Marysville News

Marysville school board race

Smith, Luke tout backgrounds in education

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Four candidates are vying for three spots on the Marysville Board of Education on Nov. 5.

Candidates include Brian Luke, Jeff Mabee, Ed Pleasant and Dick Smith.

Profiles of Mabee and Pleasant will be printed in the Oct. 6 edition of ThisWeek Marysville News.

* Luke is a newcomer to politics who has never held elective office. He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, a doctorate degree in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Dayton and a master's degree in church music from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley.

Luke is married with two sons in college and two stepchildren.

He said he had a strong reaction when the district made cuts after a 4-mill levy request failed last November.

"It made me realize how passionate I am about the issue of education," he said. "I am committed to making sure our children get a quality education through the Marysville schools, and this year, with all the challenges the district has been facing, I realized it was time to step forward, to offer whatever I can toward doing something positive about it."

Luke has been an educator for most of his career, teaching music at all levels from preschool through college, in both public and private schools.

He also taught philosophy for eight years at the University of Dayton.

"I am the director of worship arts at First United Methodist here in Marysville, so of course, I have a strong commitment to the arts and the role of the arts in education," he said. "But my first degree was in electrical engineering and I worked as an equipment engineer at Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., so I also have a technical background.

"My varied educational and work experiences have given me an appreciation of the importance of all aspects of a well-rounded education, including academics, athletics and the arts."

Luke said one of his sons attended Marysville High School a few years ago and his two stepchildren are enrolled in district schools, one at Creekview and one at Bunsold.

* Smith received a bachelor's degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and master's degrees from Wright State University and the University of Cincinnati.

He is a retired educator, having taught for 39 years in the Marysville and Triad Local school systems and now works as a Realtor.

Smith has not held elective office, but he has served twice on the Marysville Charter Review Commission and was appointed to and named chairman of the Marysville Planning Commission. He currently serves on the West Central Community Correctional Facility board and is treasurer of Family Matters, a 501c3 organization that supports Union County Juvenile Court.

Smith and his wife have lived in the Marysville school district since 1971. They have two grown sons who both graduated from MHS and the Ohio State University.

"My business background includes working as a sales representative for the New York Life Insurance Co.," Smith said. "While teaching social studies, history and government, I was also a varsity head football coach for three years, varsity assistant football coach for 22 years, mock trial adviser for 30-plus years and adviser to student council and various graduating classes."

Smith said the current board had to make many difficult decisions in the last year but he knows the community has come to expect excellence from Marysville schools.

"I want to be part of re-energizing the community and schools so we attract new business, residents and top educators to our community," he said.

"I want to help ensure that our children, parents and taxpayers are proud to be Monarchs."

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