Three vying for MCESC Board

By Allison C. Gallagher -


MIAMI COUNTY — Three candidates are running for two seats on the Miami County Educational Services Center governing board.

Co-owner of Bowman and Landes Turkeys Inc. Carl Bowman and general manager of Heraeus Daychem in Vandalia Neil Thiesing are incumbents, having served four and eight years respectively, while Miami County Public Health Sanitarian Janel Hodges has had eight years previous experience on the board.

Bowman’s previous political experience includes 22 years serving on the Bethel Local School Board, and said his goal for office if elected is to use his experience in a positive way and to make the Miami County Educational Service Center a leading center in the state.

“I’m interested in quality public education and have a passion for all students to have an excellent opportunity for learning,” he said. “Children are our future and we need to assist and mentor students to become great educated citizens.”

Hodges’ previous experience includes working at Newton Local Schools as a proficiency tutor to help students do well on standardized tests.

Her reason for seeking office — to provide leadership to a group of dedicated professionals while working with students — also has a personal element. Hodges is the mother of two sons, one of whom needed speech services when he was young.

“The speech therapist from our ESC provided that specialized training to help make him into a confident, successful senior at Ohio State University now,” she said. “I will forever be indebted to this talented group of professionals.”

Thiesing said the opportunity to serve on the ESC Board would allow him to give back to an educational system that helped him become who he is today.

“I was born and raised in Miami County and this is where my wife Lori and I are raising our children, Drew, Brock and Reese,” he said. “I also have been a part owner of two small businesses over the years and with those I managed operations, budgets and personnel, all of which are valuable experiences when governing a non-profit service organization such as an ESC.”

If elected, Bowman’s focus will be on financial stability, hiring the best possible educational leaders, and to advocate for all the schools in the catchment area.

Hodges’ goal for office is to continue to provide excellent services to the school districts as needed, as well as providing services to those in need in the ever-changing school system set down by via legislation.

“The legislators need to allow the schools to address their own issues,” she said. “Continually changing standardized testing concepts doesn’t help the student or the school system. Let the educators educate.”

Thiesing’s goal is to sustain the excellent service ESC provides the local districts currently for local children in need, but also to expand what the organizations offers the talented and gifted children in the area.


By Allison C. Gallagher

Reach Allison C. Gallagher at or on Twitter @Troydailynews.

Reach Allison C. Gallagher at or on Twitter @Troydailynews.