By William Kincaid
After only two residents filed to run for the three open seats on the St. Henry school board, three others decided to run as write-in candidates.
The two residents filing to run were incumbent Ralph Nietfeld and newcomer Richard Werling. Filing later as write-in candidates were Jeff Schwieterman, Deb Kunkler and Bruce Miller.
The write-in candidates' names will not appear on the Nov. 7 election ballot, but instead, voters must write their names in the designated area if voting for them.
The two current school board members who are not running for re-election are Art Siefring and Bill Link.
Kunkler, 35, a budget controller at Honda, lives at 682 Beckman Avenue. "Basically, I would like to see the ins and outs on how the school system works," Kunkler said.
She also is concerned about classroom funding and said the issue is often brought up in parent-teacher conferences.
"I'd like to investigate that as one of my goals," she said.
Kunkler, who has never held an elected office, added that she has four children in the school district.
Miller, a 43-year-old architect at Garmann/Miller & Associates in Minster, said that his business experience would help him as a board member.
Miller, who lives at 417 Willow St., said that as a business man, he understands how the schools can be burdened with their budget. If elected, he said he would juxtapose his private business experience with the public sector of the schools.
"I think we have a super school system now," Miller said. "The past board members have done good. I hope to continue that trend.
Miller, who has never held an elected office, has three children in the school system.
"I have a little extra time at work," he said. "It's a good time to do my civic duty."
Nietfeld, a 48-year-old who works in the finance department at Copeland in Sidney, said continuity is an important aspect of the school board.
He will have served 16 years as a board member at the end of December and said the board should keep things in perspective. While looking to the future, Nietfeld said the board should apply the lessons of the past.
"I think that education is very, very important for our young people and our community," he said. "The better education children get, the better the community will be.
If re-elected, Nietfeld, who lives at 4101 Lange Road, said he wants to expand the variety of student courses.
Schwieterman, a 45-year-old U.S. postal carrier who lives at 1990 Fleetfoot Road, said he would try to give the students a better education, while being fiscally responsible if he's elected.
"Someone has to do it," he told The Daily Standard. "I've been a resident of St. Henry all my life and have children in the school.
Schwieterman also said he is interested in becoming involved with the school district, while providing input.
Werling, a 44-year-old family business owner who lives at 152 Post Road, Burkettsville, said he will do the best job he can for the St. Henry schools if he's elected.
"There were some openings there," he said. "I just felt maybe it was time to give it a try."
Werling, who has never held an elected office, said his experience as a business owner qualifies him for the position.