Nov 10, 2013

GCSD to welcome 3 freshman board members

BY BOB ROBINSON
ASSOC. EDITOR
GREENVILLE – Greenville City School District voters replaced incumbents with freshmen in the GCSD School Board General Election Nov. 5. There were five candidates for three positions. Two candidates – Sue Bowman and Cindy Scott – were running for re-election. Three candidates – Dave Ernst, Brad Gettinger and David Madden – were challenging them.

The challengers took the top three spots, thus changing the face of the GCSD School Board. They begin their terms on Jan. 1.

The results, in order, were: 1. Madden, 2,586 votes for 26.9 percent; 2. Gettinger, 2,580 votes for 26.8 percent; 3. Ernst, 1,917 votes for 19.9 percent; 4. Bowman, 1,326 votes for 13.8 percent; and 5. Scott, 1,208 votes for 12.6 percent. Total votes were 9,617 in 26 precincts.

Gettinger acknowledged he’d been nervous all day but appreciates the trust the voters of the District have placed in him.

“When I was campaigning, I heard too many people saying ‘we’re looking for a change,’” he said. “What they don’t realize there has already been a lot of momentum… I’m looking for the opportunity to build on that.”

Gettinger said he wanted to communicate with the voters better. They need to know the challenges that are coming.

“We have challenges facing us… construction of the new school, changes from the state… the District has to be prepared to deal with them.”

Some of the state changes include Common Core, standardized testing and the way teachers are evaluated.

He addressed another concern of his: “It’s been easy for folks to talk down about our District,” he said. “I want to talk about the good things in our schools. We have great educational stories; we need to communicate them.”

Ernst said he was looking forward to serving with school board members Jim Sommer and Fred Matix. He also wanted to thank Cindy Scott for her 12 years of service to the District.

“I’m just one little part of the changes being made,” he said. “Too often the school board is lumped together. I hope to instill my commitment to excellence… my campaign promise; my working motto.”

Ernst also wants better communication between the board and the public.

“This is a huge responsibility,” he added. “I will embrace it. I want to thank my supporters and hope to live up to their expectations. I’ll be holding myself to the same level of excellence I hold to everyone else.”

Madden wasn’t available for comment. Sommer was at the election board and noted he was looking forward to working with the new members.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “It will be nice to have some fresh perspective…” Regarding the learning curve? “I was there once,” he added.

GCSD Superintendent Doug Fries was pleased with the representation in the district.

“I’m tickled Greenville has five outstanding people running. The three chosen will represent the district well.”

GCSD Treasurer Carla Surber expressed her thanks to the people who have served on the board.

“This is not an easy job,” she said. “It’s not one where you typically get thanks… yet we have three new faces willing to take the challenge.

“I believe public service is always rewarding although at times not always perceived as appreciated,” she added.

For complete results of the Nov. 5 election, Election Results

Two of the incoming GCSD board members (left to right): Brad Gettinger and Dave Ernst.

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