The Pickerington School Board hopefuls who spoke at a candidate luncheon on Oct. 18 represented different viewpoints, yet they each have children currently attending Pickerington schools.
The luncheon was sponsored by the Pickerington Area Chamber or Commerce at the Pickerington Senior Center.
The candidates speak
•Candidate Rob Farmer, a Violet Township EMT, told the crowd he wanted nurses assigned to each school. He also said the district should "pass down fiscal information more frequently" to residents and the district needed "to push a lot harder to educate non-parent voters" regarding bonds and levies.
•Former Pickerington mayor Lee Gray. Gray said his political experience on city council and as mayor would benefit him on the school board. He said he chose to run for school board rather than another political office because, since becoming a parent, his values and perspectives have changed.
•Incumbent Lisa Reade said she wanted to continue saving the district money as she said she has during her first four years on the board. As a board member she decided to combine the two new schools being built on Tollgate Road to create one building. She said the result saved the district $800,000 because they didn’t need to purchase two heating and air conditioning units.
•Attorney Ayn Phalyn Williams said she represented the growing "hybrid" population of Pickerington schools – Franklin County residents living within the school district. In a "spirit of fairness and openness," she said, "(the district needs to be) inclusive and reach out to every neighboring community for dialogue. Diversity is our strength and not our weakness."
Three candidates were unable to attend the forum:
•Chemist Duanita Booker has a daughter attending Pickerington North High School. Booker is a member of the African-American United Parents of Pickerington (AAUPP).
•Incumbent Dr. James Brink holds a doctorate in mathematics and his youngest child is currently enrolled in the schools. Brink currently serves as board president.
•Professional driver Duane Gosa has no children. He serves as president of the AAUPP.