12 Candidates Participate In FWCS Board Forum

By John W. Davis

October 18, 2010 Updated Oct 18, 2010 at 11:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - With election day only 15 days away, Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of Trustees candidates are hitting the political forum circuit.

Monday's forum was held at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce building in Downtown Fort Wayne.

The two biggest topics were budget cuts and student success.

Candidates exclaimed that FWCS should always maximize cuts outside of the classroom, before laying off teachers and or closing schools.

12 Candidates participated.

District 1: Incumbent Jeanne (Mitch) Sheppard, Kurt Walborn, Julia Hollingsworth.

District 4: Incumbent Kevin Brown, Jordan Lebamoff, Joseph Sablic.

At-Large: Incumbent Pamela Martin-Diaz, Richard Cline, Evert Mol, Lisa Olinger, Michelle Tribolet, Mary Barrand.

Each of the 12 candidates had three minutes for opening remarks and closing statements.

They also each had three minutes to answer the two questions that were asked by the forum's moderator.

1. What concerns need to addressed about the FWCS district that aren't being dealt with?

2. How can local business help FWCS reach their goals?

Meanwhile, District 4 Incumbent Kevin Brown praised Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson for much of the district's success.

Others like District 1 Candidate Kurt Walborn said the district needs to do all it can to change the fact that some students are reaching high school, with elementary school reading levels.

"Back to the reading issues. We have approximately 35% of the kids that enter Southside High School that are still reading at an elementary level. That really puts the school in a difficult spot to achieve," said District 1 FWCS Board Candidate.

"We need to be a lot more open and honest in what's being expressed to the public about what's going on in the schools. As well as, accepting a lot of new ideas from the public," said At-Large FWCS Board Candidate Michelle Tribolet.

Meanwhile, the Fort Wayne Community Schools Board has seven elected members.

Five district positions and two at-large positions.

District 1, District 4, and two At-Large sports are open.

FWCS could potentially have four new members after the November 2 general election.

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