boards of directors.

The school board will appoint one of the five candidates to the District 4 seat at the beginning of the regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Jan. 14 ,at 7 p.m.

The appointee will be sworn in by Fetters and will begin his or her term of service that evening.

Also at the regularly scheduled meeting, the school board will reorganize for 2013 and appoint a new treasurer.

Complete caption: New and returning school board members are sworn in during a special meeting of the board on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Scott Hoffman, District 1; Sarah Kyle, District 6; and Rex Baxter, District 7 (from left) took the oath of office delivered by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (far right).