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Tight race in store for two open seats of Stow-Munroe Falls school board

By Heather Beyer correspondent

The Board of Education will have at least one new face after Tuesday's election.

Vying for the two open Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education seats are Geraldine Bettio, David R. Egan, David A. Licate, Patricia Matthews, Bob Rainey, Jeff Wagner and incumbent Karen L. Wright. Board member Dick Spangler did not file for re-election.

The terms are four years.

Bettio, 70, has been a Stow resident for 44 years and has been an active member in the community, attending school board meetings and city council meetings.

"It's important that we the taxpayers have accountability to what the school is spending," Bettio said. "Primarily, we need to focus on the education, not only those who are college bound but those who need technical help."

Egan, 63, is retired and said he is a "real advocate for public schools."

If elected, he said he would work on instilling the value of education in the students and parents in the district.

"It's important for students to want to learn without some sort of carrot hanging out there," he said. "Education is about learning for the sake of learning. It's not to be consumed with getting a trade where you go out and earn money. You want to learn for the sake of learning."

Licate, 41, was inspired to run for the school board after serving on the Mayor Sara Drew's School Safety Task Force.

Licate works as a college professor and still believes that there is work to be done to ensure the security of the students and staff in the district.

"My top goals have to do with safety and security, by increasing physical security and providing mental health resources to children and staff that require that type of intervention," Licate said.

Matthews, 71, is a retired school teacher who served on the school board from 2008 to 2012.

She said that she would like to see the district an provide all-day kindergarten.

"With the new mandates coming up, I think that it is imperative that we have all of our children at the same level being educated," Matthews said.

Matthews added that she believes she has the experience that could be helpful to the school district and would like to be involved as it faces new changes in education.

Rainey, 37, works as a mechanical designer for GE Healthcare.

His goals, if elected, are to find alternate sources of technology for the district and to strengthen the curriculum, particularly in the areas of math and science.

Wright, 52, is the current board president.If re-elected, Wright said her goals include continuing development for service and staff, collaborating with surrounding universities and addressing the lack of funding. 

"I want to continue to promote the value of education and the love of learning," Wright said via email. "I want to continue to provide the most
enriching educational experience for all students and provide them
with a wide range of opportunities for pursuing their future with the
funds available."