Four seek to fill two Beaver Local BOE spots

CALCUTTA – Beaver Local residents will see four candidates for two spots on the school board Nov. 2.

Incumbents Jerry Barnett and Greg Eisenhart are joined on the ballot by Wynton l. Rayford and Richard B. Saphore.

Jerry Barnett

Barnett has been on the school board for eight years. He has been a Physical Therapist Assistant for 20 years at ELCH and holds an associate degree in Physical Therapist Assistant from Kent State and a bachelor degree in Organizational Leadership and Development from Wheeling Jesuit University. His current activities include working to secure sponsors for golf outing which benefits Beaver Local athletic programs and being a member of East Liverpool Masonic Lodge # 681.

Barnett has previously been elected to the Leadership Committee of Columbiana County by East Liverpool City Hospital.

As a longtime advocate of education, Barnett said he is qualified for the school board because he is seeking to grow as a board member.

“I spend countless hours researching and learning about our educational system and how it relates specifically to our district. I have always been driven by the interests of the school and our students instead of the interests of individuals,” he said. “I have a very strong belief in listening to all parents and helping work through the toughest of situations for the best possible outcomes. Having seven plus years of experience on the board has helped me understand how the board works and how to oversee but not overreach.

“The years I have spent on the board have been very productive and I want to continue to be part of that success. I have very strong communication and problem solving skills that I have used in negotiations and contracts. Also having a wife that is a teacher in the district has given me valuable insight into important decisions and how they will affect the staff and our students on a day to day basis and also long term. There have been situations where hearing from teachers and staff has made me a more educated board member and better decision-maker.”

Barnett said he is seeking re-election because he wants to “continue to be a part of impacting the youth of our community. I am passionate about working with educators and administration to help our district be the best. I have truly enjoyed interacting with the community and working through difficult situations. The challenges have made me a stronger board member and I want to continue to use my experience and knowledge to promote success and ensure every child gets the education they deserve.”

As an incumbent, Barnett said the biggest accomplishments of which he has been a part include when he was first elected on the school board and he asked the board and the superintendent what has been the hardest thing to get accomplished or what needs done the most? “”The overwhelming response was getting a drug testing policy written for the district and put in place. I took on this challenge and researched 10 policies from across the country. I went through them all and took the language I thought would be best for our district. The policy was formulated to help give students another incentive to make good decisions when faced with bad situations. Within weeks I had the policy completed and sent off to the attorney for final review, and in a few months it was put in place. The policy is another way to keep drugs out of the school and stop any issues a child may have prior to dependence setting in.”

Barnett also said he meet with the district treasurer at least once a month “to understand and interpret district finances (expenses and revenue) and how to utilize money to most benefit our district. It is important to formulate ideas to maximize every dollar spent. I also use the financial information to help advocate for more funding for rural schools like Beaver Local by contacting Representative Tim Ginter and Senator Michael Rulli and make them aware on how their votes will affect our district. This has resulted in supporting legislation and initiatives over the last 5 years that have yielded the largest cash balance Beaver Local has ever had. This has also allowed for the purchasing of new stadium bleachers, new stadium lighting, a turf field, new equipment for the field and grounds crew, resurfacing of tennis courts, changing of all school lighting to LED, resurfacing of the basketball courts, roof inspections, and sealing the of parking lot.

“Since being on the board I have chosen to head the transportation committee. I have worked with the treasurer and transportation department heads to help implement a bus purchasing program that has saved the district a very substantial amount of money in repairs and will continue to in the future. When I started on the board we had buses that were aging at the same time because they were purchased at the same time. This was a huge financial burden on the district so we had to formulate a solution. We formulated a purchasing program that is a 2-1-2 purchase program. Meaning we purchase two buses one year and follow with 1 bus the next year, and the third year we purchase two more buses. In the past six years I am proud to say we have purchased 15 new buses and are constantly making upgrades to older models prior to being replaced. In order to increase safety, we have added cameras to every bus and LED lights. We recently hosted a Bus Driver Safety Workshop with local law enforcement and SRO Jon Karl to help our drivers have the knowledge to react to multiple safety situations that may happen on the bus. They practiced invasive driving and were able to ask situational questions to the experts leading the training. This training is very valuable in an ever-changing world.”

Barnett said voters should vote for him because he has been on the board through the entire building process of the new campus. “I have assisted in the transition of moving from five buildings to one which has enabled the district to use funds more efficiently. As mentioned above, I have helped make decisions with proven leadership that have upgraded our district substantially and also saved the district thousands of dollars.

“I take great pride in listening and interacting with the community. If I get a call, text or email it is answered in 12 hours or less and everyone receives the attention they deserve. I am highly accessible to everyone in our district.

“I assisted in the decision making involving the CARES Act dollars to ensure Beaver Local was able to provide a safe learning environment for the 2020-21 school year.

“I am the direct liaison to the Ohio School Board Association for our district and every year I attend the Ohio School Board Conference to stay on top of changing policy and school law changes affecting our local districts.

“I have supported professional development for educators and expanding resources to enable Literacy Collaborative at the elementary level.”

Barnett lives with his wife Vicki Barnett on Hickman Road, East Liverpool. He has a stepdaughter, Alyssa Osborne, son-in-law of Justin Osborne and stepson Jacob Forsythe.

Greg Eisenhart

Eisenhart has been a board member for two terms. He is currently the president of the Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors for the State of Ohio.

A graduate of Beaver Local High School with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kent State University, Eisenhart has been owner and operator of Sanford Plumbing for 22 years, supervisor at American Standard for three years and supervisor at Sugardale Foods for 12 years. He is also a member and past president of the Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors for the State of Ohio and advisor to the Construction Technology Program at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull County Cattlemen’s Association.

As a successful small business owner, Eisenhart said his experience with financial and leadership responsibilities makes him qualified for the position.

“I also believe that helping guide the construction of our $52 million new School Campus has granted me great insight into the inner workings of our School System.

“But most of all, having graduated from Beaver Local, and blessed with three successful children of my own who are also graduates of Beaver Local, it has given me the drive and enthusiasm to maintain our school district at such a high level. I am interested in ensuring the current and future students of Beaver Local a quality education, in a comfortable and safe environment, with all the opportunities for success that my family has experienced.”

As an incumbent, Eisenhart said the biggest accomplishments of which he has been a part include the construction and completion of the Beaver Local Campus, putting together the administration, faculty and support service personnel; and construction of the new and future athletic facilities at Beaver Local.

Eisenhart has been married to Anne for 33 years. They have three children, Dr. Andrea Eisenhart-Wong (Beaver Local Class of 2008), Dr. Andrew Eisenhart (Beaver Local Class of 2011) and Mrs. Alexandra Eisenhart-Guidas (Beaver Local Class of 2016).

Wynton L. Rayford

Rayford holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Security Systems at ITT Technical Institution in Chantilly, Virginia. His work experience includes 12 years in Information Technology, currently at DICKs Sporting Goods as a System Administrator as well as American Eagle as a Client Engineer. He is also a Beaver Local Girls Basketball Coach, Coach/Trainer for New Level Basketball of East Liverpool and Ohio Lakers of Salem, sitting on the Board for East Liverpool – Wellsville NAACP as the Treasurer as well on the board for United Way of Southern Columbiana County and Chairman for Community Day at Thompson Park and Juneteenth Celebration in Wellsville.

Rayford said he is seeking office “because I believe it offers one of the most meaningful ways to contribute to the strength and success of our local community.

“I will listen carefully, ask questions, and learn as much as possible in order to help the Board to maintain and improve its high standards for all students, employees, families, and community members.

“As a Coach for the Beaver Local Girls youth basketball, grades 4th – 6th grade and a Dad of my 10 year old daughter, Kenadi who will be in the 5th grade is some of the reasons why I’m running.

“Also a dad of my 1 year old Kaisyn, I’m also looking to have the next generation of kids have a great Beaver Local Community to grow up in when they start attending grade school.

“Working with students between K-12 in different capacities has given me the diverse experience to help the community build a great future for the kids. Being able to sit down with various local community and office leaders speaking on things that we can do to better the environment, bringing diversity, academic and health/safety alike programs allows me to have open discussions with people with different views on what we can do best for our community.”

Rayford said he believes district resident should vote for him because he “will work for the community of Beaver Local School district, listening to administration, staff and parents alike when it comes to matters of the children, programs and education at Beaver Local. Being open minded about people’s proposals when they have concerns. I’ll bring a keen sense of diversity to the School Board, allowing for a change to happen. Knowing that I will tiredlessy over my tenure to be for the community and the greater good of everyone.”

Rayford said people can view his campaign site at https://www.coachrayford4bl.com/.

Rayford lives with his wife of six years on Stagecoach Road, East Liverpool. They have two daughters, Kenadi (10 years old) and Kaisyn (1 year old).

The Morning Journal did not receive a response to a pre-election questionnaire from Richard B. Saphore.



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