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TEMPERANCE -- The Bedford Board of Education's newest member has been in office less than a month but has found the demanding work of school affairs to her liking and the position one where she believes she can make a difference.
So Jessica Pienta is running as a write-in candidate in the November general election. She was appointed to fill the seat held by Kim Hooper, who moved out of the district.
The term expires at the end of the year, and Ms. Pienta's appointment occurred too late to get her name on the Nov. 6 ballot. The only way for her to win a four-year term of her own is to run as a write-in, a course of action the 30-year-old lawyer said she has decided to take.
"I like what I see and I want to do more," she said. "I applied for the appointed position because I wanted to help the district through the end of the year. I'm enjoying the experience. There is a lot of work, and I feel I bring a unique perspective to help the community and the district."
Ms. Pienta is a graduate of Bedford High School, the University of Michigan, and the University of Toledo college of law. Her law office, Pienta PLC, is in Lambertville, where she lives with her husband, Nathan, and their two young sons.
These have been a busy few weeks for the school board. When Superintendent Ted Magrum announced he would be retiring at the end of the month, it lined up Jon White, a former superintendent, high school principal, and special education teacher, to replace Mr. Magrum for the rest of the school year.
Last week the board approved a contract making Mr. White interim superintendent. He will be paid $350 a day with no benefits and will not be paid for days he does not work.
The vote to hire Mr. White was 6-0, with board member Dale Barton absent. Mr. White did not attend the meeting and declined to be interviewed before he takes the superintendent's post Oct. 1.
Ms. Pienta won't be the only write-in candidate for the school board in November. Two others are vying for seats held by her and Mr. Barton, whose term also expires at the end of the year and is not running again.
The other candidates are Diana Binkley of Lambertville and Troy Weyher of Temperance, according to Laura Keehn, Monroe County elections clerk. No candidates will be on the ballot. Ms. Keehn said the deadline for filing as a write-in is 4 p.m. Oct. 26.