Bethel voters meet BOE candidates

By Cecilia Fox -

BETHEL TOWNSHIP — On Tuesday night, Bethel Township voters had a chance to hear from the four candidates running for two seats on the school board.

Only Lori Sebastian will appear on the ballot, as the other three are write-in candidates. Fisher reminded voters to ask for a list of write-in candidates at the polls.

The Bethel Township Historical Society hosted the event, and vice president Dave Fisher acted as moderator. Candidates discussed a series of issues before taking questions submitted by the audience.

Sebastian told voters that she is hoping to take her involvement in the district to the next level by running for board. As a parent, she has volunteered for several school organizations and chaired the building levy.

Her experience managing the building levy committee, and her love of math, inspired her to pursue a State of Ohio School Treasurer’s License, she said.

“For me, Bethel is about community. I think it is about people and what we can accomplish together,” Sebastian said. “It is fundamental to my philosophy as a prospective board member.”

Jacob King, who works as the Fire Chief for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Bethel Township Clark County, disclosed that his job will be taking him out of the area for an extended period of time, during which he will miss 10 of his term’s 48 meetings.

“It will be up to you whether you feel that’s too significant to continue. So I thought that I would still stay on the ballot and still press forward with my commitment to the community,” he explained.

If elected, King said he plans to ensure that the district is fiscally responsible while reducing the ratio of students to teachers. He also discussed his experience with large building projects as an employee of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the importance of communication between parents and the schools.

“The community must have a great great link of communication with the board and the administrative staff,” King said, stressing the importance of openness and honesty.

Todd Wright also works at Wright-Patterson with the Department of Defense. He decided to run as a write-in because he saw an opportunity after the election petitions of two current board members were nullified by the Board of Elections.

“Everything I do is for my kids,” he said. “I saw an opportunity to make their lives better.”

He has experience working on difficult projects and enjoys bringing people together, he said.

“One of the areas that I deal with is change. Change management is a very hard task and change is what Bethel Schools is facing right now.”

His goals if elected include accommodating the rapid growth of the student population, improving communication between the district and the community, and ensuring successful completion of the new construction on time and on budget.

Greg Brueckman said that his kids are his true motivation for running.

“I want to see this school stay strong for them,” he said. “The school is the backbone of this community.”

Brueckman works at Hobart Brothers in Troy and has volunteered as a coach in the community for several years. He has experience in project management, which he believes will be an asset as a board member.

He also stressed the importance of communication, which he sees as a building block to any organization. He said that successful communication is vital for the school district.

He also touched on the district’s growing student population, calling for diversity while keeping the Bethel tradition strong.

“Bethel is changing,” he said. “We need plans in place to address this issue.”

By Cecilia Fox