Monday, October 28th, 2013
By Amy Kronenberger
Four vying for two seats on Celina school board
Election November 2013
CELINA - Two incumbent Celina City Schools Board of Education members face opposition in the Nov. 5 general election.
Board members Cindy Piper and Matt Gilmore will compete for the two open seats against newcomers Mark Cubberley and Jesse Parete for the four-year terms.
Cubberley, 40, 642 Linden Ave., said he is running to contribute to the success of Celina Schools. This is his first time seeking an elected office.
The Celina High School graduate has a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in chemistry. He is an associate professor of chemistry and director of assessment, accreditation, articulation, academic policy and curriculum at Wright State University-Lake Campus.
"My 12 years teaching experience, recent administrative experience and past committee and board work have all prepared me to serve on the school board," Cubberley said.
The top challenges he expects to face as a board member are continuing to be a good steward of community resources and "working to make sure the community and school are preparing students to be successful, contributing adults," he said.
Cubberley and his wife, Carrie, have three children, ages 13, 10 and 5.
Gilmore, 45, 8665 Hellwarth Road, wants to continue his tenure as a board member because he wants to keep making a difference.
"We still have work to do," he said. "I'm very proud of what the board has accomplished over the last 12 years, but I think I still have more to give."
With a dozen years as a board member, Gilmore said his experience makes him the most qualified candidate. This is the only publicly-elected seat Gilmore has ever held.
"The learning curve for a new board member is huge, bigger than I anticipated," he said.
Gilmore also noted he has a passion for work in children's affairs. He has handled a lot of juvenile cases during his nearly 20 years as an attorney.
The biggest challenges Gilmore expects to face in the coming term are adjusting to curriculum and teacher evaluation changes and maintaining the district's positive financial outlook.
"The bar constantly moves," he said. "That's going to be the biggest challenge, implementing the new standards coming our way, because that always changes ... But over all, I think we're traveling in the right direction."
Gilmore and his wife, Amy, have two children, a daughter, 14, and a son, 10. He is a Celina High School graduate and received his bachelor's degree in English from The Ohio State University. He received his juris doctor in law from Ohio Northern University and began practicing law in 1994.
Parete, 68, 228 Lakeland Blvd., said he is seeking a seat on the school board because he wants to continue giving back to the community he loves.
"My wife and I chose to move to this area after 41 years of teaching because of the lake, the characteristics of this community and my wife's family," he said. "I believe I have the background and experiences to contribute to the goal of sustaining this excellent tradition of a strong school system."
The longtime teacher received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from State University of New York, Oswego, N.Y. He went on to receive his master's in mathematics from Bowling Green State University and his doctorate from The Ohio State University.
Throughout his career he taught at various institutions including Edison State Community College in Piqua and The Ohio State University-Lima and main campus.
He has served on many committees for the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio Department of Education. In 1993, he was named in the top 50 of community college teachers.
In Celina, Parete is a member of the Knights of Columbus and works with Immaculate Conception church's mission group. He also volunteers with CALL Food Pantry and St. John's Builders Habitat for Humanity organization.
The main challenges Parete expects to face in his first term are working with the new curriculum, ensuring teachers have the proper tools and professional development, and ensuring students are adequately prepared for a 21st century economy. He also said maintaining fiscal responsibility is crucial.
"I would like to be open and respectful of the citizenry and find the balance that funds the school with fiscally responsible spending," he said.
Parete and his wife, Carol, have five grown children. This is his first time running for elected office.
Piper, 61, 8292 state Route 197, wants to continue her tenure as a board member to see through the many changes at the local and state level.
"There were a lot of changes in the last few years with new administrators and the realignment (of the elementaries)," she said. "I thought good or bad, I need to see them through."
The biggest challenges Piper anticipates are maintaining financial stability and handling the societal changes that affect all schools.
"I don't fear for the safety of our students but there are so many issues now," she said. "And Common Core, I'm not sure what's coming down the pike. I'm still being educated on it but there's a lot to think about."
Prior to serving 12 years as a board member, Piper spent 36 years as a teacher. The Bryant, Ind., native received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. She taught first grade for six years in Portland, Ind., and sixth and seventh grade at St. Henry for 30 years.
Piper said her years as a teacher and board member have taught her to be fair-minded.
"I try to listen to both sides of a story," she said. "Sometimes we make decisions that aren't popular but we truly try to make decisions that are best for the kids."
She and her husband, Thomas, have three daughters, ages 30, 28 and 25.