The president of the Hilliard City School District Board of Education will not be among the seven candidates vying for three seats in the November election.

The president of the Hilliard City School District Board of Education will not be among the seven candidates vying for three seats in the November election.

Denise Bobbitt, of 3699 Ridgewood Drive, said she is not running for a third term on the board.

"It was a very difficult decision that even at the last hour I'm second guessing myself," she said.

Bobbitt, who has served on the board for eight years while working as a registered nurse in the labor and delivery unit at Riverside Hospital, did not file a petition for re-election.

"It was the hardest decision I've had to make," said Bobbitt, whose three children have all graduated from Hilliard schools.

Three seats on the school board are opening. Incumbents Andy Teater, of Dayspring Drive, Hilliard, and Lisa Whiting, of 801 Thorncrest Court, Galloway, are both running again.

This is the second term for Teater, who works for the Ohio Department of Transportation and has three children enrolled in Hilliard schools. His daughter, Rachel, is in middle school and his twins, Dan and Sarah, are finishing up their elementary education.

"I need a second four years to be an effective board member," Teater said, explaining that he would hate to throw away the experience he has gained during his first term.

He said current board members bring a diverse background to the board.

"One of the reasons the meetings look smooth," said Teater, "is we do our homework. We get the agenda on Thursday before the meeting and we get our questions answered. There is not a board member who hasn't done their homework and knows what is on the agenda."

Whiting agreed with Teater, saying that they stay in touch with district personnel to keep abreast of what is happening and they always get their questions answered.

Whiting, a registered nurse at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the mother of a daughter, Abigail, who will attend Bradley High School, said she has learned a lot during the two years since she was appointed to the board after Cheryl Ryan resigned to take a position with the Ohio Department of Education.

She said she still has a lot to offer after learning from some of the challenges the district has faced in the last couple of years.

"We have grown as a district and I want to see that continue," said Whiting. "Not only do I have things left to offer, but I have things left to learn."

Terri Botsko, of 2823 Honeysuckle Lane, is making her first bid for a seat on the school board after being involved in various school-related activities from serving as vice president of the Parent Teacher Organizations at Scioto Darby and Heritage Middle School to participating in the campaign to get the last levy passed and serving as a liaison for Scioto Darby during the tragic death of a crossing guard at the school.

Botsko said she previously thought about applying for the seat filled by Whiting.

"When I made up my mind to do it, I had missed the deadline," she said. "I did not explore it quickly enough."

As all three seats open this year, it proves to be a better time for her because next year her youngest son, Alex, will move to Heritage Middle School and her eldest son, Nick, will be a freshman.

Paul Lambert, of 7275 Roberts Road, has joined forces with Don Roberts, of 2027 Tuckaway Court, and Justin Gardner, of 5572 Weston Trail Drive, say they want to make a difference in the way the board operates if they are elected.

Lambert, who ran for the seat two years ago, said his platform has not changed. He, Roberts and Gardner want to raise the level of knowledge in the community so more people will understand how school funding works.

The trio believes it is vital to understand the appropriate amount needed for a levy opposed to dialogue about the need for a levy which, Lambert said, usually occurs. The message in the past, according to Lambert, is "if you love your kids" you will vote for the levy and otherwise you are a "cheapskate."

Lambert said he would like to see "real change" in the way the board functions, similar to what Jennifer Smith is attempting to do in the Olentangy Local School District and what Mark Schare is attempting to do in the Worthington City School District.

Lambert is a retired vice president of CompuServe and current local business investor. His daughters graduated from the school district.

Gardner is a financial auditor and his wife gave birth to their daughter in May.

Roberts is an attorney with negotiation skills while serving as an advocate for children with special needs. His oldest son, Willie, graduated from the district in 2004, while his youngest son, Brandon, is a student at Ridgewood Elementary School. Haley, his daughter, attends special needs classes at Alton Darby Elementary School.

Attempts to reach the seventh candidate, Christopher Courtney, Jr., who resides at 5263 Bonner Drive, were unsuccessful.

Courtney and his wife, Heather, have children at Heritage Middle School, according to Botsko.