Incumbents face challenger

One challenger is looking to steal a Vermilion school board seat from one of two incumbents running for re-election.
Shawn Foucher
Oct 30, 2013

 

But board members Sid Jordan and Chris Habermehl seem to have no intention of giving up ground to newcomer Grant Harding.

“Vermilion has done a great job balancing available resources in recent years, and my goal is to make sure we continue to have the support of our residents going forward,” Habermehl said. “As a board member, I understand that I represent the people of our community and am always willing to listen and take direction based on feedback.”

Habermehl, a Vermilion High grad and lifelong Vermilion resident, has children who attend Vermilion schools. He works as a material planning and logistics manager at the Avon Lake Ford plant. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the school board last year.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my one-year appointment and have learned a great deal about how school districts operate,” he said. “Having seven children, I feel that I have a vested interest and would like to continue to serve the people of district. I believe in the reinvention plan that has been launched by the district, that includes the one-to-one computer technology and the addition of a new school building.”

Jordan, who works in the steel industry, said he was a board member five years ago when the district hired superintendent Phil Pempin.

“Mr. Pempin immediately became a great working partner based on a common vision for our public schools,” Jordan said. “We both believed that we should change the traditional mentality of ‘that’s the way we always have done it.’ It was this change of mindset that led to significant improvements in the Vermilion School district, mostly through the Reinvention plan.”

Both Jordan and Habermehl touted their work in helping in the district save money, as well as supporting new technology initiatives.

Harding, 62, recently retired from his longtime job as a Vermilion Schools custodian. He said friends, family and former co-workers urged him to seek a spot on the board.

“After working that many years, 20 years, inside the school district as a custodian, I’ve seen so many things happen,” Harding said. “But board members, in general, don’t have any idea what goes on internally in the school district, day to day. I want to bring that perspective to the the school board— give them a look from the inside out, instead of outside in.”