Lakeview BOE incumbents should stay

We are a strong believer of the saying, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

That’s why after a close look at Lakeview Local Schools, its current board of education and the four candidates who are seeking to fill the three available board seats, we endorse incumbents Larry Sherer, Donna Zuga and Mary Williams to maintain their positions.

The three offered strong priorities and spoke intelligently not only about the school district, but also about the state of education and community in general.

With construction under way on the district’s new PK-8 building, all three incumbents spoke logically about the future of the Lakeview Elementary School property on Bazetta Road and building needs at the district’s aging high school.

Each commented independently of one another about a high school building that is aging and aesthetically unappealing, but realistically able to fulfill the needs of the district. We were pleased to see each understands the importance of upkeep and maintenance before opening the door to another bond issue for new building construction.

Longtime board of education member Sherer spoke about the value of public education and noted the inability of state testing to represent what the students come to know. Rather, he sees state testing as a tracking of items that can be easily measured.

Sherer described well his expectations of public education.

“Public schools are often attacked for being unresponsive and for being unconcerned with the quality of their product,” Sherer said. “It is my priority to be demanding of public access and high public expectations for Lakeview Schools, but to also hold other publicly funded school systems that compete with Lakeview for students to do likewise.”

Zuga spoke about the importance of maintaining a strong curriculum that develops 21st-century skills for Lakeview students.

She also would like to develop plans for cross-generational utilization of all school property by the community and the school district.

We also were pleased to hear her speak about the possibility of shared services with other school districts in an effort to operate with the greatest possible efficiency. When asked for specifics, Zuga mentioned the district’s auditorium space and the possibility of shared bus drivers, mechanics or other personnel or staffing.

Zuga, who has served on the board for nearly two decades, said if she prevails next week, this will be her final term.

Incumbent Mary Williams lists her top priority as developing a long-term strategic plan she believes should work as a blueprint for future development, finances and curriculum.

All three incumbents were impressive and knowledgeable, leading us to suggest they should maintain their positions for another term.

Challenger and political newcomer Danielle Scherer also offered good insight as a parent of young children in the district, and her business sense is impressive.

We would encourage her to maintain her interest in serving her community by pursuing elected office again in the future, and would encourage her to grow her knowledge on issues like funding, curriculum and school report cards at the district.