Five candidates are vying for two expiring six-year term seats with the Fenton Board of Education. Another candidate is running unopposed for a partial term ending Dec. 31, 2022.
Incumbent trustees Lynn Hooper, Scott Pushman and Emily Rossmaessler are seeking reelection. Hopper and Rossmaessler are seeking the six-year term seats. Newcomers Tonya Coffin, Jonathan Crane and Matthew Welch also are seeking one of the two available six-year term seats.
Pushman is the lone candidate seeking the partial term seat that expires Dec. 31. 2022.
Residency: Fenton for more than 50 years
Occupation: Ordained chaplain for “The Care Team” hospice. Retired from United States Steel Corp., Redford Air Tool and Complete Design Service.
Education: Graduate of Macomb County Community College and Oakland University
Family: Married to a retired school teacher, two grown daughters, both Fenton High School graduates, and three grandchildren at Fenton.
I bring 23 years of service on the Fenton Board of Education, 14 years on Genesee County Association, 10 years on the Advisory Council for Genesee Career Institute and have a Level 5 certification from the Michigan Association of School Boards. I’m an advocate for the educational process of all students, have complete knowledge of budgets (general funds, sinking funds, etc.); am visible in all school buildings, and community affairs. I have dedication and love for children and how we can provide safety and a strong education using the best and latest technology for our highly qualified administration and staff, ensuring the best education possible with the resources that are available and affordable for our youth today. We must have equal education for all, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation. We need a community leader in decision making that speaks and understands the community needs and doesn’t carry a personal agenda to the table negating education to all students.
How many years lived in Fenton school district: 6
Occupation: In this season of my life, I am at home with our young children. Previously, I have worked as the development director at Carriage Town Ministries in Flint and as an elementary and middle school teacher in Washington, D.C.
Education/Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at Southern Nazarene University, Master’s degree in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction at George Mason University.
Family: My husband, Tyler, and I have three kids — two current Tigers and one future Tiger (second grade, kindergarten, and 3 years old). My parents (Dallas and Nola Gatlin) and two of my brothers, and their families, live in Fenton, too.
I believe I am the best person for the job because I know what it takes, I have the knowledge and expertise that is required, and I am passionate about education. Currently, I am serving on the school board as an appointed trustee. Therefore, I have the experience and understanding of what is required of a good trustee. I will continue to serve in a way that is grounded in listening, doing my research and building relationships. As a former teacher and former non-profit development director, my experience in the classroom and my experience with managing finances gives me the knowledge and expertise to do the job well. Finally, I am passionate about education. As a parent of school-aged children, I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure all our children have access to the best education possible.
How many years lived in Fenton school district: 14
Occupation: Teacher at Warren Consolidated School District
Education/degrees: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with endorsements in language arts, general science and social studies from U of M-Flint. Master’s degree in Education from Mary Grove College
Family: My husband Chris is a Fenton graduate and works for DTE. My son Michael is a Fenton Graduate and is currently taking classes at Mott Community College while working full time. My daughter Camryn is a third grader at North Road Elementary.
As an educator with over 15 years of experience, I can attest to the importance of school board decisions. When I am elected, I’ll fully support the collective bargaining process and put my years of experience with contract negotiations to work. My years of teaching at both the elementary and middle school levels has provided me with a full understanding of the impact and implementation of state and national standards. This enables me to be able to ensure that all Fenton children will be provided with the best curriculum and learning environment. My experiences working with at-risk students has made me aware of the varying needs that can exist within a community. Being a Fenton citizen, a spouse and parent of Fenton graduates, and parent of a current Fenton student, I have a good grasp what our amazing community, children, and district needs moving forward into the future.
How many years lived in Fenton school district: 4
Occupation: Director, Global Business Services Division at Bosch
Education/degrees: Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University
Family: Wife, Meredith Crane.
Coming from a family of educators, I believe that having a strong school district is the foundation of a strong community. Fenton is an incredible school district and I want to help to keep the district thriving for future generations of students. I have spent my career working in corporate finance and strategy where I have held various leadership positions. The knowledge and experiences I have gained over my career would be a valuable asset to help support sound financial decisions for the district, which is critical to enable the teachers and schools to provide quality education to our students. I would also focus on building a strong partnership between the board, the teachers and the community, especially parents. This cooperation is vital to continue to foster and grow a district that provides best-in-class education.
Matthew Adam Welch
How long have you lived in the Fenton school district: 19 years, 7 months
Occupation: Owner and President of Senior Home Solutions of Michigan
Education: Graduated from Rio Mesa High School in California and attended Ventura Community College and graduated Firefighter 1 from Allan Hancock Fire Academy
Family: Wife, Susan, a 1989 Fenton alumni and fourth grade teacher at State Road Elementary; Son, Evan, a 2015 Fenton Alumni and Hillsdale Alumni; daughter, Madeleine, a 2017 Fenton alumni and current CMU Student; son, Logan a 2019 Fenton alumni and current SVSU student-athlete; and son, Gannon, a current senior at Fenton High School.
I respectfully ask for each reader’s vote in Fenton’s School Board election next month. I have a heart to serve and I would like to have the opportunity to give back to the students, staff, and community of Fenton. Having four children who attended Fenton Area Public Schools, and a wife who serves the district as a teacher, I feel obligated to help in the success of our district. As a business owner and someone who has done business all over the globe, I have a unique skill set which I would use to honor Fenton’s tradition of greatness, retain high quality employees, for budget oversight, goal and mission statement implementation. I have coached Fenton students in a multitude of sports from AYSO and Little League through high school athletics. I would consider it a privilege to serve Fenton’s youth in a new role on the Fenton School Board.
PARTIAL TERM CANDIDATE
Scott A. Pushman
How many years lived in Fenton school district: 20+
Occupation: Senior Account Executive (Global Insurance)
Education/Degrees: Executive Master of Business Administration, Michigan State University
Family: My wife Kelly and I have three children. Sawyer (8) Jack (7) and Taylor (10 months)
Fenton is a great community to be part of. A major contributing factor to the area is the strength of the school district and the education that the students receive. There are many facets and variables that impact how the future generation will learn and perceive their surroundings. My focus is to help create the best possible educational experience for our students. I am passionate about having a safe environment for students to show up to and learn, creating opportunities for new growth through new experiences and challenging the students to be better than prior generation. The reality of today’s environment is that all of us need to work together to set our students up to be the best possible version of themselves. I believe that my local, professional, and educational experiences would help contribute to the team and goal of working together.
Current Fenton Board of Education
president - Term Expires: 2022
vice president - term expires: 2022
secretary - term expires: 2024
treasurer - term expires: 2024
trustee - term expires: 2020
trustee - term expires: 2020
trustee - term expires: 2022