No incumbents were among the four candidates who filed petitions with the Franklin County Board of Elections to run for three seats on the Bexley board of education.

No incumbents were among the four candidates who filed petitions with the Franklin County Board of Elections to run for three seats on the Bexley board of education.

School board president Andrew Sutter picked up petitions but declined to file them.

At the school board meeting Monday night, Sutter said he wasn't interested in committing another four years to the board. He told remaining board members Craig Halliday and Joan Fishel that he would be available for advice or to assist on special projects.

It might be the first time that the number of newcomers on the board will exceed the number of incumbents, Sutter said. Board members Steve Grossman and Diane Peterson also are not running for re-election.

"I want to thank the community for the opportunity to serve," Sutter said. "It was a great privilege to serve. I got more out of it than I gave the people of the community."

The candidates for the three seats are Marlee Snowdon, Michele Kusma, Jennifer Waterman and Carol Ann Fey.

The filing deadline for the November election was Aug. 20. The board of elections was scheduled to certify petitions by 3 p.m. today (Thursday, Aug. 27), spokesman Ben Piscitelli said.

The top three vote-getters Nov. 3 will earn board seats.

Snowdon said she contemplated running a few years ago when she got involved with all-day kindergarten. She worked on the Maryland Elementary playground project last year and her interest in the board grew.

"It became more evident that I was interested in working and bettering the schools," she said. "It seems like a natural fit."

Snowdon believes it is important for the board of education to be connected to residents, listen before making important decisions and take a team approach.

"I have a lot of experience in the last two years working with the board of education," she said.

Kusma, who lost a Bexley school board race by nine votes two years ago, is excited about having four newcomers run.

"I think it brings on new personalities, new people, different experiences that people have had, different backgrounds," she said.

She said the candidates all are involved in the schools and know a lot about the district.

Kusma said she brings a lot to the table.

"I'm a teacher, administrator and mom," she said. "I think that makes my experience a little bit different from the candidates and the three sitting on the board."

Waterman graduated from Bexley High School in 1982. She said she is interested in running for the board because she grew up in Bexley. Some people are choosing to send their children to other schools and she would like to bring those students back to the district.

"There is room for improvement," she said.

Waterman said more focus should be placed on basics like phonics, spelling and math. She said many people hire tutors so their children can learn basic math.

"Math is a very important subject and it seems like it is not being taught as well as it should be," she said.

Fey has been actively involved with Bexley schools the past 10 years. Her interests include funding, class size and promoting art and music.

"I think that I bring a wide array and vast experience," she said.

Fey served as parent-teacher organization president at both the elementary and middle school levels. She also sits on the financial committee formed by Superintendent Mike Johnson in February to solicit input from the community about district finances. The committee has been discussing when the next levy will occur and which type of levy to ask for.

"I'm not a newcomer to the Bexley education system, given my level of involvement the last decade," Fey said. "I think that I bring fresh energy to the board."