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Incumbents keep seats in South Henry

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

With more than half the votes, Randy Paul has secured his seat on the South Henry School Corporation Board of Trustees for a third term.

Paul is a 1981 graduate of Tri High School and joined the South Henry School Board in July 2010.

“I initially sought the position because there was a threat of school corporation consolidation in response to State Budget challenges,” Paul said. “As South Henry Schools approach our 50th anniversary, my goal is to continue the small school advantages and legacy.”

Paul’s main priority on the school board is ensure the South Henry School Corporation has a strong financial foundation and the leaders in place to ensure success for students, teachers and the entire district through challenging times.

“Teachers are the key success factor in educating our students,” Paul said, “And we as a community/corporation must continue to encourage our staff in the face of ever-changing requirements and modest pay driven by state budgeting process.”

Paul said understanding school budget management starts with understanding the multiple income sources and constraints, understanding fixed and variable expenses, attempting to predict future trends and then making prudent decisions on spending and saving.

Paul’s wife and three daughters work in elementary schools throughout Henry County, so family discussions frequently center around challenges in education.

“Holding a General Fund cash balance and a Rainy Day balance have traditionally provided a buffer for unexpected financial challenges,” Paul said. “School corporations will be facing new challenges in 2019 with the General Fund, Rainy Day Funds, etc., being merged into two new accounts named the Educational Fund and the Operations fund.”

As a member of the South Henry School Board for the next four years, Paul will also continue to be involved with decisions about building security.

“In addition to full time SRO added for current school year, the corporation plans construction in 2019 to provide increased security control at building entrances, which is viewed as the most significant improvement we can make,” he said.

Paul said the school board and South Henry administration have discussed other options with the community, but each has pros and cons to implementation.

Paul was challenged in the school board race by Lonnie Ferrell and Brian Schuyler.

“It was good to see multiple candidates involved in the election process, and hopefully we can carry positive energy and involvement forward to improve the school corporation,” Paul said.

The incumbent received 729 of the 1,442 votes cast in the South Henry At-Large race. That was enough to garner him 50.55 percent of the votes in the three-way contest.

Ferrell received 347 votes (24.06 percent) and Schuyler received 366 votes (25.38 percent).

Terry Irwin and Debra Hicks also won their bids to keep the two Dudley Township seats on the school board. Both ran unopposed.

Irwin’s first term on the board began in July of 2010.

This was Hicks’ first election. She was appointed to the school board over the summer to replace Jeff Cunningham.