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Future leaders host current candidates



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March 30, 2011 - By Allan Nahajewski

Special Writer for The Review

School board candidates had a chance to introduce themselves to about 70 potential voters Monday evening, thanks mainly to the efforts of three Lake Orion High School seniors.

Rebecca Ryan, Rawley Van Fossen and Chad McNamara, members of the Lake Orion Youth in Government delegation, served as hosts and organizers of a Meet the Candidate Night at the school, co-sponsored by the Lake Orion High School PTO.

The meeting gave 11 candidates four minutes each to introduce themselves to the community, followed by an opportunity to meet and mingle with attendees. The students invited the candidates to participate and introduced them during the meeting.

"They were very excited to take part in this," said Bev Tepper, Lake Orion High School Associate Principal. "They did a fantastic job."

"I think it went well. It was great to hear the candidates' different ideas," said Ryan, who plans to study political science and journalism at Michigan State University.

"This was a good way to get involved in politics in our own community,'" said McNamara, who will study political science and pre-law at Grand Valley State University.

Van Fossen has not yet decided where he will attend college, but he plans to study public policy.

About 15 students participate in the Lake Orion Youth in Government delegation. Earlier this school year, the group made presentations to the Greater Oakland and North Oakland Republican Party organizations.

Candidates participating in Monday evening's event included incumbents Kelly Weaver and Janet Wolverton and challengers Mark Brackon, Terrie Campbell, Joseph Knight, Terry Lang, Birgit McQuiston, John Michalik, Melissa Miller and Deborah Porter. JoAnn Van Tassel spoke on behalf of candidate Connie Meech, who could not attend due to the death of her father.

"It was the first time I've heard from some of the candidates, so I found it very enlightening," said Karen Appledorn, one of the attendees. "I will want to hear more."

The school board election is set for May 3. Five of the seven board seats are available four 4-year terms and one 2-year term. Fourteen candidates will be on the ballot.

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