The Groveport Madison Schools Board of Education election this November features four candidates vying for two spots.
Because longtime board member Mary Tedrow decided not to seek reelection, Chris Snyder, 41, of Johnanne Drive in Groveport is the sole incumbent on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Others seeking election to two open seats are: Seth Bower, 34, of Dewbourne Drive in Reynoldsburg; Wayne Bryan, 53, of Newport Road in Columbus; and Kathleen Walsh of Winchester Pike in Columbus, who did not respond to requests from ThisWeek for comment.
Snyder, the board's vice president, is running for his second term.
"I want to continue the work I've done on the board so far," he said. "Our district scores have improved and our students have a true sense of pride that hasn't been this strong in years."
The U.S. Army veteran and former youth and young adult minister now works as an IT manager for the Americas for Veeam Software Corp. He said he believes that job gives him important insight into how to best equip students with the technical knowledge they will need.
"As a technology leader in a global company, I understand the direction our world is headed toward, and I want to make sure that our students have the tools they need to succeed in the increasingly technology-dependent society," Snyder said.
Bower works as the regional aquatics director for the YMCA of Central Ohio and is the father to three children.
"As a father of three children, I have seen firsthand the need to support the work that the school district and teachers are doing," he said. "If elected, I would work together with administrative officials to create better schools, higher achievement standards (and) innovative academic instruction while staying financially accountable to the community.
He said his priorities include fostering innovative teaching methods throughout the district, bolstering teacher development and support, and focusing on transparency and accountability in regard to the district's fiscal situation, graduation rates and its facilities.
Bryan is a former maintenance and construction worker with deep roots in the Groveport area. He said his family moved to Groveport in 1961 and he graduated from Groveport Madison High School in 1984.
He said he believes transparency and empathy are the most important traits for a school board member to possess.
"I'm not part of any organized groups. I help my neighbors and I'm always willing to help people in their time of need," he said.
Bryan said he has built his campaign on the idea that integrity and honesty will often create the best leaders, and that the district currently needs this type of voice on the board.
"I think it's time that the taxpayers have a school board member that is always going to be honest with them and work to regain their trust," Bryan said. "I strongly feel once old habits are broken and when the taxpayers start trusting the board of education to do their due diligence, things will be able to run very smoothly."
Look for candidate Q&As and additional election coverage in the coming weeks in ThisWeek Canal Winchester The Times and online at ThisWeekNEWS.com.