CONTINENTAL — Two new faces will join the Continental Local Board of Education in 2020.

Current board members Mike Zachrich and Chad Olds chose not to run for re-election this year, leaving a trio of newcomers to vie for the two vacant seats.

Brian Donaldson, Katie Clementz, Derek Heitzman have each thrown their hats into the ring in an effort to join the board.

Each is a Continental graduate with ties to the community and a vision for the future of the district.

Profiles of the candidates follow:

Katie Clementz

Age: 34

Address: 306 W. Grove St., Continental

Education: Continental High School (2003), degree in finance and business management from the University of Findlay (2007)

Family: husband, Brandon; three children, Tyson, Tucker and Camry.

Occupation: wealth management advisor at the State Bank.

Previous political office: none

Reason for seeking office: “My reason for seeking office to help provide the best educational opportunities for our students. Continental Local Schools has been moving in a positive direction and I would like to help contribute to its success. I would be a positive link between the school and our community, making sure we never lose sight of what is best for our children. My father (Ron Weisenburger) was on the school board for many years and my grandmother (Lillian McKibben) currently serves on the county board. They both have been great role models and supporters of our children’s educational success. With three children of my own, I am dedicated to helping make our community and school district flourish. I am proud to be a Pirate and I look forward to being a part of Continental’s continued success.”

Top goals: “1. Fiscal responsibility: setting and achieving financial goals within the school district is an important responsibility. As a finance major and current wealth advisor, I would bring a dynamic background to the board. It is key that we closely monitor our finances and have a strong long-term plan.

“2. Academic Excellence: our students must always be top of mind and the main focus of our school. All decisions made must always take their best interest into consideration. We must continually look for pathways of improvement. It is imperative our students obtain the best educational opportunities and required skills for a successful future.

“3. Communication: if elected, I would be a positive link between the school and our community. It is important that all members of the board, school and community work together to strengthen our district. Having strong relationships will help guide Continental Local down a successful path.”

Derek Heitzman

Age: 38

Address: 21504 Road I, Cloverdale

Education: Continental High School (1999), Trine University (2003)

Family: wife, Joy; three children, Dane, Louisa, Rosalie

Occupation: deputy engineer with the Putnam County Engineer’s Office.

Previous political office: none

Reason for seeking office: “To serve the Continental School district and the Continental community by ensuring the school offers the best academic experience it can to our students.

Top goals: “1. To maintain fiscal responsibility at the district by monitoring expenditures and valuing the taxpayer money funding the district.

“2. Strive to attain the best academic program for our students by trying to hire the best staff available.

“3. Offer the most academic opportunities to our students possible by exploring ways other districts implement programs in their districts.”

Brian Donaldson

Age: 31

Address: 22324 Road H-22, Cloverdale.

Education: Continental High School (2006), doctorate of pharmacy degree, Ohio Northern University (2012)

Family: wife, Sarah; two children, Zachary and Lucas.

Occupation: pharmacist with Meijer

Previous political office: none

Reason for seeking office: “I strongly believe that the school system is a direct reflection of the town for which it serves. My reason for running is to ensure that our students and educators have the tools and resources necessary to succeed not only with standardized testing, but with life after graduation so that Continental graduates are prepared for what is next in their lives, whether that be work or secondary education. The job market is quickly changing, and our school system is in the unique position to ready our students for what comes next. I feel that my experience running a business for a corporation will translate to helping remain fiscally responsible, while achieving top results for our students through teamwork and corroboration.”

Top goals: “1. Academic experience: I am excited by the school’s new programs, such as their robotics class, and how engaged the students are in these emerging fields. Continued innovation will be a requirement to continue to improve academic experience for all students.

“2. Accountability: As a community we have shared accountability in the success of our schools. The community and the school system have given many opportunities to myself and my family and I am excited for the opportunity to help afford even greater opportunities to the next generation of our community.”

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