From right to left, top to bottom, Michael Frazier, Kyle Harsin, Joyce Imel and Lee Ann Imel
From right to left, top to bottom, Michael Frazier, Kyle Harsin, Joyce Imel and Lee Ann Imel
This year's Madison Consolidated Schools Board race will feature eight candidates vying for two seats.

The field includes one current school board member, a former longtime Madison administrator, a current Madison teacher, a Hanover College professor, a paralegal, a merchandiser, a sales manager and a retired businessman.

The seat, which has a four-year term, will begin Jan. 1. The annual salary is $2,000, which is determined by the state, and an additional $50 for every school board meeting or special session attended.

The seats up for election are currently held by Carl Schaum, who is president of the board this year, and Andy Lytle, who is running for the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners and did not file for the school board race.

The Madison Courier is profiling five of the candidates today, in alphabetical order,. Three candidates were profiled Saturday. A link to thos profiles is at the bottom of this story.




Lee Ann Imel

1.) What would be your top three priorities as a school board member?

I will ensure that the students of Madison Consolidated Schools are given the best education they can receive. I will help and listen to each and every staff member that may have a question, concern or problem. Right now, our board is in need of some serious compassion for these staff members. Something as simple as "Thank you" or "I appreciate what you are doing" goes a long way with morale. I will make myself available for every phone call, email or letter. I will provide more transparency in the decisions that are made by the school board to the general public.

2.) With a decline in enrollment this year, what can Madison Consolidated Schools do to stay competitive with area schools?

As a parent, I am always looking out for my children's best interests, trying to make the best decisions for them and their future. When it comes to making the decision on which school is best for my children, I believe the most important factors are having the best teachers, the best student performance standards and hitting those standards. We will be competitive with area schools.

3.) Provide a grade for the current education quality at Madison Consolidated Schools. Explain.

Madison Consolidated Schools gets a B. It is good, but could be great. With R.I.S.E. taking effect this year, our teachers are going to perform as best they can and our educational quality should increase. Our administrators have a huge challenge ahead of them in remaining active and effective principals while making sure that all of the teachers are adequately reviewed and evaluated. Everyone will be required to stay at the top of their game. Within two years, our education quality will improve tremendously.

4.) Would you support a referendum for facility upgrades? If so, what would be your priorities?

Generally, I support a referendum. However, I simply cannot answer this question without knowing everything about our budget and seeing everything that needs to be done to our facilities.

5.) In what areas can Madison Consolidated Schools find savings, trim its budget, or generate revenue?

Again, without having a complete understanding of our budget at this time, I cannot comment on ways to save, or trim the budget. I will work hard on cost savings and trimming the budget to the best of my ability.



Richard R. Ray

1.) What would be your top three priorities as a school board member?

• Establish a student resource officer, or truancy officer, who is connected with law enforcement.

• Address drop-out rates. The Madison school district gets $5,398.75 per student enrolled in school per school year. If 10 students drop out of school, the district loses $53,989.50.

2.) With a decline in enrollment this year, what can Madison Consolidated Schools do to stay competitive with area schools?

Student resource officer would keep more students in school.

3.) Provide a grade (A, B, C, D, F) for the current education quality at Madison Consolidated Schools. Explain.

C. (No explanation given)

4.) Would you support a referendum for facility upgrades? If so, what would be your priorities?

Bring the buildings up to code.

5.) In what areas can Madison Consolidated Schools find savings, trim its budget or generate revenue?

Condense bus routes.



Carl G. Schaum

1.) What would be my three top priorities as a school board member?

• To continue working to Madison Consolidated Schools on a sound financial basis.

• To continue to provide and improve on the learning experiences that MCS students receive. Increase technology advancements, alongside with course improvement in the secondary area.

• To help facilitate and demonstrate the need for a school improvement plan for renovation of the high school building.

2.) With the decline in enrollment this year, what can MCS do to stay competitive?

Declining enrollment is a problem facing all public school corporations. You see billboards, newspaper ads and radio bits advertising for parents to send their children to another school. MCS is making vigorous efforts to provide better opportunities for its students. IPad technology in elementary and junior high areas, fine arts academy at the high school, advance placement courses, pool renovation, are just a few things that enable us to better compete with neighboring schools.

3.) Provide a grade for the current education quality at MCS.

The state has given MCS a grade of C. I feel we are better than that. Innovative technology programs, additional course offering, increased graduation rates and improvements in school facilities have improved our educational possibilities. An increased balance in the academic, athlete, and fine arts areas, with the addition of fine arts in elementary and the creation of a Fine Arts Academy at the high school. We still have concerns, such as a 50-year-old high school building. Therefore, my grade is a B.

4.) Would you support a referendum for facility upgrades? If so, what would be your priorities?

Yes, I would support a referendum for facility upgrades. My first priority would be the junior high pool renovation. Of equal importance would be a referendum to provide improvement and additions to the high school complex. The high school was built in the 1960s. As a 50-year-old building, it is in dire need of a facelift.

5.) In what areas can Madison Consolidated Schools find savings, trim its budget or generate revenue?

This is a daunting task. State budget cuts since 2008 have mandated MCS to reduce its budget, cut programs and offerings on a continuing basis. Areas that are being considered include adding a secondary curriculum leader, taking the salary package out of the general fund, MCS taking over alternative education, MCS opting out of SSU (Special Services Unit for special education). Pre-school and day-care are successful and expected to expand, providing better educational experience and opportunities that will bring about increased student enrollment, thereby increasing revenue.



Nicholas F. Scott

1.) What would be your top three priorities as a school board member?

• Ensure that MCS gets an A rating rather than a D rating.

• Increase the graduation rate and enrollment.

• Pay down the school debt, thus eliminating taxes going to pay interest on that debt and holding the line on property taxes.

2.) With a decline in enrollment this year, what can MCS do to stay competitive with area schools?

Employ better methodology to find out where and why children are being home-schooled or seek an alternative school. Answering that, we should address the social and educational atmosphere in MCS.

3.) Provide a grade (A, B, C, D, F) for the current education quality at Madison Consolidated Schools. Explain.

The state has already provided MCS with a "D." While the elementary schools have exceeded that grade, the problem appears to be in the transition from elementary schools to junior high and high school.

4.) Would you support a referendum for facility upgrades? If so, what would be your priorities?

I would not support any new referendums until we are out of debt. Then we need to focus on energy costs and educational technology upgrades.

5.) In what areas can MCS find savings, trim its budget or generate revenue?

We can improve our budget situation by retaining and attracting more students by providing better education and opportunities. Each time a parent elects to keep their child out of MCS, it impacts the budget.



William Tereshko

1.) What would be your top three priorities as a school board member?

Since school board members are the only elected officials that represent children, I believe the top priority of any school board is to make sure the district remains focused on improving the learning and achievement of students.

Specifically for this year, the Madison school corporation needs to retain the students we have and win back some of the students we have lost.

I think the morale of the school system is currently at a low. I believe a priority of the school corporation should be to improve the morale of teachers, students and administration.

2.) With a decline in enrollment this year, what can Madison Consolidated Schools do to stay competitive with area schools?

Madison Consolidated Schools needs to create an environment where students want to attend school here and parents want to send their children here. Creating unique programs, like the fine arts academy, and then marketing these programs will make Madison competitive with area schools.

The school system has a number of on-going programs that can attract students. For example, we offer a wide range of AP classes, the laptop initiative and an active AVID program. We also have a very strong and diverse extracurricular program. We need to do a better job of marketing these programs.

3.) Provide a grade (A, B, C, D, F) for the current education quality at Madison Consolidated Schools. Explain.

I would give the education quality at Madison a B-minus. I feel that we have quality teachers and quality programs at Madison, but I also feel that we have a morale issue in the school system. I have seen a number of talented teams, both in the business world and on the athletic field, not perform to the best of their ability because they lacked team chemistry. A lot of the schools lack team chemistry and consequently, these teachers and programs are not performing up to their ability.

4.) Would you support a referendum for facility upgrades? If so, what would be your priorities?

Yes, I would support a referendum for facility upgrades. I have not toured all the facilities in the school corporation; however, I know with the age of the buildings we have there are renovation projects that need to be done. Specifically, I know the high school is in great need of renovation. It needs structural work and upgrades just to get it to pass code. Renovation and upgrades for heating, cooling, insulation and window replacement alone will result in thousands of dollars in annual savings for operational expenses to the corporation in future years. Utility expenses will continue to rise, so this is one way we can control rising expenses.

5.) In what areas can Madison Consolidated Schools find savings, trim its budget or generate revenue?

One cost-saving idea I have would also help the environment. A couple of years ago we instituted a conservation push at Hanover College during the winter break. We turned all thermostats down to 63 degrees and unplugged all devices that did not need to run over the break but were still zapping power. The college saved over $12,000 the first year we implemented the program. By adjusting the temperatures in our buildings just a few degrees, we could save the school corporation a lot of money.