12 seek seats on Farwell BOE

October 28, 2016

By Pat Maurer

Six of the seven Farwell Board of Education members are facing challenges for re-election in the November 8 General Election, now just ten days away.
One seat on the BOE is open for a two year term. Incumbent Board President Max Paine will face a challenge for that seat from Challenger Kellee Robinson.
Incumbents Joe Maxey and Jaclyn Dean will face two challengers for two four year terms on the board; Bernie Hurley and Bill Geyer.

For the three six year terms on the board, Incumbents John Gross, Rose Sharp and Shari Buccilli will face challenges from Angelina Hammond, Guy Stover and Arthur Ferguson.

Max Paine has served as the Farwell BOE president since January. He was appointed to the board by the board members in August, 2015 to replace Bill Scott. In fact he has served on the board several times, logging a total of 26 years as a board member, he said.

He has lived in Surrey Township, in the same home, for nearly 50 years. Max and his wife, now married for 52 years, had two children; Paula, who died last April, and a son Thomas, who now lives and works in Ohio. The couple have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren with another one due in January.
He retired from Future Mold Corporation where he was a Lathe operator for 23 years.

He said the reason he is running for re-election for two more years is, “Kids. My concern is the education of our students,” he said. “My biggest concern is improving their reading skills. So many children fall through the cracks. If their reading skills improve, so will all their other skills; math, social studies, science and language.”

His challenger, Kellee Robinson graduated from Farwell High School and has a BA in Science from Central Michigan University. She recently retired from the Michigan State Police after holding ranks of Trooper, Sergeant and Detective Sergeant. She has been a volunteer at the schools for many events including concession stand, working on the scoreboard, the chain gang, as an assistant coach, with stats, 50/50 ticket sales and the Eagle Extravaganza. She also coaches Little League and a women’s’ recreational league. She said the reason she is running for the board is, “I am interested in providing the best possible education for our future generations of Farwell graduates…my decisions will be based on what is best for the students and the district.”

The seats of Joe Maxey and Jaclyn Dean are also up for grabs.
Joe Maxey, who was appointed to the BOE in July to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Deanna Pitts, has been a Farwell resident since 1995, moving to the area from Brethren. He has been married for 19 years and has three sons, one a graduate of Farwell High School, one in high school and one in middle school. He is a police officer with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department in Mt. Pleasant and has been active in the Farwell Community as a coach and current president of Farwell Little League; a president and coach for Farwell Youth Football; a former firefighter on the Surrey Township Fire Department; and a current member of the Surrey Township Board.

He said, “I am a very active person in the community and I like being in a position to help our kids. I am familiar with how budgets work. Every decision I make as a board member is based on bettering the education for our students.”

Jaclyn Dean said, “I am a graduate of Farwell Schools.  After significant research my family chose to move back to the area in 2002 and build a home in Farwell School District.”

She has two children that have graduated from Farwell Schools and one that is currently in middle school. She was appointed to the board in May to fill the seat of Paula Sullivan, Max Paine’s daughter who died in April.

Jaclyn is an Assistant to the Executive Director/Human Resources director for a non-profit agency that supports adult’s disabilities, runaway and homeless youth and has one of the few telephone crisis centers in the state of Michigan.  She said, “I work to be an advocate for the interests of others—especially those who might be marginalized, misunderstood, or underrepresented.”
She is a volunteer for the United Way on the allocation committee; Our Lady of Hope on the Stewardship committee; the Mt Pleasant Area Community Foundation on the Scholarship committee; and the Jane Eisenhauer Memorial Scholarship committee.

Dean said she is running for her seat the Board of Education because, “As an HR professional, I bring a unique and valuable skill set to the Board which will serve me well in working with the administration on pay and performance issues, building relations, and strategic planning.”
She added, “I am running for re-election to the school board to give a voice to those who may not always have a voice.  A Board member is a trustee of the community that elects him or her to ensure the district provides the students and community the best educational experience possible for their tax dollars.  I believe I can be that voice for you, my friends and neighbors, to be fiscally responsible and provide the best educational opportunity for our students, teachers and community.”

Maxey and Dean will face Bernie Hurley and Bill Geyer for the two four-year seats on the ballot.
Bernie Hurley, who moved to Farwell in 1999, has three children, all graduates from Farwell High School. He and his wife Marcie have both worked for the school district. She has been a bus driver for 16 years, and until recently he was a custodian, serving as a union steward. He now works at Central Michigan University and holds a position on the executive board at CMU.
He said, “I would like to be a board member to serve our district and our students. I have great ideas, lots of experience … and would do my best to make sound financial decisions for our district and community.”

William (Bill) Geyer, Jr. is another challenger for one of the four-year terms on the board. He was raised in Farwell and graduated from Farwell High School after which he served in the U.S. Navy for 25 years, afterwards attending Ferris State University.
He is the Physician Liaison with MidMichigan Health and previously was at Central Michigan Community Hospital.
He said, “I believe that a good education, sound moral character with a solid family and community support are essential for our strongest natural resource, our children.”
Geyer added “My reason for seeking board election is to inspire others to focus on similar goals that encourage our students’ growth and success while supporting our school district and community…”

Three incumbents, John Gross, Rose Sharp and Shari Buccilli will face three challengers, Angelina Hammond, Guy Stover and Arthur Ferguson on November 8 for the three six-year terms on the ballot for the Board of Education.

John Gross, a graduate of Clare High School in 1986, has lived in Farwell since 1992. He has been a member of the Board of Education since his election in 2012. John and his wife have four children, three who are Farwell graduates and one who is now a sophomore.
He owns three Pharmacy businesses including Eagle Pharmacy in Farwell, Gateway Pharmacy in Clare and Harrison Family Pharmacy.
He said he is running for re-election because, “I would like to continue to do what I can to ensure that our students have the best education possible and help with the difficult decisions we have to make about the school district’s finances.”

Rose Sharp is a life-long resident of Farwell. She has been married for 28 years and has three grown children. Rose, her husband and all three of their children are all Farwell graduates. She has one granddaughter.
Rose has been a regular volunteer at many school functions and is a former member of the Clare Moose.
She was elected to the Board of Education in 2012 for a four year term. She said she is running for re-election because, “I feel it is important that we as parents, community and school district provide our kids with the best quality education that we can.”

Shari Buccilli has lived in Farwell for 23 years. She and her husband have raised three grown children, ages 26, 20 and 19, all of whom are Farwell graduates. She is the owner of Buccilli’s Pizza in Clare, one of three family owned Buccilli’s restaurants in the area.
Shari is the president of the Farwell Sports Boosters; coach of the Color Guard for the Farwell Marching Band; a member of the Clare Downtown Development Authority and a member of the Farwell Elementary School Improvement Team.
She was first elected to the Board of Education in 2011 for four years. That term was extended to 2016.
She said she is running for re-election because, “It presents many opportunities to contribute and improve our school district. The students are my ultimate focus,” she said. “As a member of the Board of Education I have an opportunity to share my business and life experiences to benefit the school district.”

Angelina Hammond, a 2012 Farwell graduate, has an Associate’s Degree in Business Studies from Mid Michigan Community College and is studying for a BA in Political Science at CMU. Currently she works at the law office of Dwight Carpenter.
Active in the community, she is board director for the Clare Area Jaycees, involved with Healthy Habits 5K, Adopt-A-Highway and the Clare County Animal Shelter. She also donates to the Gifts from the Heart Program at Farwell Schools.
She said she is running for a six-year-term on the board because, “I believe that all of the decisions that are made by the School Board should be done so with the best interest of the students at heart.”

Guy Stover is the husband of present BOE Treasurer Holly Thrush. He has lived in Farwell for the past ten years and he and Holly have one high school graduate and three still attending Farwell Schools as well as two exchange students. He said he is also a supporter of his mother-in-law’s six children in Farwell Schools. He is involved in Boy Scouts, Bible School, the Rock Lake Christian Camp, Little League, Youth Football and more. He is a master mechanic at Auto Solutions.
He said he is running because, “These children are our future leaders. I will make decisions based on what is best for all students and what is financially sound for our district.”

Arthur (Mike) Ferguson is also on the ballot for one of the six-year terms on the board, but after he filed as a candidate, he was hired as a school district employee as a full-time substitute para-pro in the Elementary School, which makes him ineligible for a board position. His employment came too late to have his name removed from the ballot, he said. “It’s a very rewarding job. I plan to continue as a para-pro with the district regardless of the election results.”

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