Twelve apply for 1 Kettering school board seat; decision Tuesday

Fairmont High School in Kettering.
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Fairmont High School in Kettering.

A dozen people interviewed for a single opening on Kettering’s school board, and the board is expected to select a new member at its 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting at district offices, 3750 Far Hills Ave.

Ten men and two women interviewed in the past week, including a former principal, a former superintendent, attorneys, business executives and others. The spot came open when Edward Breen, who was elected in November, decided not to serve, citing time conflicts with a family business.

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The other school board members — Lori Simms Parks, Jennifer Kane, Jennifer Gilmore and Jim Ambrose — will choose the new school board member, who will serve through 2019. The final two years of Breen’s term will be determined by voters in the November 2019 election.

Here are descriptions of the 12 people who applied, based on the materials they submitted to the school board and other information:

** Robert Barklay: He worked as a manufacturing engineer for NCR and General Electric, among other companies. Barklay also served in the Navy during the Korean War.

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** Tony Bruzzese: He is an attorney serving as legal counsel for Evenflo Company, and his undergraduate degree from Miami University is in secondary education. Bruzzese has two children currently attending Kettering City Schools and his wife teaches at Fairmont High School.

** Andrew Collins: He started working in supply chain management and systems support for Kettering Health Network last year after other jobs in information technology. Collins said he is a product of, and parent in Kettering schools.

** Darren Cooper: He is a retired financial services professional, including 15 years at American Express Financial Advisors. Cooper, whose daughter graduated from Kettering schools, finished fourth in November's school board race.

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** Chuck Havener: He has been marketing director for Reynolds and Reynolds for 18 years, and his six children include three Fairmont graduates and three current students. Havener co-founded the Kettering Education Foundation and served as president of the Fairmont Athletic Boosters.

** Toby Henderson: He is an attorney focusing on business law with Sebaly, Shillito + Dyer. Henderson's wife is a special education coordinator for Kettering schools, and they have three daughters attending school in the district.

** Patricia Higgins: She is an independent consultant on grant projects, after serving 20 years in the city of Kettering's planning and community development departments. Higgins' two children graduated from Kettering City Schools.

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** Felicite Lashley-Lilly: She has been a judicial assistant to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy O'Connell for eight years. She attended Kettering schools and now has a kindergarten son in the district.

** Michael Oaster: He has been a professor of paramedic and EMS classes at Sinclair Community College for 15 years and was president of Sinclair's faculty assembly from 2014-16. Oaster has two children in Kettering schools.

** Jim Schoenlein: He is Kettering schools' former superintendent and high school principal. The district ranked very high in student growth when Schoenlein was superintendent, but he resigned in 2014 after the school board made multiple accusations against him.

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** Frank Spolrich: He is a retired Kettering teacher, coach, principal and personnel director, who also served on Kettering city council. Spolrich currently supervises student teachers at Wright State, serves on the Kettering Parks Foundation board, and as a trustee for Holiday at Home.

** Stephen White: He is a small business consultant and vice president of operations for Plan Canvas, a business consulting company. White has two children currently in Kettering schools.

In last fall’s election, only four people ran for three spots on the board, with Julie Gilmore and Jim Ambrose being re-elected, and Breen edging out Cooper for the final spot.

Kettering City Schools consistently ranks in the top third of local schools on state test results. The district is undergoing many facilities renovations after voters passed a levy in 2016, and is expanding career tech offerings at its high school.