TEMPERANCE -- Voters who live in the Bedford Public School District will see one name on the ballot for two school board seats when they go to the polls Tuesday. However, six others are seeking leadership positions on the board as write-in candidates.
Only incumbent Mike Smith met the February filing deadline to have his name on the ballot. He is seeking re-election to his four-year seat on the board. Voters also will decide on a replacement for Ann Myers, who decided against seeking re-election.
Diana Binkley, Robyne Bush, Sally Dunn, Ryan Mack, Wayne Meehean, and Michelle Wyszczelski have filed the necessary documents to run for office as write-in candidates.
Mr. Smith, 37, was appointed trustee on the board in 2006 and elected in May, 2007. The father of a Douglas Road Elementary student, he is the AFL-CIO community services liaison at the United Way of Monroe County.
Mr. Smith said the uncertainty of state funding and the resulting potential cutbacks facing Bedford Schools make his experience as a board member an important factor in decision-making.
"I have been to Lansing on multiple occasions, talking to legislators and educating them how deep the cuts they are trying to make and the effects it will have on students," he said. "You need a firm grasp on the budget and how school funding works."
Ms. Binkley, 50, a Bedford High School graduate, is making her first bid for elected office. She attended Monroe County Community College and received a bachelor's degree from Detroit's Marygrove College, where she was executive assistant to the dean of education from 2004 to 2008.
She is an educator and co-owner of a preschool and child care center in Lambertville and mother of two sons who graduated from Bedford High School in 1997 and 2002.
"I am an advocate for children," she said. "I focus on our schoolchildren first and insist that we explore and provide the means for quality education."
Mrs. Bush, 48, moved to Temperance about two years ago after she and her husband, a Bedford Township native, spent their adult lives in the military.
They are the parents a 12-year-old girl who attends Temperance Road Elementary and a 15-year-old daughter who attends special-needs classes at the Monroe County Intermediate School District.
"Given our current economic trouble, I believe it is critical that our children graduate with the best education we can give them access to," Mrs. Bush, also a first-time candidate, said. "I believe in being fiscally responsible and if I'm in a position to spend or vote on how taxpayers' money is being spent, I feel I will support the taxpayers with my knowledge, ethics, and due diligence."
Miss Dunn, 70, retired in Lambertville about two years ago after living in Toledo where she was a business teacher at Waite High School from 1962 to 1992.
After "retiring," she was a professor in education at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, was an account manager for a school textbook and materials company, and worked as a corporate headhunter. She is seeking elected office for the first time. She has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Toledo.
She said her experience in the various levels of education and background in accounting and business would help her be an effective school board trustee.
"I will be dedicated to serving the needs of the students in Bedford Schools regardless of their abilities and backgrounds so that each student can reach his or her full potential," she said. "With my background in accounting, I understand budgeting. This will be necessary as Bedford Schools face difficult budget decisions."
Ms. Wyszczelski, 45, is the director of three charity programs at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo and a 1984 graduate of Bedford High School. She is the mother of a daughter who graduated in 2008 from the high school and two children who attend Bedford Schools -- a son who attends the junior high and a daughter who is a fourth-grader at Douglas Road Elementary.
Also a first-time candidate, she said working on the financial problems of the district will be her highest priority, and she hopes to offer a fresh perspective if elected.
"Collectively as a community, the more creative we are and in our thought process we work together we can come up with strategies to deal with the crisis," said Ms. Wyszczelski, who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo and a master's degree from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Meehean, 65, and Mr. Mack, 35, didn't return phone calls to be interviewed for this story and they did not comply with requests to submit photos of themselves.