Five vying for 3 seats on Huber Heights School Board

Wayne High School. FILE
Wayne High School. FILE

Huber Heights — Five candidates are vying for three seats on the Huber Heights school board in the November election.

The candidates are Kelly G. Bledsoe, Mark A. Combs, William Harris, Mark Stankiewicz and John D. Wilson. Each one recently discussed key issues they’d address if elected, including better education programs, the district’s finances and new initiatives.

The candidates also discussed “Transcend 2026: A Call to Rise,” the school board’s five-year strategic plan that was adapted in July. It calls for students to be competent in six areas: collaboration, communication, empathy, perseverance, problem solving and critical thinking.

The priority areas, goals and action steps of the strategic plan are the building blocks that will help students become fluent in the six competencies by graduation, district officials said.

Kelly G. Bledsoe

Bledsoe is currently a member of the school board who is running for re-election.

“I cannot think of any more important responsibility than helping the students in our district acquire the knowledge, skills, and thought processes they need for life after graduation,” he said.

Bledsoe said he wants to work with the superintendent and treasurer to implement the five-year strategic plan. That involves steps such as monitoring benchmarks, assessing if the plan is producing the desired results, enacting policies that support the plans and aligning resources with priorities and goals, he said.

He said his experience on the board makes him the best candidate and helps him with decisions the board will have to make in the future.

“As we continue to work through COVID concerns and embark on exciting new initiatives, we need continuity and experienced school board members, including the other incumbents,” Bledsoe said.

He is retired from the Air Force.

Mark A. Combs

Combs is the current school board president.

Service to students, staff and the community is his priority, he said.

“We need to continue being fiscally responsible to keep our taxes down while maximizing what we get out of every dollar that comes in,” Combs said. “We need to continue improving the quality of our education for all students.”

Combs noted he and the school board previously worked to get the district out from a potential state takeover. He said the district has constructed new buildings under budget and reduced the debt of the construction project by another $11.4 million.

“Educational programs and services have been restored while working within our available funding,” Combs said.

He also suggested that the city council and the school board should be working more closely together.

“Student and staff safety, fiscal responsibility, and broader educational opportunities for our students continue to be my priorities and focus,” he said.

Combs works as a product line director for Inteva Products, LLC.

William Harris. Courtesy of Huber Heights School Board.

William Harris. Courtesy of Huber Heights School Board.
William Harris. Courtesy of Huber Heights School Board.

William Harris

Harris’ top priority is to see the board’s five-year plan through, he said. That includes some plans for HVAC and plumbing training, skills which the job force says are in high demand, he said.

“Those types of skills, other than the college education, will have them succeed in life,” Harris said.

Harris said his other top priority is to get kids through the year without them getting COVID-19.

“If we can continue to have community support, we will get the kids through this year,” he said.

Harris is currently serving on the school board. He works as a real estate appraiser.

Mark Stankiewicz. Courtesy of Mark Stankiewicz.

Mark Stankiewicz. Courtesy of Mark Stankiewicz.
Mark Stankiewicz. Courtesy of Mark Stankiewicz.

Mark Stankiewicz

Stankiewicz is running for a seat on the school board because he wants to make a difference, he said.

“I have a strong passion for helping people,” he said. “I want to see our children succeed and our community grow, and I will bring this passion and energy with me as a member of the Huber Heights Board of Education.”

Stankiewicz said he will bring a fresh view on the school board and wants to be more transparent with people. He also promised to listen to all perspectives.

If elected, Stankiewicz said his top three priorities are supporting the strategic plan, listening to the whole community and the safety of all staff and students.

“The new strategic plan is full of great ideas and now we need to find ways to implement them,” Stankiewicz said. “We need to ensure that we have the proper funding to take it to completion while still providing top notch education to our children.”

He said he plans to encourage people to attend meetings but also find other ways to get the community engaged.

Stankiewicz currently works for the Greater Dayton RTA.

John Wilson, candidate for Huber Heights School Board. Courtesy of John Wilson.

John Wilson, candidate for Huber Heights School Board. Courtesy of John Wilson.
John Wilson, candidate for Huber Heights School Board. Courtesy of John Wilson.

John D. Wilson

Wilson said when he submitted his petition to run for school board, his goal was to give back to the community. Wilson said he had worked in education for most of his life.

“I know the ins and outs of school both private, public and religious, so I think I have a unique perspective,” he said. “I thought that would help as we work through issues as a school board is going to be dealing with.”

He said he wants to focus on the basics of schooling, getting kids an education.

“I want the I want our kids to be able to learn, but I want them to do it, where they feel safe and not overburdened with worries,” he said.

Wilson said he wants to get more buses up and running within the school’s budget so parents don’t have an additional burden of picking up their kids. He said he would also like to see a “firm but fair” discipline policy.

Wilson is a current substitute teacher, but said he was mostly retired. He was previously a pastor.

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