Thursday, November 3, 2022

Voters to select members of board of education

Voters will choose four members of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Board of Education during the Nov. 8 balloting.

Two candidates are vying for the single, 2-year term of office while six others hope to fill one of the three, 6-year terms on the board.

Incumbent board member Patricia McCoin and Sebastien Ostertag are seeking the two-year term. McCoin earned her bachelor's degree in business administration at Eastern Michigan University and her master's degree at Wayne State University. She also has a graduate certificate in from Western Michigan University and works as a middle school math, social studies and ESL teacher with the Detroit Public Schools.  Ostertag, 22, is a 2019 graduate of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools.

This is his second attempt to join the school board. He sought the office in 2020 and received 22,000 votes. He is attending Schoolcraft College pursuing a teaching degree and volunteers with human rights organizations including Right to Life Michigan.

The six candidates each vying for one of three 6-year terms on the board include current Board Vice President LaRonda Chastang and Amanda Krinke who taught in South Africa as part of a graduate program at Michigan State University. She has worked as a teacher in both public and charter schools and she volunteers in the district where her children are attending classes.

Chastang, who has children attending district schools, serves as vice president of Diversity and Inclusion for Trinity Health in Livonia. She was appointed in March of 2021 to fill an unexpired term on the school board.

Also seeking a 6-year term are Nathan Morris, who is employed as an engineer in the automotive industry and as a mathematics tutor. He and his wife are the parents of two young children. Sheryl Picard, who was also a candidate for the school board in 2020 now serves as an election precinct delegate is also seeking one of the three seats along with current board Secretary Anupam Chugh Sidhu, who has worked as a teacher, tutor, education consultant, administrator and as a school board member. She claims experience in education policy, leadership, programs and strategic planning.

Sidhu was twice appointed by the governor to serve on state educational advisory committees. She and her husband have one child attending school in the district.

Candidate Judith Westra is an information technology professional who earned her degree from the University of Maryland. She and her husband have two children and she volunteers at schools in the district and has experience with leading large projects and dealing with large diverse groups. 

Members of the school board are responsible for establishing district educational policies, reviewing budgets and the hiring and supervision of district administrators, including the superintendent of schools.