In a field of five candidates, newcomers Carmen J. Paterniti and Todd Albright captured the two Chardon Local School District Board of Education seats up for grabs in the general election on Tuesday.
Mr. Paterniti, 37, of Chardon garnered 2,662 votes and Mr. Albright, 38, of Chardon had 2,479 votes, according to unofficial tallies from the Geauga County Board of Elections.
“I want to thank the community, my wife and my kids for supporting me and my family,” Mr. Paterniti said Tuesday night after the count. “I feel very confident in getting things done and hopefully having a new perspective on things, especially being a parent in the district. So I’m looking forward to some better communication from a parent’s perspective, a resident’s perspective and really bring a solid opportunity of trust to the table.”
The field of candidates included incumbent Madelon Horvath, and challengers Carmen J. Paterniti, Todd Albright, Gina Payne and Alicia Taylor.
As president of D&S Automotive and Defender Auto Glass, Mr. Paterniti previously said his background as a business owner in the community could help mend the bond between the school and the city. He said taxpayers should always foot the bill when it comes to bonds and levies.
Mr. Paterniti said that he would like to see more skill-based learning opportunities in the schools. He has been a huge advocate for the Auburn Career Center having created an apprenticeship program, placing more than a dozen students into careers in his industry.
As a parent of two young daughters in the district, Mr. Paterniti said he would like to see a focus on earlier intervention when it comes to individualized education plans.
Mr. Albright stated that he was very grateful for support from voters.
“I do want to express my profound gratitude to the voters of the Chardon Local School District who have placed their trust in me,” said Mr. Albright. “I’m grateful for their support, their encouragement and their enthusiasm and I look forward to serving them.”
Mr. Albright has said that broken trust is one of the major issues facing the school district. One of his top priorities is to emphasize that parents and only parents have the right to make all educational decisions for their children.
With approximately 79 percent of taxes being school related, he said, the community has well-founded concerns when it comes to the affordability of retirement. Mr. Albright previously said that every challenge the school system has can be fixed if the community faces them together.