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Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Numerous local school board races decided

St. Marys school board vice president ousted in close race; Celina board incumbents retain seats

By Shelley Grieshop
Voters in the St. Marys City Schools district ousted an incumbent board member in one of five contested school board races held in the Grand Lake area on Tuesday.
St. Marys City Schools
In an upset, school board Vice President Eric Langsdon, 15504 Lambert Road, lost his seat to newcomer Aaron Braun, 238 S. Wayne St., and two other incumbents, Lisa Tobin, 220 N. Walnut St., and Ralph Wiley, 123 N. Augustus St. The race was close; Tobin took the majority with 29 percent. Braun, Wiley and Langsdon captured 25, 24 and 22 percent respectively.
Celina City Schools
In another tight race, incumbents Cindy Piper, 8292 N. Walnut St., and Matthew Gilmore, 8644 Hellwarth Road, will remain on the board of education by winning the two open seats. Political newcomer Thomas R. Sanford, 658 N. Walnut St., gave the pair a run for their money by netting 27 percent of the vote to Piper's 37 percent and Gilmore's 36 percent.
Fort Recovery Local Schools
Ginny Fortkamp, 1191 Wendel Road, took approximately 64 percent of the votes (1,362) to become the newest face on the school board. Winning the second open seat was incumbent and write-in candidate Dan Kahlig, 2283 Watkins Road, who received 903 votes. Write-in candidate Matt Fullenkamp, 404 E. Center St., lost a seat by garnishing just 38 votes.
Minster Local Schools
Challenger Connie Meiring, 108 E. Third St., won the majority of votes (1,289) to earn herself one of three open positions on the school board. Another newcomer, John Heitbrink, 262 S. Lincoln St., and incumbent Jeffry Monnin also won seats on the board with 1,214 and 1,126 votes respectively. Not winning a seat was Wes Farno, 135 N. Hanover St., with 681 votes.
Auglaize County Educational
Service Center (ESC)
Incumbent and longtime board treasurer Irene Jarvis, 20 Bear Drive, lost to challenger Charles "Chuck" Meyer, 28 Rummel Creek Drive, for the one open seat on that board. Meyer won 2,037 votes to Jarvis' 1,823 votes.
The two competed for an unexpired term that Jarvis had filled in March. She had retired from the board in 2007 after serving 16 years.
Results in uncontested races were:
Coldwater Exempted Village Schools
Coldwater-area voters affirmed the uncontested election of one new member and the re-election of two others for the school's board of education.
Todd Bills, 805 Pauline Drive, will fill the post left vacant by board member Gary Lefeld, whose term expires this year. Re-elected was Joe Eichler, 102 E. College St., and Linda Steinbrunner, 919 Buckeye St.
Marion Local Schools
District voters re-elected board members Gregory S. Garmann, 7951 Fort Recovery-Minster Road, and Elaine A. Pierron, 1729 state Route 716. Pierron was appointed to the board in January 2008 to fill the unexpired term of Larry Reichert.
Parkway Local Schools
Voters in the district re-elected Robert Ransbottom, 816 W. Market St., and elected two newcomers: Terry Keiser, 309 W. Pearl St., and write-in candidate Tommy Wayne Lyons, 814 W. Market St.
Current board members Betty DuBry and Kim Brandt did not seek re-election.
St. Henry Local Schools
Residents in the district re-elected Bruce Miller, 2246 Coldwater Creek Road, to the board. Also elected was Russell A. Bensman, 5787 Fort Recovery-Minster Road, and Jim Puthoff, 182 Oak Hill Drive, to replace outgoing members Ralph Nietfeld and Richard Werling.
Current board member Ron Gelhaus, 152 Linn St., also was re-elected to fill an unexpired term.
New Bremen Local Schools
New Bremen-area voters re-elected current board of education member Keith Bornhorst, 46 Harlamert Drive, for another term. Also elected were Sharon Miller, 67 Rummel Creek Drive, and Mandy Niekamp, 6926 County Road 66A, who will fill the seats of outgoing board members Mark Barhorst and Larry Tangeman.
Mercer County Educational Service Center (ESC)
Three current members of the ESC were re-elected to serve another term. They are: Curtis Hayes, 4501 state Route 117, Rockford; Tess Mescher, 2509 Cassella-Montezuma Road, Maria Stein; and Kenneth Stammen, 14590 Livingston Road, New Weston.
Mescher was appointed in January to fill the unexpired term of Jim Hoying.
Auglaize County Educational
Service Center (ESC)
Besides the contested race, there were two uncontested seats to fill on the ESC board. Re-elected were Earnie Jones of Waynesfield and incumbent Linda Kitzmiller of Minster.
Additional online story on this date
It was a good night for local levies and issues as all nine initiatives in Mercer and Auglaize counties were successful at the polls Tuesday night. [More]
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