Meet the Candidates
Katie Redmond, Schoolcraft PTO president has issued an invitation to voters in the Schoolcraft school district to a meet the Candidates Night. It is set for Monday, October 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Each of the five candidates will be asked a series of questions that deal with how the schools are run and then given a set amount of time to answer. Questions will also include reasons why the five are running for the two seats to be filled and then the session will be open to questions from the public. Sue Moore of the South County News will be the moderator. The Meet the Candidates Night is sponsored by the Schoolcraft PTO, headed by Katie Redmond.
All seats on the Schoolcraft Board of Education will be filled Nov. 8. Board members are paid $10 per month.
Bruce Vincent, Schoolcraft School Board, challenger
Bruce Vincent, age 60, married to Diane; three children: Amy, Shawn and Matt. We have three grandchildren: Randy, Desi and Bowie. We have been residents of the Kalamazoo area for 36 years and Schoolcraft for 12 years.
I have a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from MSU. After 25 years of experience at Eaton, my wife and I started The Therapy Place, an occupational therapy clinic in Kalamazoo. We provide therapy services to children and adults to enable them to live their lives to the fullest.
In 2013, I started the Kids Hope USA program at the Schoolcraft Elementary and Middle Schools. Working with teachers and staff, the program provides weekly mentoring sessions to meet the emotional, social and academic needs of at-risk students. Mentors are members of the Schoolcraft United Methodist Church who commit to meet with their mentee for the entire year. This program is an example of how local residents can give back to our community without any additional financial or managerial cost to the district.
Additionally, I have had the privilege of being a substitute teacher, Sunday School teacher, Battle of the Books coach and Girls on the Run volunteer. I am also a member of the Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo, which provides a variety of community projects for our children.
I am looking for additional opportunities to give back to our community to improve the lives of our children and families. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to become a member of the Schoolcraft School Board. Schoolcraft has an exceptional school system due to the dedication of its teachers, staff, families and the community. If elected, I will continue the tradition of academic excellence for every student in Schoolcraft while using every available resource in an effective and fiscally responsible manner.
Jennifer Schug Gottschalk, Schoolcraft School Board, recently appointed to take Matt DeVoe’s elected seat
My name is Jennifer (Schug) Gottschalk, I am 45 yrs. old and have been married to my husband, Joel, for 10 years. We have a 5 ½ year old daughter, Payton, who is in Kindergarten at Schoolcraft, and I have a 17-year-old step-son, Jadyn. I was born, raised and graduated from Schoolcraft Schools in 1989. I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture in 1993. I was a Sales Rep for an agricultural chemical company for 5 years before I returned to the Schug family farm in late 1999. I currently co-own and operate our 2,700-acre seed corn farm with my brother, Jason Schug.
My father, Bernie Schug, was on the Schoolcraft School board for 20 plus years. I feel that it is now my time to lend a hand and serve my community. My daughter just started Kindergarten this fall so I have a vested interest in this school system and how it is run. I hope that my close ties to the community will help to bridge a divide that has been growing over the tough decisions our school board has made the past few years. My number one concern is our children and the education they receive here at Schoolcraft Community Schools, so my focus will be what is BEST for the Kids!
My mission, just like that of our school system, is educating and empowering each student to be successful in life!
Jill VanDyken Hunt, Schoolcraft School Board, challenger
I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the Schoolcraft Community Schools Board of Education. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jill VanDyken Hunt. My husband Don and I are the proud parents of our two children – Sienna, 7, a second grader and Jamison, 6, a kindergartner at Schoolcraft Elementary School. I am an honest, loyal and hardworking individual who takes pride in my community.
I grew up in Schoolcraft, and am a graduate of the SHS Class of 1989. After graduation I attended Eastern Michigan University where I received my Bachelor of Science degree. I returned to the Kalamazoo area and have worked in the architectural and construction industry for the past 22 years. I currently work full time at Stryker Instruments as a Project Manager. In my role I am responsible for managing facility construction and renovation projects and keeping them in scope, on schedule and within budget.
I first became interested in the Board of Education when my family and I relocated to Schoolcraft in 2013. We chose Schoolcraft not only to be close to family, but also because we wanted to give our children the opportunity to grow up in a small tight-knit community with a great school system. I am running on the premise of providing open and honest lines of communication between the Board/School Administration and the community. I feel that I can provide a fresh perspective to the board, and represent the community well as a parent of young children in the district. I believe that together we can deliver long term results that will benefit our children, our teachers, and our community as a whole.
Kurt Wagner, Schoolcraft School Board, challenger
My name is Kurt Wagner. I am 36 years old and a candidate for a seat on the Schoolcraft Board of Education. Both my wife, Hilary (Knobloch) Wagner, and I are graduates of Schoolcraft Schools, and we have chosen to raise our children, Wyatt (5) and Harper (3), in this district because we are proud of the school system and community. As a result, we have a vested interest in ensuring the continued excellence of the educational system.
Based upon my career experiences and education, I am confident that I can be a valuable member of the Board and can make significant contributions. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Kalamazoo College and a Master of Science degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Loyola University Chicago. I currently serve as the Vice President of Human Resources for EmploymentGroup and participate in several professional organizations including the Health and Human Resources Committee of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
As a former student-athlete at Schoolcraft and also on the collegiate stage, I value the importance of teamwork and collaboration to reach goals and achieve excellence, which would serve well if I were elected.
I am passionate about being able to serve the community that afforded me so many opportunities and that I now live in with my family. I can think of no better way to give back than to invest my time, energy, and knowledge to continue to strengthen our school system. I want to help ensure that our students are provided opportunities, resources, and knowledge that will allow them to make positive contributions to society.
Schoolcraft has an excellent reputation and strong legacy and I want to do my part to ensure that continues for future generations.
Skip Fox, 34 years on the Board of Education of Schoolcraft Community Schools, 34 years incumbent
Occupation: assistant plant manager/sales and equipment Quality Liquid Feeds. I have been a Schoolcraft resident all my life, graduating in 1964. Married to my gorgeous wife Jackie for 49 years who is also a Schoolcraft graduate and is co-owner of Cher-Rena’s. We have two sons Matt and Marc, employed by the school district in maintainance and transportation. Of our 8 grandchildren two have graduated from Schoolcraft and the other 6 are attending Schoolcraft schools.
One of the great honors of being a board member is handing out diplomas to our graduating seniors. I have had the great fortune to have handed my sons their diplomas as well as their sons their diplomas.
At Schoolcraft schools we are always looking for ways to improve the education of our students while keeping within our budget. We have one to one K-12 iPads, students attend Kazoo Math and Science Center, virtual class room where students can interact with students and instructors from off site locations, for classes not offered at Schoolcraft.
In house AP classes, dual inrollment at KVCC and WMU, and now a 5th year senior program that allows our students to earn up to 32 hours of college credits at KVCC. Our students achieve at or near the top in athletics, the arts, music, choral, having won many state honors including academic all-state. Maintaining our building including the recent building consolidation to better align our classes helping to lower our operational costs while keeping our class room sizes.
Having served 34 years on the board I am very proud of our students, parents, teachers and staff making Schoolcraft a great place to learn and live. Schoolcraft schools, educating and empowering each student to be successful in life.