4 vie for 3 open positions on Belpre school board

BELPRE – All voters in the Belpre City Schools district will have to decide Tuesday between four experienced people for three open positions on the board of education.

While only two of those on the ballot are incumbents, the other two candidates have several years of experience working in the district.

Longtime community member Bob Wallace, 76, hopes to return to the board of education when his two-year term as an at-large city councilman ends in January.

“I have served on both city council and board of education in Belpre more than once each and feel more comfortable on the BOE,” Wallace said. “The city council and administration are very good and doing a great job, and I hope to be able to help more with the schools.”

Wallace was elected to this latest council term in 2011 after returning to the area from a 10-year stint living in Tennessee. He previously served three four-year terms on the board of education and was the Belpre High School principal for 19 years before his 1993 retirement.

“I don’t have any goals for another term on the board of education,” he said. “I just want to be there for the kids.”

Incumbent Leonard Wiggins said he wants to help the school district continue down its current path with a second term on the board.

“I feel like the school system is headed in the right direction and I want to continue what we have started,” said current board president Wiggins.

In the past four years the board members have gone through the processes of hiring new superintendent Tony Dunn in 2011 and new treasurer Melissa S. Griffith in September, Wiggins stated.

“We have also recently gone through the Ohio House Bill 264 to upgrade the heating systems at the high school,” he said. “We have had a full plate and I know there are other things to come that I would like to be part of.”

Also running for the Belpre board is Bobbi Simmons, who served one term from 2008 to 2011, as well as incumbent Fred Meredith.

Both were unable to be reached for comment.

Terms for other board members Mike Wile and Pat Taylor will end Dec. 31, 2015.