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Most school board members running win races

November 9, 2011
By Evan Bevins - The Marietta Times ( , The Marietta Times

Even though most local board of education incumbents were re-elected Tuesday, there will be new blood on four school boards.

An incumbent and newcomer were voted on to the Belpre, Fort Frye, Frontier and Warren boards, while unopposed incumbents returned to the Wolf Creek Local and Marietta City boards.

The highest vote-getter in the Warren Local district was Barlow resident John Nichols, with 2,286, followed by current board President Debbie West with 2,065. Both said they are ready to deal with district issues, including aging facilities and limited funds to address them.

"I'll continue to work hard to find solutions to our facilities issues and the challenges we face in the district," West said.

Nichols said he wants to bring back high school busing, which was eliminated for this year as a way to save money for building repairs.

"We need to get the high school buses back on the road and see if we can't get our students and parents and grandparents back to some kind of normalcy in their life," he said.

Fact Box

The vote

Board of education results

Fort Frye Local (two)

Charles Schilling II - 1,318.

Kevin L. Worthington - 1,304.

Rodney West - 616.

Frontier Local (two)

Ricky L. Kroll Jr. - 892.

Justin Hoff - 720.

Ronald D. Warren - 676.

Jennifer Ramsey - 660.

Warren Local (two)

John M. Nichols - 2,286.

Debbie West - 2,065.

Ray Smith - 1,864.

Ray Stevens - 1,683.

Elizabeth Silvus (write-in) - 303.

Source: Washington County Board of Elections.

Incumbent John Rauch did not seek another term.

Bloomfield resident Ricky Kroll Jr. is the newest member of the Frontier Local Board of Education, receiving 890 votes. Incumbent Justin Hoff, appointed earlier this year to fill a vacancy, won the other seat with 720 votes.

Incumbent Kent Hall did not run again.

One of the main issues facing the Frontier board in the new year will be the decision on whether to close Lawrence Elementary School, a proposal that has generated some controversy in the district.

"I'm not too sold that shutting down a school is the greatest thing," Kroll said. "But if you close it and you lose X amount of students, are you really going to gain anything?"

Hoff did not return a call seeking comment.

In Fort Frye, Lowell resident Kevin Worthington was elected to his second full term on the board.

"I appreciate the support for sure ... and that (voters) have confidence that we can keep our district moving forward," he said.

Worthington will be joined on the board by Beverly resident Charles Schilling II. Both men received more than 1,300 votes.

Schilling will replace board member Tammy Bates, who decided not to run for re-election. He said he's ready for the challenge.

"It's an important role to have within a community, and I think the biggest thing is handling the taxpayers' money in a responsible way," he said.

While Schilling won't take office until January, he has been invited by current board members to sit in on executive session interviews with district treasurer candidates during a special meeting on Thursday. The district is currently operating with both an interim treasurer and superintendent. The search for the superintendent is expected to begin after the first of the year.

In Belpre, incumbent Michael Wile was elected, along with challenger Pat Taylor. Current board President Bobbi Simmons ran as a write-in but received just 179 votes.

Don Atkins, Bill Hutchinson and Greg Gault will return to the Marietta City Board of Education, and Hugh Arnold, Neil Huck, Tom Kearns and Joe Campbell will continue to serve on the Wolf Creek Local board.



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