WARSAW — With three district slots open and two sitting board members running for re-election, the race for available seats on the Warsaw Community Schools’ board of trustees features five hopefuls.
The District 1 race, with the open spot vacated by Matt Dick, will feature three contenders in Wendy Fairchild, Keith Manuel and Michael Coon. Incumbents Heather Reichenbach, the sitting board president, as well as incumbent Jeremy Mullins, will run unopposed in Districts 2 and 5 respectively.
Fairchild said running for school board has been a topic of conversation for some time.
“The possibility of running for the Warsaw school board has been on my mind for several years,” she said. “Recently, I was asked by friends to consider running.”
Fairchild is a small business owner and, along with her husband, has a child in the Warsaw system.
“The opportunity has evolved naturally, and I look forward to following this path as far as it takes me,” she said. “I want to advocate for the kids of our community. I hope for all kids to follow their dreams throughout their time in Warsaw schools. I want them to learn to set and reach their goals, to grow into successful adults whatever their career path might be.”
Like Fairchild, Manuel also said he’d been contemplating a school board run.
“I have had an interest in running for the school board for some time,” he said. “So, when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to pursue the possibility. My interest in running, combined with the encouragement and support from my family and friends, made the decision to put my name in the hat an easy one. It is an exciting time for Warsaw Community Schools. We have had tremendous growth and development over the last few years. Becoming better informed and creating an awareness of shared knowledge will help ensure that others are receiving information that is beneficial to them. A main goal of mine would be to disseminate information in a manner that allows all affected parties to be on the same page.”
Coon said he comes from a family of educators, with wife Christine teaching in the Warsaw system and daughter Corinne teaching in Indianapolis. The couple also have a future daughter-in-law who is a teacher and coach.
“This gives me an appreciation for the demands and responsibilities that are placed on teachers and coaches, as well as the impact they have on kids each day,” said Coon.
“My desire for running for school board is to ensure Warsaw provides the best for our children, supports our dedicated teachers and staff and creates graduates ready for life, college and careers. Our teachers are the front line of education. It is critical that Warsaw attract and keep quality teachers. This requires that we invest in competitive compensation.”
In District 2, Reichenbach, along with husband Brian, has two children in the school system. She is acting president of the board.
She said she is “enthusiastic about the schools’ role in helping students develop their passions by providing diverse curriculum choices, educational experiences, internships and a head start in post-high school workforce training or academia. She said she hopes to contribute to the continued success of students and staff and is honored to serve on the Warsaw Community Schools’ Board of Trustees.
Mullins is also unopposed for the District 5 seat.
“Like so many people in our community, I love living in Kosciusko County,” he said. “I’ve been here for a dozen years now. Over these years I’ve slowly gotten involved with various organizations that do good things for others. We have many amazing people that do so much for others and I feel blessed to have gotten to know some of them.”
“I look forward to working on many other projects and issues in the years ahead for WCS.”