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Dinopoulos and Weaver endorsed for Poland BOE


Published: Wed, October 18, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

The Little Red School house, a handsomely restored former one-room school house dating to 1858, rises prominently along Center Road in the Poland Local School District. The building, which has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, also has long stood as a symbol of pride and excellence in the 2,000-student district.

On Nov. 7, voters in the Poland school district will weigh in on whom they believe will best carry on those traditions as members of the Board of Education through 2021.

Three candidates are seeking two school board seats in the race. They include incumbents Dr. Larry Dinopoulos and Richard “Beau” Weaver. First-time public office seeker Greg Riddle is challenging them.

In their terms in office, Dinopoulos and Weaver have demonstrated a sincere and hard-working commitment to maintaining and strengthening the fabric of academic excellence, fiscal responsibility and a vision for the future that have created one of the most respected districts in the Mahoning Valley and the state.

As such, we have no qualms in endorsing the two incumbents for re-election to a third term in November.

THE CHALLENGER

Riddle impressed the Vindicator Editorial Board as a sincere candidate interested in many of the same goals as Dinopoulos and Weaver. Riddle has demonstrated his commitment to the future of the school district by serving on the facilities subcommittee of the board’s community panel charting the next five years for the system.

That long-term future has become a central campaign theme in the aftermath of voter defeat of a bond issue to construct a new kindergarten through eighth grade campus.

Riddle opposes the campus approach in favor of maintaining “the unique look” of multiple buildings in the district. The report from his full subcommittee on a recommended path forward is expected to be released by January 2018. For now, Riddle called both Dinopoulos and Weaver “men of integrity” and had no serious criticisms of them over their job performance.

We agree wholeheartedly.

Both Dinopoulos and Weaver said there has been no stalling in moving forward with a strategic plan for the district’s physical plant, curriculum and other areas. Work will intensify toward those ends once the final set of recommendations are released by early 2018.

Both also can be proud of their record of preserving academic excellence and managing school finances responsibly.

The latest state report card for the district placed Poland schools atop the pack in Mahoning County and in the top 10 percent of school districts statewide.

Weaver also pointed out that the distict’s SAT college admission scores this year have been the highest in nearly a decade. Dinopoulos notes that cuts through attrition have saved the district about $1.3 million in recent years, and the district is operating in the black.

By any measure of success, Poland stands out as one of the best-run school systems in the Valley. Voters should keep the district on that enviable track.


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