GREENFIELD — The county’s largest school corporation has one contested school board race this fall, with incumbent Ray Kerkhof and Greenfield resident Dan Brown hoping to serve students and staff at Greenfield-Central.
Brown and Kerkhof face off for one at-large seat on the school board, which means all voters who visit the polls Nov. 8 have a say in the race. School board members serve four-year terms, establishing school policies and setting budgets. They also vote on a variety of other school-related issues, ranging from personnel matters to facility needs.
Kerkhof was elected in 2012 to the position and helped hire Superintendent Harold Olin in 2014.
During Kerkhof’s tenure, the school district has launched its own special education program and an alternative high school, in both cases renovating an old church building into classroom space.
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He’s proud of those initiatives established by the board and the district’s administrative team and wants to continue to build on the district’s successes, he said.
“It’s been a real good board the last four years,” he said. “It’s been a really good experience.”
Kerkhof, who works in agriculture, has long-standing connections to the Greenfield-Central district — he and his wife, Pam, graduated from Greenfield-Central High School, and his son, Nick Kerkhof, now is a Project Lead the Way teacher in the corporation, he said.
He looks forward to the initiatives the board plans to implement in the coming year, including focusing more on digital learning, he said.
“There are always new challenges ahead of us,” he said. “We always want to improve things.”
Brown, who serves as the commissioner of the Greenfield Youth Football League, decided to run for the Greenfield-Central School Board after more than a decade of involvement with the GYFL.
Brown has owned DDA Enterprises Landscape and Design since 2004 and also co-owns All Occasions Hair Salon with his wife, Dawn Wooten-Brown, and another owner. He said his business experience would be valuable to the board.
He believes that Greenfield is a growing community, and he would like to see the district’s response to that growth include additions to the Greenfield-Central High School gymnasium and other sports facilities, he said. Furthermore, he’d like to make sure any such additions are funded privately or through donations, not through taxpayer-funded educational funds, he said.
“Education is first to me. The kids are the first priority,” he said.