LOGAN — During Meet the Candidates Night on Wednesday, the argument over whether intelligent design or creationism should be taught in schools was split down the middle among those running for three available school board seats.
Challenger Dan Stohs said strictly science should be taught in schools. Incumbent Susan Rinehart agreed. Incumbents Cathye Flory and Ed Penrod sided differently and thought children should be taught the various theories and decide for themselves what is right for them.
"The chamber of commerce feels it's important for voters to be informed on where they stand on issues," said master of ceremonies Doug Wells of the Logan-Hocking Chamber of Commerce.
Stohs said he has become more involved in working with the youth of Logan and would like to further that by being elected to the school board. He also thinks the schools should be preparing children to attend bigger colleges.
"There's a lot bigger world out there than we're showing them," said Stohs.
Flory said, "We have to prepare our children the best we can and I think that's what we are doing." She attributes this to the replacing the textbooks for grades K-12 and adding additional classes and curriculum. "There's always room to grow and add new things."
Stohs also thought the school places too much emphasis on athletics.
"I think we need to give more recognition to our scholars," he said.
Penrod said that academics and scholars are the "bottom line."
"We are always working for more," Penrod said. Especially with the Internet-based work and advanced courses being offered in schools, "a full rounded education is where we're headed," he concluded.
Rinehart agreed with Flory on how well the school district works with other power structures in the county, including the Chamber of Commerce and the city and county governments.
"I know it's important for all groups to come together," she said. She said she noticed this in the building of the elementary schools as well as the designing of the new high school.
"The citizens bleed purple here," Rinehart said.
Each school board candidate agreed that the fabric of the school system like cafeteria workers and custodians should be local.
Flory remarked, "I'd like to keep the business at home." Stohs, Rinehart, and Penrod agreed.
In closing remarks, each candidate summed up his or her platform.
Rinehart's goals if reelected to school board are to improve proficiency test scores, receive an excellent rating, and remain fiscally sound.
Flory said, "I am a good public servant" and that with her reelection she plans to keep the students' interests at heart.
Penrod said he ensures that every student continues to receive a quality education and to staff the schools with highly effective teachers.
Stohs concluded that all candidates running for board had the same interests at hand—the students and what's best for them.
The following candidates for township trustees were present and addressed the audience were: John Cooper, Marion Township; Dale Sigler, Falls Township; Clark Sheets jr., Marion Township; Carol Smith, Perry Township; John Swank, Salt Creek; Andy Ucker, Green Township; and Scott Vermillion, Starr Township.
The panelists were Mark Samuels, publisher of the Logan Daily News and Valerie Junge, manager of AmeriHost Inn of Logan.
The Chamber of Commerce sponsored Meet the Candidates Night.