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10-31-05 Four compete for Celina schools

By Janie Southard

  Celina school district voters will choose from four candidates to fill two seats on the board of education for a four-year term.

  Incumbent Matt Gilmore is seeking re-election, but current member Mary Lehman is not. The other three candidates vying for the two seats are Greg Cass, Michele Huber and Cindy Piper.

  Cass, 46, is a senior buyer at AAP St. Marys Corporation and has never held elected office.

  He believes his business experience qualifies him for the board position.

  "I have learned to multi-task and deal with a variety of people," he said.  He would hope to "help kids to achieve a great education by retaining good teachers for good pay and benefits and would work to establish more grants and creative financing."

  Huber, 24, owns the Mommy and Me on Main shop in Celina and is store manager for the Cato Corporation. She has never held elected office.

  Her qualifications include being a young parent dedicated to education.

  "I am also a concerned citizen who believes the school should be reflective of the community," she said, adding she holds a degree in early education.

  She would like to accomplish getting the board to "accept the community view" when making decisions.

  "I would like to create a better relationship between the educators, the administrators and the board," she said.

  Incumbent Gilmore, 37, is an attorney and is completing his first term on the board.

  As qualifications, he lists his roles as parent and taxpayer. He also is on the finance and endowment board of his church and has served as board director for Wernle Children's Home for the past six years.

  "I believe we need to continue what we've started with sound fiscal management. In the past four years we've cut more than $3 million from our budget, and we must continue to be vigilant with our resources especially as state funding is in a state of perpetual unrest," he said.

  He also wants to get the school back to an excellent rating on the state report card.

  "We were there, and we must get back. That's a very real focus for me," he said.

  Piper, 53, is a teacher in the St. Henry system and formerly served a term on the Celina board of education.

  Her qualifications include more than 30 years in education and her prior service on the Celina board.

  "I want to regain that sense of the community and the school working together," she said.


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