Three seek school board seat vacated by Tandy

Three candidates are vying for the Warsaw Community School Board spot being vacated by President Jennifer Tandy.

The Warsaw Community School Corporation held a special board meeting Monday to interview the three candidates, Alina Willig, of Orange Door Dental Group; Jeremy Mullins, of Louis Dreyfus Commodities; and Chad James, of the Indiana State Police.  All three candidates filed by the September 30 deadline.

The open seat is for District No. 5, which covers Winona Lake and the far east side of Warsaw.

Willig said she always has been interested in education. She holds a master’s degree in education. “I want to see what we’re doing that’s working in some classrooms and replicate it in all the schools,” she said.  She has a seventh-grader and a first-grader currently in the school system. Before moving to help her husband’s business, she said she taught dual immersion kindergarten.  She could also bring church moms to the table due to her social connections.

Mullins said his biggest concern is the current lack of preschool options in the school system.
Kids are coming into kindergarten, without basic skills, he said. He said that kids have been fortunate, but his concern is for the kids who are less fortunate. He has two children, including one who will start kindergarten next fall. Mullins said his experience as a business leader will help bring people to the table. He said when he worked on the referendum last year, he gained a love for community involvement.

James, an officer with the Indiana State Police, was the last candidate to be interviewed. James said he has never been in education before, but said he wants be a force in the community. Now working as a trainer, he said his work schedule would not interfere with school board. “I haven’t been in education. I can bring a lot to the board,” he said. He would work with the community to highlight the success the school corporation has had and keep working to move Warsaw schools forward, James said.

The school board will discuss the candidates and vote on one person to serve the two years remaining on Tandy’s term later this month.