Three candidates are vying for two of the Duneland School Board races on the
ballot Tuesday, meaning the winner could be decided by a plurality, and not
necessarily a majority, vote.
All Duneland voters can vote in each of the three seats on the ballot:
At-large, Westchester-Pine, and Liberty. The candidates for the
Westchester-Pine and the Liberty seats have to live in their respective
townships, but they are voted for all voters in the school corporation.
In the at-large race, incumbent Michael Trout is challenged by Kathleen
Downey and Maureen Hurst.
Trout, a Chesterton resident and co-owner of Trout Glass and Mirror, is a
20-year veteran on the school board. He cites his experience and his
knowledge of school finances as critical, especially given school funding
uncertainties and the potential for more state cuts.
Downey, a Jackson Township resident, is manager of a LaPorte Hospital MRI
clinic. Citing the need for more community invovlment, she has called for
the repeal of current school board policy of limiting public comment to
items on the agenda and to those who make arrangements to get on the agenda.
Hurst, of Chesterton, is a licensed school counselor who interned in the
Duneland Schools. Hurst formerly worked in the bond market. She is calling
on the school board to end its practice of offering corporation-funded
health insurance to school board members and has made improvements to the
high school graduation rate a priority.
In the Westchester-Pine race, incumbent John Marshall is challenged by Ralph
Ayres and William Barkow.
Marshall, of Westchester Township, has been on the school board for five
years. He is president of 1st American Management Co., a proeprty management
firm. He cites his knowledge of management and finances, as well as his
extensive involvement in the community that has allowed him to listen
closely to community interests.
Ayres, of Chesterton, taught at Chesterton High School for 34 years and was
on the Porter County Council before serving 26 years as a state
representative. He also served as executive director of the Indiana Retired
Teaches Association in 2007-08. He cites his knowledge of the school funding
formula and his contacts with state and federal leaders as important, and
pledged to take Duneland’s concerns about state funding directly to the
Barkow of Chesterton worked for 32 years at Bethlehem Steel in cost control
and budgeting and has obtained a business administation degree. He pledged
to bring his skills at analyzing financial data to the school board to help
keep school finances in check and to determine where best to make cuts.
The third school board seat on the ballot is the Liberty Township seat held
by Ron Stone, who is unopposed.
Also in Tuesday’s election, voters will elect township trustees and township
In Duneland, there is a contested race for Westchester Township Board and
for Pine Township Trustee.
Five candidates are seeking the three Westchester boad seats: Democrat
incumbents William Cantrell and Robin Chubb; Republican incumbent John
Canright; and Republican challengers Sue Huyser and Barbara Stroud.
Cantrell, of Porter, is retired and has served in various public positions
including presdient of the Porter Stormwater Board.
Chubb, of Chesterton, is manager of WaterBird Lakeside Inn and Spa.
Canright, of Chesterton, is a licensed mental health counselor and former
Chesterton Tribune editor.
Huyser, of Porter, is a utility clerk for the town of Porter and secretary
to the Porter Stormwater Management Board.
Stroud, of Chesterton, is a former township board member, former County
Council member, and retired Chesterton High School teacher.
In Pine Township, a race is on for Pine Township Trustee between Democrat
Andy Himan Jr. and Republican Eric Camel. Himan is a Portage firefighter and
former Pine Township Fire Chief. Camel is a Chesterton firefighter and
president of Dolphin Control Systems.