Election candidates fight for a change in the Okemos School Board

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By Karlee Humphry
Meridian Times staff writer

With the restructuring and budget cuts in the past year, Okemos Public Schools have gone through many changes.  Come Nov. 8, another change will be underway; a new school board.  This years two candidates for a partial term are James McGillicuddy and Vincent Lyon-Callo.

Vincent Lyon-Callo has lived in the area only since 2002, and is currently an anthropology professor at Western Michigan University.  However, with his current involvement in the school board meetings, he believes he is the perfect candidate.

James McGillicuddy, a physician in the area, has lived in Okemos for more than 15 years. He has had two sons go through the Okemos Public Schools, and as a first time runner for the school board, McGillicuddy believes he is equipped.

“Being a physician, I have skills that the school board needs,” said McGillicuddy. “ My profession requires that I have an evaluate diagnose problems, and we do that through research and critical thinking and then synthesize the information into a logical and prudent correction of that problem. I will bring this to the school board.”

McGillicuddy said that, if elected, he will work to better the Okemos Public Schools. However to do this, he believes some changes need to be made.

“I do think that the school board needs to be helped into the future because of the severe challenges that exists with the diminishing resources and down economy,” said McGillicuddy.  “And to sustain this excellence that we have been fortunate enough to enjoy.”

For Lyon-Callo, it’s his current involvement and dedication he has to the school board meetings and issues that truly got him interested in running for partial term.

“I just thought to myself, why not stop trying to get my voice heard at these meetings and actually become someone who makes the decisions?” said Lyon-Callo. “I think I have the concern that’s needed. I have the ability to critically analyze the conditions and make a way at looking at the evidence at different sides and making a decision.”

Like McGillicuddy, Vincent Lyon-Callo says that some changes need to be made to the school board, and he hopes to do so if elected.

“One thing I think we really need to do is to get more of the community involved and really listening to the ideas that they have.”

Elections will take place Nov. 8 for partial term candidates.  The full term candidates, will also be elected on Nov. 8 as well.  For information on the candidates you can go to the Okemos Public Schools website.

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