Four running for Tipp City school board

Tippecanoe High School. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Tippecanoe High School. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

TIPP CITY - Four people are seeking election Nov. 2 to two seats that will open at year’s end on the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Board of Education.

Neither incumbent - Corine Doll and Joellen Heatherly - chose to seek re-election. Five candidates initially were certified for the race but one - B.J. Bethel - withdrew last month.

The remaining candidates are Amber Drum, Richard Mains, Don Petsch and Lydia Pleiman.

All candidates said the board needs to work better together to address needs of students, staff and the community. The election comes as a citizens group works to collect signatures on petitions seeking the legal removal of the board’s president and vice president. Neither is up for election this year.

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Amber Drum

Amber Drum
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Amber Drum

Amber Drum, 39, is a former educator who completed student teaching in the Tipp City schools. Now a travel agent, she and her husband, Chris, have two children.

“I want to help change the narrative in this community. I believe that a board of education must be responsive and receptive to parents, teachers, staff, students and the community at large,” Drum said. “I believe that I can help put some trust back into the school board and help to set our school district up for a path to success.”

Drum said she wants to take measures to stop the departure of staff and to work toward more transparency for taxpayer regarding district finances.

“Small details show our staff, teachers and administrators that we appreciate all the hard work they do for our children,” Drum said. “Small details show our staff, teachers and administrators that we appreciate all the hard work they do for our children.”

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Rick Mains

Rick Mains
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Rick Mains

Rick Mains, 69, served on the board of education from 1991 to 1995. He and his wife, Hazel, have two grown children and nine grandchildren. He is a certified public accountant.

“I have been a resident of this community for 45 years. The reason we moved to Tipp City was because of the excellent reputation of our schools. I care about our kids and grandkids so much,” Mains said. “I want to unite our board in an effort to seek solutions to creating a positive environment for all of our teachers and administrative staff.”

Mains said the board need to find a way to communicate effectively with staff and administrators and address older facilities.

“Our teachers are a treasure chest of useful information when it comes to many issues discussed by the board,” he said. “Some of our buildings are experiencing problems with temperature control resulting in very uncomfortable environments for our students and teachers. I would like to have our board find a solution.”

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Don Petsch

Don Petsch
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Don Petsch

Don Petsch, 42, is a manufacturers’ representative specializing in factory automation and abrasive machining. He has been married for 21 years and has one daughter.

“I think it’s time to get back to the basics of why we all love this town. We moved here a decade ago for the sole purpose of raising our daughter here. She graduates this year,” Petsch said. “I’ve watched the current strife within the board of education and I’ve come to the conclusion that we owe it to future generations to have that same great opportunity we were afforded in this town.”

Petsch said there needs to be more support of local educators and a long-term facilities plan the community will embrace.

“As a parent, I believe we deserve a voice, but at the same time we need to support our administration and educators as much as possible and only use a public forum as a last resort to solve real problems,” Petsch said.

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Lydia Pleiman

Lydia Pleiman
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Lydia Pleiman

Lydia Pleiman, 34, was raised in Tipp City and is a metrologist and part-time apiarist. She has a fiancé, Brian.

“I want to ensure a strong and stable future for my children and the community at large. A strong future requires stability from the school board, through the administrators, teachers, parents and community,” Pleiman said. “Serving as a member of a school board is a great way to create a shared vision for academic achievements by establishing a rigorous culture of learning, cooperation and an expectation of high academic standards.”

The district needs to address core issues leading to staff departures, she said. “This will involve a lot of non-judgmental listening and proactive steps to retain top talent,” Pleiman said.

The impact of the last 18 months on students’ educational timeline needs evaluated to ensure they are on track, she added, “If any shortcomings are found in the process, it is incumbent upon us to take early action.”

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