Friday, August 1, 2014

Incumbent, Newcomer Take Berkshire School Board Seats
November 7, 2013 by Josh Echt | No Comments

The Berkshire Schools Board of Education had two vacancies for the Nov. 5 election.

Board member Val Timmons chose not to run for re-election, while board president John Manfredi’s seat was open.

Last Tuesday, voters re-elected Manfredi and chose newcomer Kim Brown to replace Timmons, according to final unofficial results from the Geauga County Board of Elections.

Two others, John Guinn and Steve Hare, were unsuccessful in their attempts to secure the seats.

The district has 5,528 voters in eight precincts, according to elections information.

Manfredi, who has served on the school board for eight years, is currently the school board president. He also serves as the transportation director for nearby Newbury Schools to the west.

“I’m grateful to the voters of the school district and I plan to continue to serve them to the best of my ability,” Manfredi said last Thursday.

He said he will follow through with his promises to improve the school district.

“During the time I have been on the board, I have worked with the other board members to close two of our elementary building and place an addition on our main elementary campus in Burton Village,” he told the Geauga County Maple Leaf last month. “My background in transportation and finance allows me to objectively work with state and local agencies on behalf of our district.”

Right now, the biggest issue the district faces is consolidation and Manfredi said he is working on finding a solution.

Brown, who has lived in Burton 26 years, said she does not have experience holding elected office. However, she said her father, the late Julius (Jay) Szorady, was a Burton Township trustee.

She also served as co-president of the Burton Elementary PTO in 2004 and as president from 2005 to 2010.

Brown serves as an advisor for the Geauga Prime Time 4-H club and helps club members get their animal projects ready for The Great Geauga County Fair.

The 1988 Berkshire graduate said healthier food options must be looked at as well for district students.

“My background with the Berkshire Schools, as a student, as an employee and as a parent has given me the experience needed to fulfill this position on the board of education,” she said. “I want our young men and women to feel proud because they are graduates of Berkshire High School.”

On election night, she said she was “breathless” and had not had a chance to let her win soak in.

“John Manfredi called and congratulated me, and I am proud to represent the kids in the community,” she said. “My plan of action is to get to know the board and see how they run and go from there. I’m excited to work with the voters.”

Rhoades, a water and wastewater systems operator, took a second crack at the Berkshire school board race and lost. He ran in 2011 for a board position and lost as well.

He said he regularly attends meetings, and, although he lost, said he will continue to work with the board and be involved.

“I’m going to keep working,” Rhoades added.

Guinn could not be reached for comment.

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