Four vie for Frankton-Lapel school board seat

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ANDERSON — Three of the seven seats on the Frankton-Lapel Community Schools board of school trustees are on the 2022 General Election ballot, but only one is contested — an at-large seat with four candidates running.
All four are newcomers seeking to join the seven-member board in guiding the district, which currently serves 3,159 students at five schools — Lapel Elementary, Middle and High schools, and Frankton Elementary and Junior/Senior High schools.
Alan Bays currently serves in the contested seat (District 7). Bays (whose son Seth is one of the candidates) is not running again.
The other candidates are Doug Garber, Brittney Hall and George (Geep) Harrison.
Landon Paddock is running unopposed for District 5 (Town of Lapel), to replace member Brian Gill, who is not running again.
Incumbent Bill Brobston is running unopposed to retain his seat (District 6, Town of Frankton).
Districts 1-4 will be on the ballot in two years; each of those seats represents a township in the school district.
Below are responses from candidates in the contested race to a recent Times-Post questionnaire.

Frankton-Lapel Community School Corporation 7 At Large (Vote for one only)

Seth Bays

Seth Bays

Age: 32

Residency: Stony Creek Township

Family: Wife, Molly Bays; son, Wim Bays; daughter, Millie Bays

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Occupation: Fourth-generation farmer with my father, uncle and brother. Owner at AgVision Crop Services LLC.

Have you served on the school board before? If so, for how long?

No.

Why do you want to serve on the school board now?

It is a way for me to serve the community where I was raised. This has always been home to me. As I am raising my own kids now, I want them to have the same opportunities and experiences that I was able to have growing up in Frankton-Lapel Schools.

What do you think are the top three challenges facing Frankton-Lapel Schools?

1. Continuing to provide a safe and productive environment that is focused on learning and maintaining a student’s innocence.

2. Assuring that students are back on track from an inconsistent schedule due to the pandemic.

3. Responsibly planning and investing in school infrastructure that will accommodate a growing community and provide advantages to our students without burdening the taxpayer.

Are there specific actions you’d like to see the school board take to improve Frankton-Lapel Schools? If so, what are they?

We need to take the necessary steps to be sure we never become complacent with where we are as a school corporation and what we offer our students. Making sure we know what is truly going on in our schools on a day-to-day basis and finding ways to constantly improve curriculum, school safety, and the overall quality of instruction we are providing students.

What do you like most about Frankton-Lapel schools?

Frankton-Lapel Schools have the ability to provide large school opportunities with a small school atmosphere. Students can experience a multitude of academic and athletic achievements all with the support of a community that stands behind a tradition of class and integrity.

Why should voters choose you to serve on the board?

As an FLCS board member, I will work with board members and faculty to provide the community a safe and productive learning environment for students. With responsible fiscal planning and level-headed decision making, we can keep our schools and community a desirable place for families to raise their children.

Doug Garber

Doug Garber

Age: 33

Residency: Lapel

Family: Married father of three

Occupation: Engineer

Have you served on the school board before? If so, for how long?

I have never served

Why do you want to serve on the school board now?

Provide transparency of school board actions. Support all students, parents and teachers at FLCS. Work with the board and administration to help keep CRT out of our schools’ curriculum.

What do you think are the top three challenges facing Frankton-Lapel schools?

Transparency, parental involvement, infiltration of CRT, and finding and retaining good teachers.

Are there specific actions you’d like to see the school board take to improve Frankton-Lapel schools? If so, what are they?

Keep the parents informed and involved to help them make informed decisions about their children’s future.

What do you like most about Frankton-Lapel schools?

We have a school that is concerned about our students and communities and would like to build on and continue that in the future.

Why should voters choose you to serve on the board?

Transparency, and the willingness to work on the behalf of all students parents and teachers in our district.

Brittney Hall

Brittney Hall

Age: 34

Residency: Anderson/Jackson Township

Family: Married with two children

Education: Associates degree

Occupation: Chief Deputy, Madison County Clerk’s Office

Have you served on the school board before? If so, for how long?

No

Why do you want to serve on the school board now?

There is an obvious deep and growing division within our society. Having served in local government for 15 years, I have seen these divisions increase and calcify. We have recently seen activists in schools entitle themselves to use children as political actors. I want to ensure this doesn’t happen here.

What do you think are the top three challenges facing Frankton-Lapel schools?

Transparency to parents: Parents should be welcomed into the schools and the classroom while having easy access to their student’s curriculum and learning materials.

Retain/recruit quality teachers: We must find other means for incentives within our limited budget to ensure small class sizes and encourage a community that will attract teachers.

Indiana Voucher Program: We must adapt and become competitive so our students are not drawn to other districts and in so doing attract families from other communities. This will bring more revenue for our schools.

Are there specific actions you’d like to see the school board take to improve Frankton-Lapel schools? If so, what are they?

I would like to see FLCS focus better on the non-scholarly students by providing more vocational/tradesman opportunities to better prepare our students for a life after high school. I want our children oriented towards our communities, so the next generation of entrepreneurs will be building, employing and living here. I want to encourage transparency toward parents and provide greater opportunities for involvement in their children’s schooling, not just extracurriculars. We are at the beginning of a new paradigm, we need to retrain our children on responsible use of the internet more than just social media and gaming.

What do you like most about Frankton-Lapel schools?

I love that our small rural communities have a place to gather with past generations to encourage our children to succeed.

Why should voters choose you to serve on the board?

Voters should vote for me if they want transparency in their children’s schooling. Voters should choose me if they want their children to be more prepared in a quickly changing world which might need less universities and more entrepreneurs.

George (Geep) Harrison

George (Geep) Harrison

Age: 45

Residency: Frankton

Family: Wife, Krista; sons Jameson, 23, and Joseph, 23; daughters Harper, 14, and HaleyGrace, 12

Education: Bachelor’s degree in biology from Anderson University.

Occupation: Blood Bank Supervisor at Community Hospital Anderson. Worked at CHA since 2000

Have you served on the school board before? If so, for how long?

No

Why do you want to serve on the school board now? (50-word limit)

My wife Krista currently teaches sixth grade at Frankton Elementary, daughter Harper is a freshman at Frankton High School, and daughter HaleyGrace is a seventh-grader at Frankton Jr High School. Their involvement motivates me to desire the best interests of both the staff and students within the corporation.

What do you think are the top three challenges facing Frankton-Lapel schools?

1. Continuing to improve upon the quality of education of all students within the corporation.

2. Making sure the schools provide an environment in which its teachers want to continue to work. Loss of teacher experience makes it difficult to maintain the quality of education noted above.

3. Decisions regarding improvements upon existing structures and/or the construction of new schools. Need to do what’s best in the eyes of the district taxpayer.

Are there specific actions you’d like to see the school board take to improve Frankton-Lapel schools? If so, what are they?

I think the best thing the corporation and its board can do at the current time is to examine the effect that the large number of out-of-district transfers in to the schools is having on the three challenges described above. Are class sizes becoming too large? Are teachers being far too overwhelmed by this? Do district taxpayers want to fund construction projects benefiting a large number of out-of-district students?

What do you like most about Frankton-Lapel schools?

I like the small town feel of the schools, and the accountability of both students and staff that is held because of this. The corporation provides a tremendous education at this time and I don’t want to see that change.

Why should voters choose you to serve on the board? (50-word limit)

I’m a lifelong Frankton resident with many friends and relatives in both Frankton and Lapel. I desire the best for all of our corporation schools and would make well thought out and educated decisions to help benefit our students and staff.

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