Olentangy Valley News

Olentangy school board

Two members, two newcomers square off

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Two incumbents will face two new challengers in the fall for a pair of seats on the Olentangy school board.

Current board members Julie Wagner Feasel and Dave King will face Katy Barricklow and Brian Helwig in the November election.

"This election is very important when it comes to Olentangy Local Schools," Barricklow said. "The community has an opportunity this November to vote for change, and I think they should."

Barricklow is running on a three-point platform that outlines items she would focus on if elected: best practices in education, engagement of parents and fiscal responsibility.

A product rewards coordinator for the Alum Creek Elementary School PTO, Barricklow said her volunteer work has always focused on children. She has worked in Russian and Haitian orphanages and volunteered with the United Methodist Children's Home and Big Sisters of America.

Barricklow, 39, currently is an elected member of the Delaware County Republican Central Committee and sits on its screening subcommittee. She also works with Limited Brands to hire seasonal employees.

She and her husband, Brock, have lived in the district for four years. They have one child.

Helwig said he also believes change is necessary on the board if the district wants to improve.

He pointed to state report card scores in select buildings that were outside of the "excellent" standing, the district's debt and low academic requirements for athletes as proof that the growing district still has a long way to go.

"I am running for school board to fix these issues by improving the quality of our children's education to a global standard, putting student learning over student testing and by creating merit-based accountability for teachers," he said.

Helwig, 38, is vice president of operations at Netwrix Corp. His career leadership and active participation in school board meetings have earned him a spot on the Ohio Department of Education Executive Advisory Panel, he said.

The board's incumbents said they're proud of the district's direction and would like to continue their work on the board to keep it on the right track.

"I just feel like with all of the changes that are happening this year with education as a whole that I wanted to see those changes come to fruition," said Feasel, who currently is serving her second board term. "We have teacher evaluations, the third-grade reading guarantee, Common Core implementation, and I've been working on those for a long time and I just feel like I can really contribute, because I've got some really good ideas and just the passion for our district."

The vice president of communications for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Feasel also is a member of the St. Mary's College Alumni Board of Directors.

Feasel, 46, has lived in the district for 16 years with her husband, John, an Olentangy alumnus who is an intervention aide and girls basketball and golf coach in the district. They have two daughters who graduated from Olentangy High School.

King said he'd like to be on the board as it moves forward with the 2020 initiatives that Superintendent Wade Lucas rolled out last year. He said he's also committed to following through with an updated continuous improvement plan.

"We at the Olentangy district have done a great job of balancing quality with the cost of education," he said. "It's just great to be part of that efficiency and that effectiveness. It's very important to me and I want to continue that process."

King, 66, has owned the architecture firm Horne & King for 35 years. Currently serving in his first school board term, he is the board liaison for the Olentangy Education Foundation.

He and his wife, Patricia, have lived in the district for 27 years. They have one son who graduated from Liberty High School.

Candidates were expected to be confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 13, by the Delaware County Board of Elections.

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