Mount Pleasant School Board candidates vie for six-year terms

Four candidates are vying for two spots on the Mount Pleasant School Board on Tuesday's ballot.

The candidates, Sheila Murphy, Patty Strong, Jeffrey Wigand and Wynne Winslow, are looking to be elected to one of two six-year terms up for grabs.

Murphy has been the owner of a small business since 1978, and has been involved with band boosters and volunteering at all levels. Murphy believes that her extensive business experience will make her a strong candidate in the race.

"We need to hear what (the public) has to say," Murphy said.

She feels communication and accessibility of the board members to the public is vital and wants to strengthen it.

Patty Strong is a Central Michigan University journalism graduate. She has worked for an asbestos attorney, a federal public defender and was a reporter at the Morning Sun in the 1980s. Strong has been a regular attendee at the Mount Pleasant Board of Education meetings for the past two years and therefore feels she fully understands the most pressing issues the board is currently facing.

"I will be an advocate for your kids first and foremost," Strong said.

Jeffrey Wigand is a native of New York, and holds multiple degrees from the University at Buffalo. Wigand taught Japanese and Science at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He was recognized for his teaching when he received the Sallie Mae First Class Teacher of the Year in 1996.

Wigand would like to see more engagement in public service and more language and music programs in school. He has "a passion for learning" and believes in the abilities of students to develop and succeed.

"All students are capable of greatness," Wigand said.

Wynne Winslow was Isabella County's Treasurer for 12 years, from 1992 to 2004, as well as a Mount Pleasant city commissioner from 1990 to 1992.

Winslow says that she wants to see Mount Pleasant High School in "the top 5 percent of all high schools in Michigan" and that she'll bring a different perspective to the school board and their goals.

"We need to get everybody involved," Winslow said. "We need that out of the box thinking"