Southwest Licking Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Southwest Licking residents will choose among five candidates to fill three seats on the board of education.
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • James Helfrich Farming and Rental

  • TJ Niedzielski

  • Catherine Spindler

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    John Y. Vincent Educator

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    Roger Zeune Pilot/Scheduler

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Biographical Information

What are the major issues facing your school district, and what will you do about them if elected?

Why are you the best-qualified candidate for the school board?

What else would you like to say to voters in your school district?

Age 53
Education Mechanical Engineering and Business
Experience I have experience with the business environment. Among others I also am knowledgeable with farming, welding, mechanic,and construction.
Family Married with four children.I have lived in this community for 40 years.
We currently have a failing school district but no one wants to face it. Our district throws money at problems and when it doesn't work it always has an excuse i.e Lack of parent involvement, class size, testing. We don't ask the simple question -- how can private schools always outperform Public? It's because we as taxpayers have been conditioned to accept failure. Therefore, that is what we get, FAILURE. Why are we paying a superintendent a wage package of $200k and not demanding results? We worry more about terminating his contract than 3000 students future. Our district is an employment center. Look at all the positions created: i.e direction of communications at a cost of$125,000.00+. That job was created as a public relations propaganda. Ask your self what good is that position really doing for the school. If elected I plan to run our district as a business. In the real world if you did not perform you would be let go so why do we expect less of our school employees.
Typically the administrators and teachers union handpick candidates to run for school board for self-serving reasons. Then for the next 4 years, we as taxpayers complain about waste and a failing district. We reap what we sow. I have no ties to any school employee and I will not accept the status quo. Ask why are the other candidates running. Some brag that they have been instrumental in passing levies and bond. For what? Our district for a number of years has declined academically but no one is making a campaign issue. Most have friends and family as employees. Now how can that person call out waste and inefficiencies when they have supported it. Everyone is running with their own agenda.Mine is clear I own a lot of property in the district.If our district is failing I lose money in property values and rent. I am honest with my reasons.I am the best candidate because of the above.By the way, when the teachers union sent me a questionnaire for their possible endorsement I declined it.
I have been successful in my business. I stand my ground regardless of the outcome. I am blunt and to the point. I have never run for any office and only run for school board because problems exist that others are afraid to challenge.I am not going door to door begging for a vote or sending out campaign flyers or spend my way to prevail. But I could. This fight for accountability and results will take the support of this entire community for the next 4 years. Not my begging during a campaign. I am an alternative to status quo. If you are happy with the schools and your property taxes stay the course. Otherwise It is time for you get out of your comfort zone. Believe me, problems do not correct themselves and they sure won't with endorsements from ones with self-serving reasons.
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Age 40
Education BS in Education - Ohio University / Graduate coursework - Ohio State University & Ashland University
Experience Teacher 18 years / Coach - Upward Basketball, SWL Youth Baseball / Have attended most board meeting for 4 years.
Family My wife is a nurse at OSU and we have 3 children that are attending SWL schools.
Religion Christian
One major issue facing SWL schools is overcrowding.  Recently, the SWL community passed a bond issue to construct 2 new schools, which will help to alleviate that problem.  I am a fiscal conservative and will make sure that the district is spending your tax dollars wisely, especially as it pertains to the construction of the 2 new buildings.  While the community did pass the bond issue to improve our district, we did not give the district a blank check and all monies need to be spent appropriately.  A second issue facing the district is the board not including the community in important policy decisions - grade banding is a perfect example.  As I board member, I will fight to make sure the community has a seat at the table for important policy decisions and especially with the design and development of the new buildings.  One last issue facing our district is bullying.  There is no easy solution to this problem, but I the board needs to partner with the community to help solve this.
I am the best-qualified candidate for the SWL School Board because I am an educator of 18 years and a committed community member who will insist that our kids are put first in all decisions that the board makes.  I have a BS in Education from Ohio University and use that degree daily.  I have attended most board meetings for many years and am knowledgeable in the operations of the board and the many important issues that are facing education. Most importantly though, I am an outsider who has questioned many of the SWL board’s actions over the years.  I will be an independent voice that will ask the questions that tax payers and community members would want to have asked.  I will work hard to reunite our community that was so divided after the last bond campaign.   It is time for us to unify and make sure these new schools benefit everyone.  I also will commit to consistently attend meetings and to be visible in the community.  
I am running for Southwest Licking School Board to make a difference for our kids and community.  I am the proud parent of 3 children who attend SWL schools and as someone who has coached our kids in Upward Basketball and SWL Youth Baseball, it is clear that SWL is the backbone of our community.  There is a lot of great stuff going on here and I am running to be a continued part of that success.  It is my goal to build upon our strong foundation and to make improvements that will continue to allow our students, teachers, athletes, and programs to thrive and to make our community proud.  I want to see the school board become more community friendly and involve the community with more of what they do.  I need your help to make that happen.  I am asking for your vote on November 7 and would greatly appreciate your support!  You can find out more about me and my platform on my Facebook page:  John Vincent for SWL Schools.
Age 67
Education 2 years at Ohio State University.
Experience In my 24th year on the SWL School Board.
Family Mary-Jo, My wife of 40 years and Daughter Hillary and Son Ian.
Religion Protestant.
We just recently passed a levy to build and remodel which will help in our over crowding problem we now have. When elected, I will help over see the up coming projects and help in assuring we get the most for our money. The board needs to always be looking ahead and planning for our future and growth. Keeping up with the technology and providing the best facilities for our kids is also important.
I was born and raised in this community and graduated from Watkins in 1969. My parents Nip and Jetty graduated from Pataskala High School in 1948 and 1949. Both my children graduated from Watkins and my wife Mary-Jo Zeune is in her 25th year teaching in our district. My heart and soul are here in this community and I want to be able to make a difference in our community by serving on the School Board.
I proudly wear my 1970 Big Ten Championship ring I received while playing football at the "The Ohio State University" under the direction of Woody Hayes. One saying I will never forget from Woody was "If Not Me Then Who". Of course he was talking about making the tackle or the big play. But that saying has stuck with me and that is why I am running for School Board. If Not Me Then Who? I believe that with my life time experience living in this district and my passion for doing what is best for our District and Kids I am the best candidate for our District.
Voter's Guide