CASSTOWN — There are four candidates in the running for two seats on the Miami East Board of Education in the Nov. 3 election.
Vying for the seats are John E. Demmitt, a high school criminal justice teacher at the Greene County Career Center and adjunct criminal justice professor for Liberty University; Mark Iiames, vice president of Sidney Electric Company; Harold Brumfield, retired; and Rusty Miller, who did not provide a candidate profile for this article.
After retiring from the Atlanta Police Department, Demmitt moved back to Troy and since then, his children have attended Miami East Schools and he has been actively involved in the district.
“As a parent of students attending, a graduate of, and property owner in the district of Miami East, I am committed to seeing the school operate at the highest of standards,” Demmitt said. “Besides regularly attending school events, I have served as a coach in Little League sports and am an active member of the Miami East Athletic Boosters. In addition, over the last year, I have regularly attended Miami East Board of Education meetings.”
Demmitt has a master’s in public administration from Columbus State University, which has provided him with the academic skill set to address such items as budget, planning, personnel issues, and liability that “the board regularly deals” with.
“With nearly 20 years of employment as a police officer and being in my fifth year of teaching, my employment background will provide positive traits that will assist me in my role as a board member,” Demmitt said.
Iiames graduated from Miami East High School in 1996 and went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree from Purdue University in 2001 and a master’s in business administration from Otterbein University in 2004. He was on the board of trustees at The Overfield School and was a past board member of Habitat for Humanity of Miami County and Dayton Builders exchange.
“I have had the privilege of being raised in the Miami East School District and now have the opportunity to raise my own child in the district,” Iiames said. “Since my graduation, and for the past 18 years, I have been working with students annually at Miami East and know firsthand just how valuable the education Miami East provides.
“I have long appreciated the diligent work of our administration and school board, and am confident I could be a strong member of that team.”
Brumfield has had previous board experience for 12 years and has been a PTO officer for eight years. He also has been on a strategic planning team with 12 years of experience and a committee leader for buildings and facilities for 12 years.
Demmitt expressed three of his highest priorities if elected as a board member.
“As a board member, my highest priority will be to ensure that our students are receiving the best service that the district can provide and ensure that our students are provided a safe environment,” Demmitt said, “Secondly, that the district is run in a fiscally responsible manner, and that the buildings and other capital of the district are properly maintained.
“Third, that the employees of the district receive useful, professional development and appropriate compensation.”
Iiames shared his goals if elected as a board member.
“I would like to make a significant contribution to the board and together with fellow members continue to support the administration so that they might provide the highest quality of education available to our children,” he said.
Brumfield wants to establish a plan to provide for the growing number of students coming from new housing that “lies within our district, but outside our jurisdiction that limits our (ability) to predict and prepare for,” he said.
With a new neighborhood being constructed, Demmitt thinks the greatest need in the district comes down to having enough staff and buses.
“Currently, there is at least one new neighborhood being constructed in the district and the planning for at least one more,” Demmitt said, “These have the potential to increase the student population in the district. Over the next few years, there will be several issues (particularly staffing and busing) that could be impacted by the increase.”
“I believe our greatest need is to further advance the excellent reputation that Miami East Schools have academically,” Iiames said. “And to be true to the mission and vision of our district by enabling our educators to develop the mind, character, and physical well-being of our students.”
Brumfield believes that revenue stability is the top priority of actions that need to be made by the board.
“Miami East is a very strong district both academically and (with) the facilities, but my biggest present concern is maintaining fiscal strength and stability,” Brumfield said. “The state continually adds unfunded mandates to schools, yet limits the way we can raise revenue. I want to find different ways to raise revenue without raising taxes on farmers and senior citizens.”
Demmitt is married to his wife Brittany and has two children Coleman, 12, and Ella, 11. Iiames and wife Nicole and have a 3-year-old, Elizabeth. Brumfield is married to his wife Susan and has a son, Steven, who is married with three kids and lives in Plainfield, Ill. Their daughter, Jennifer, is engaged and lives locally.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.