Serving Vicksburg, Schoolcraft and Surrounding Areas
Meet Your Candidates Night Set in Schoolcraft
The South County News and the Schoolcraft Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) are co-sponsoring a Schoolcraft school board “Meet Your Candidates” night on Tuesday, October 21, at 6 p.m. in the Schoolcraft Library’s community room.
There are three seats up for election and five candidates who have all promised to be present to answer questions from a moderator and meet the public afterwards for a social hour.
Two of the candidates are incumbents, Kathy Mastenbrook and Jeannette Marshall. Three others running are Ryan Ledlow, Steve Sutton, and Jason Walther. Two long-time members of the school board, David Krum and Skip Fox, chose not to run for the six year term. Returning members not up for re-election are Darby Fetzer, Matt Devoe, and Mike Rochholz, board president.
All the candidates have been involved in the school district in various ways. During the event, there will be an open discussion of how each candidate proposes to take the school district in one direction or another, according to Bobbie VanZile, PTO president. It will be a question and answer session with each person given a set amount of time to give his/her answer. The moderator will be Sue Moore, editor and publisher of the South County News.
The public is encouraged to attend and judge for themselves who is best qualified to lead the school district for the next six years.
Schoolcraft School Board
Kathy Mastenbrook – Schoolcraft School Board My husband Mark and I have been married for 25 years and residents of Schoolcraft for 23 years. Our sons Aaron, 25, and Collin, 20, are graduates of Schoolcraft Community Schools. I have served on the Board of Education for 17 years and have been involved in the Friday Backpack program for the past five years. I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and am currently employed with Ayres-Rice Insurance. I am running for the Board of Education because I have a passion for education, and truly love serving the students and families of Schoolcraft. I believe that a strong school system promotes economic growth and is vital to our community. Schoolcraft Community Schools educates and empowers students to be successful in life. My desire is to enact and enhance policies that continue to move our district forward and promote student achievement and success.
Jeannette Marshall – Schoolcraft School Board My husband Dan and I have been married for 23 years and have lived in Schoolcraft for 20 years. We have two sons: Jacob, 20, who graduated from Schoolcraft and is now a junior at WMU, and Adam, 17, who is a junior at Schoolcraft High School. I am currently an office manager at a dental office in Portage. I attended Tift College and Georgia State University. I have served the last four and a half years on the Schoolcraft School Board. During that time, there have been many positive changes. We hired a new superintendent and new administrators in the early elementary/elementary, middle school, and high school. We have realigned our mission/vision statement and district goals. The addition of Data Wise, AP and STEAM classes have intentionally advanced the accountability and rigor in our curriculum. We’ve integrated key programs designed to empower students socially and educationally, which include “Leader In Me” at the elementary and “Capturing Kids Hearts” in the middle school and high school. With the recent procurement of a grant, we’ve been able to keep pace with neighboring districts by adding one-on-one technology in the high school this year.
Jason Walther – Schoolcraft School Board I am an experienced and passionate leader who believes in delivering excellence through great teams. I lead a successful multi-state fourth-generation family farm. My wife and I moved to Schoolcraft for one reason, the schools. Jen is a teacher who currently stays at home raising our five young children. My interest in seeking election is for our kids. We must educate and equip our children to succeed in this rapidly changing world economy. I love tradition and small communities. I am committed to listening to you and representing our collective interests if I become an Eagle board member.
Ryan Ledlow – Schoolcraft School Board I am a 1993 graduate of Schoolcraft High School. I received a BA in history and secondary education after attending MSU, KVCC, and WMU. I have a master’s degree in education from Marygrove College. I served 16 years as a classroom teacher. I have coached football, basketball, and track at various levels for the past 20 years. Wife: Kyla Ledlow. Sons: Caleb Piper a senior at Schoolcraft High School, and Riley Piper, a freshman at Schoolcraft High School. I have a deep commitment and gratitude toward Schoolcraft Schools and the people of Schoolcraft. It began in my elementary years as a water boy for my Dad’s football teams, but as I grew up, I began to grasp what truly makes Schoolcraft and our schools such a special place. As a student-athlete, and eventually as an employee of Schoolcraft Schools, I can’t help but realize the immense dedication of not only the teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff of our schools, but also the care and passion of the people in our town toward our school system. I hope to return the favor and be a worthy representative of our community as a member of the Schoolcraft School Board. It is time to do my part, and help continue the tradition of excellence at Schoolcraft Schools.
Steve Sutton – Schoolcraft School Board I am excited to be running for the Schoolcraft School board. I am a 1990 graduate of Schoolcraft Public schools and look forward to seeing my kids graduate from Schoolcraft as well. My family and I currently live in the village and enjoy the convenience of being near the schools and my job. As the owner of a small business, I have always embraced the efforts that are made from everyone’s contributions. I consider myself to be patient and courteous and most of all, a great listener. I plan to represent the community openly and honestly with patience and be a voice of reason for our historically great district.
Schoolcraft Village Council
Todd Carlin – Schoolcraft Village Council My wife, Kymm, and I moved to Schoolcraft in 1996 because we liked the pleasant small town atmosphere and the good schools for our two children. We have enjoyed living in this family-oriented community, and have met many wonderful people. We both like to give back to our community. I chose to run for the Village Board as a way to serve the people of the village, and as a way to be involved in issues that I care about such as the village sidewalk program and the South County Fire Authority. If there is one thing I could change, it would be to have more people show an interest in our village government.
Mike Rochholz – Schoolcraft Village Council I have served on the finance, policy, and curriculum committees to name a few. Prior to serving on the school board, I was involved with PTO, and served as president for three of those years. I was also actively involved in Junior Achievement, Project Charlie, Project Graduation, Teacher Appreciation, helping in the classroom and more. My background in local government, educational boards and public service is extensive. As for local government, I have served as the clerk of Prairie Ronde Township for four years, and have also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for Prairie Ronde Township, Schoolcraft Township, and the Village of Schoolcraft. I am currently serving the Village of Schoolcraft as an appointed council member. I have completed a Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellowship at Michigan State University, and understand the interactions and connections of all facets of government, and how all of those connections may provide opportunities for possible consolidation of services, growth, and strength of organizations. Additionally, I currently serve in educational leadership roles as a local school board member and board president in my fourteenth year with Schoolcraft Community Schools, and as a Board Director for the Michigan Association of School Boards.
Scot Dailey – Schoolcraft Village Council My wife and I have lived in the village since 1989. We moved here because we liked the small town feel of Schoolcraft and its history. My wife and I enjoy the friendly people, and the small town shopping opportunities. I have always had an interest in local government, and in 2002, I stepped in to fill a vacant seat on the Village Council, and have served on it ever since. In the 12 years that I have served, I have seen many positive improvements in the Village including the streetscape project, improvements to Burch Park including new playground equipment, infrastructure improvements including the removal of the water main on Grand Street to the west side of the street, and many major street projects. Most of these projects were funded by grant money making them even better projects for all of us to enjoy. Serving on the board has given me the opportunity to become more educated in municipal operations, and created a greater understanding of our operations. Decisions that are made at the council level are not always easy, but they are made with the intention of providing the best possible services and programs to the community.
Dorothy Clark – Schoolcraft Village Council I am Dorothy J. Clark, a Schoolcraft resident for 47 years. My three children graduated from Schoolcraft High School. I was a bookkeeper for 40 years. Since retirement, I have served as meal site coordinator at the Community Center for four years. I’ve been a hospice volunteer for seven years, and I’ve served on the Village Council the past five years. I am running for a second term as village trustee because I care what happens in our village and to have a share in the decisions affecting our community.
Keith F. Gunnett – Schoolcraft Village Council President I have lived in the Village of Schoolcraft since 1979. My wife and I chose to live here because we liked the small town feel of Schoolcraft. We were impressed by the friendliness of the community, and wanted our children to attend Schoolcraft Community Schools. In 2002, I became a member of the Village Council serving as village trustee. In addition to serving as trustee, I have and still do serve on a variety of committees including the Planning Commission, the DDA, South County Sewer and Water Authority and many more. I consider it an honor to serve as Village President, and I am committed to making decisions for the community in the best interests of the business and residential communities in all matters that are presented to me.