Getting to know the RCAPS candidates

REED CITY — Next month’s election will drastically change the makeup of the Reed City Area Public Schools Board of Education.

Members of the community were able to meet and hear from four of the seven candidates vying for the four open seats during a candidate forum on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Moderated by the board’s current vice president Dan Boyer, candidates Jesse Kailing, Jason Proefrock, Ed Raby and Jeremiah Thompson were able to introduce themselves. Kristine M. Fuller, Kimberly Johnson and Mitch Miller were unable to attend Wednesday’s event.

In each of their introductions, the candidates shared with the audience why they decided to run for a seat on the board.

“RCAPS has been part of my life forever,” said Kailing, a small business owner. “From being a student, a coach and now a parent. I’d like my children to have the same opportunities and as much pride as I had when I was a student here.”

“I look to serve the students of Reed City,” said Proefrock, a self-proclaimed computer geek.

“As a former board member, I know that as a board member, you get to see the results of your decisions,” said Raby, who currently serves on the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District Board of Education. “You are able to see the kids grow and development and you know that you had a part in it.”

“With three kids in the district, I have a vested interest in their education,” said Jason Thompson. “The focus as a father is to make sure they get the best education they can.”

Boyer read a submitted introduction by Miller.

“Reed City has become home for me and my family,” Miller’s statement said. “Serving on the board is an opportunity to support the students and school.”

Four predetermined questions were asked of the candidates, from their attendance at board meetings over the last year to why they were compelled to run for a seat on the board knowing it wasn’t going to be financially beneficial or they wouldn’t be popular if they had to make some tough decisions, as well as who are the customers of the district.

Each candidate noted students are the most important focus, as well as parents and taxpayers.

“It’s a question about time involvement,” Raby responded to attending board meetings. “There needs to be an awareness of what’s going on with the board. You need a good superintendent, good administrators and other board members who can help make the right decisions.”

“I’ve been able to make the tough decisions as operations manager at Ice Mountain, and not all of them were popular,” Thompson said. “But, I’m a team player. And on the board, it takes the team, a good superintendent, good administrators, good teachers.”

“I wanted to run at the last election,” Kailing said. “I ran as a write-in candidate. I want to improve the public relations and transparency with the community so anything that happens isn’t done through the backdoor and surprise members of the community.”

“I saw (Raby) was running for the board and I thought about it,” Proefrock said. “I put something up on social media and I couldn’t believe the responses I received telling me that they thought I would do a good job, because I can ask the questions and help make decisions that need to be made.”