School board members vying for votes

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Voters will have the chance to cast their vote for school board members in four county school districts.

Evart Public Schools

Two candidates for the Evart Public Schools Board of Education currently serve on the board. Gerald Nichols, secretary, and Karen Pylman, treasurer, are both running. The ballot also will list Ryan Hopkins, who will be new to the board.

Voters may vote for three candidates. The members’ terms will end on Dec. 31, 2020.

Marion Public Schools

Incumbents Alicia J. Michell and Greg Salisbury are running unopposed for the Marion Public Schools Board of Education for two six-year terms.

Newcomers Ryan Raymond and Courtney Wilson also are running unopposed for two four-year terms.

Pine River Area Schools

Two current members of the Pine River Area Schools Board of Education are up for re-election for six-year terms without opposition.

Terry Koetje, school board vice president, will be on the ballot, as well as Ron Schalow, who was sworn in to the board on Sept. 30 of last year after former board member Becky Johnson Himes resigned.

Write-in candidates include current school board member Merrylee Cameron and newcomer Roseann Fowler.

Reed City Area Public Schools

Tricia Wirth, trustee, and Ed Raby, vice president, are both RCAPS Board of Education candidates in the upcoming election. Craig Goodman and Derrick Bookwalter also are running, each of whom would be new to the board.

Richmond Township resident Jesse Kailing has opted to be a write-in candidate after a change in career offered him the time to commit to the position.

"I am more able now to serve the community," he said. "I've wanted to run for a long time. Now I thought, 'What better time to do it?'"

Kailing was born and raised in the area. His wife is a teacher at GT Norman Elementary School and they have two children who are students in the district. The family is involved in 4-H and Kailing is a former Reed City basketball coach and current board member of the Osceola County Community Foundation.

"I believe the school board should not be micromanaging the school district," Kailing said. "I believe it's the administration's job to run the school and it's the board's job to evaluate its leaders, be fiscally responsible to balance the budget while putting the kids first, to be the voice of the community and to be involved."

Skills he can bring to the board, if elected, include a background in business, experience in budgeting and leadership and the ability to make tough decisions, he said.

Three of the five candidates will be selected.