Five Springboro School Board Race Contestants Attend Community Forum
Recent Springboro City School Board meetings have been controversial, with arguments over masking and critical race theory. But on Sunday night, a meeting to welcome board candidates at the Springboro Baptist Church was much quieter.
Dozens of attendees sat on church pews, listening and taking notes as contestants spoke about rebuilding trust with the school board and parents. They received information packs on each candidate and forms for writing down the questions.
There are five challengers vying for three seats. Dr Shauna Acquavita, Frank Catrine, Jeff Paschke-Johannes, Brian Retterer and Olga Verbitsky all attended the event. The three holders, Charles Anderson, Daniel Gudz and David Stuckey, were not present.
The event was hosted by community members in hopes of better educating voters ahead of election day, according to the event’s Facebook page. Each candidate had two minutes to answer four questions, such as what they think are the biggest problems in the district.
Several candidates responded that the lack of transparency is a big problem, given the recent arraignment of Superintendent David Schroer. He was charged with 15 counts of theft and ethics related offenses for taking funds from the district.
Two of the incumbents were involved in the scandal, which, according to longtime resident Angela Rahman, caused her to question the leadership.
“And then it seemed like there were some shady things with the school board member that also didn’t show up,” Rahman said. “So it made me want to pay a little more attention to what was going on.”
Candidates for the event said they would like to put the emphasis back on creating a safe environment for student learning. Johannes-Paschke recalled a story he heard from a parent, where a black student was told she would never be as pretty as her white peers.
“It’s the culture that has to change,” Paschke-Johannes said. “And one of the steps is to produce a program that will ask the school to support and advocate for students regarding bullying related to racial or marginalized attitudes. “
Election day will be November 2. For more information on where and how to vote, visit the website of the Montgomery County Elections Board.