Centerville school board election pits challengers against incumbents

Three first-time candidates are facing as many incumbents for a trio of seats on the Centerville City Schools Board of Education this fall.  NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

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Three first-time candidates are facing as many incumbents for a trio of seats on the Centerville City Schools Board of Education this fall. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

CENTERVILLE — Three first-time candidates are facing as many incumbents for a trio of Centerville City Schools Board of Education seats on the ballot this fall.

Lysa Kosins, Dawn McGuire and Heather Schultz are campaigning as one ticket, as are John Doll, Dr. David Roer and Megan Sparks.

The incumbents say they “bring enormous experience and understanding of how our schools will continue to succeed,” qualities they say their opponents lack.

The challengers say the district needs a board “that is accountable, transparent, and willing to communicate openly” and “empower parents’ voices.”

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Centerville schools have cut teaching jobs, and started a diversity, equity and inclusion program in recent years.

The incumbents voted last year to approve the diversity plan, which aims “to empower our community of learners with knowledge, skills and empathy to effectively engage a diverse world,” records show.

The challengers “will not allow any curriculum to be taught…that teaches that one group of people is different than any other group of people,” including ones that “pretend to be about ‘diversity and inclusion’.”

The district’s COVID-19 policies have also been debated. The district now requires masks for all K-12 students, staff members and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, while in district facilities.

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The incumbents have backed administrative actions as they have changed based on public health recommendations.

The challengers promote parental choice on the mask issue, regardless of vaccination status.

Those winning in November will be elected to four-year terms. The following, in alphabetical order, are brief profiles on each candidate.

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John Doll

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

John Doll

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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John Doll

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

John Doll

Doll, 70, is an attorney who has served more than 25 years on the board during two stints, the first from 1992-2013. He was appointed to a vacant seat in May 2017 and elected by voters that fall.

Funding “is always the most important issue” for Centerville schools as the state “has failed to fund Ohio public schools properly and then imposes unfunded mandates that cost districts even more money, causing more tax levies,” he said.

Doll said the school district could improve by providing more digital technology training “at all levels and age appropriate” while asking the state to reduce the number of required tests to be able to offer “more educational opportunities in critical thinking and problem solving.”

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Lysa Kosins

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Lysa Kosins

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Lysa Kosins

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Lysa Kosins

Kosins, 44, is a Centerville High School graduate and the owner of a small business in the city. She has two children in the district and previously worked in the textbook publishing and educational software industry.

The University of Dayton grad said spending and declining academics are the most important issues facing Centerville.

“Math and reading scores have declined significantly and academic incentives are being removed,” Kosins said.

Cuts in special education and Advanced Placement programs “have negatively affected” the district, she said.

Expanding college credit and work programs to include more career options would help students, as would working with trade schools, Kosins said.

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Dawn McGuire

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Dawn McGuire

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Dawn McGuire

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Dawn McGuire

McGuire, 45, is a small business owner and a Centerville resident of more than 20 years who has a daughter at CHS. She has been involved with school athletic teams, the PTO and student fundraisers.

McGuire said she will work to improve communication with the board, expanding the time, frequency and format for input.

“Decisions should always take into consideration input from all stakeholders and when announced, should include the background and reasoning,” she said.

“We have incredible teachers, staff and administrators…who prepare graduates for life after high school,” McGuire said, noting she would aim “improve the performance metrics that have declined overall in recent years.”

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Dr. David Roer

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Dr. David Roer

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Dr. David Roer

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Dr. David Roer

Roer, 66, is a pediatrician who has served on the board since 1994. He has gained the most votes of any candidate in all but one of the five terms he was re-elected to since 2001, Montgomery County records show.

Roer backed the construction of the Primary Village schools and chaired the Alcohol and Drug Free Task Force and Committee.

Finances are the district’s top issue, he said, as Centerville gets “very little help from the state and continued unfunded mandates hurt our district.”

To help better prepare graduates, the district must “continue to improve upon the foundations of having students prepared for success, both academically for higher education and in working with them in our career education programs,” he said.

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Heather Schultz

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Heather Schultz

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Heather Schultz

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Heather Schultz

Schultz, 47, has a home-based health and wellness business, and has lived in Centerville 12 years. She is a graduate of Kettering Fairmont High School and attended Wright State University.

Schultz is a mother of five — including a Centerville grad and two current CHS students — and has been involved in Centerville youth sports.

Schultz cited falling test scores and a lack of fiscal transparency as the most important issues facing the district.

She said the district’s College Credit Plus options “have created a great platform to build on for continued education and should be expanded upon. Equal promotion of trade skills and careers would benefit our community at large and encourage entrepreneurial ventures.”

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Megan Sparks

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Megan Sparks

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Megan Sparks

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Megan Sparks

Sparks, 41, won election to the board in 2017, finishing third in a five-candidate race for three seats. She is a CHS grad and has to five children, four of whom are enrolled in the district.

Sparks has a master’s degree in early childhood education and has volunteered in a variety of ways, including coaching and support roles for Centerville’s Special Olympics sports.

She was a founding member of the Elks with Special Needs Support Group and is the adviser for the board’s student representatives.

“We can help prepare each generation…by further developing programs that allow students more career experiences during their school years so that they can make better education choices in the future,” Sparks said.


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