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Who Are Your School Board Candidates in Bremen?

by Amy Wenger on November 3, 2014


DISTRICT 1:  Sheila Kelty (Incumbant)

Dr. Sheila Kelty is a Bremen native and a 1985 graduate of Bremen High School.  Her mother's family dates back several generations in calling Bremen their home.  Her family includes husband David, a retired school teacher, and their four children.  Dr. Kelty has served on the Bremen school board since July of 2013, when former board member Frankie Merritt moved out of the state.

Dr. Kelty presently works as a Transformation Officer at IU Health Goshen.  She transitioned her career into the healthcare field in 2001, and earned her Doctorate in Health Administration in 2013.  Prior to 2001, she spent several years working in finance, having earned both a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Finance & Finance Institutions from Ball State University.  Dr. Kelty also spent several years working as a missionary, spending two years in Mexico, where she became fluent in Spanish.  Her family is actively involved with Nappanee Missionary Church, and she is a member of the Bremen Kiwanis Club.  She has previously served on the Board of Directors for Heart and Hands, the United Way of Marshall County - Bremen Cabinet.

Among the many milestones that have transpired during Dr. Kelty's tenure include the implemention of Project Lead the Way, which increases the knowledge of students in the fields of engineering, biomedical science, and computer science.  She was also involved in a measure which allowed for the addition of a 3/4 time teacher in the Career & Technical Education Program, which includes Agriculture, Business, Family, & Consumer Sciences and Health Sciences.  A new full-time teacher was also hired to specialize in English as a New Language for students who are still mastering the basics of the English language.

Dr. Kelty has been fortunate to serve on the Woodie's Scholarship committee, an experience that she called a special honor, as both she and one of her sons are former recipients of the award.  She noted that it was exciting to read through the applications and discover the high ambitions that the graduating seniors had planned for their futures.

The highlight of her tenure, Dr. Kelty said, was working to select a new school superintendent.  When the board became aware of Mr. Mikel's departure at the conclusion of the 2013-14 school year, the board recognized the importance of updating the job description, creating an appropriate job posting, and creating evaluation criteria for the hiring process.  Her 25 years of management experience proved helpful to this endeavor, and she believes strongly that the board's selection of Dr. White means that Bremen Public Schools can improve confidence in the district's leadership, building upon the reputation for a strong and growing school.

Her goals for Bremen Public Schools are to continue to add teachers and courses that allow students to learn what is necessary for their futures.  As a mother to four children with varying degrees of learning capabilities, she recognizes the need to adequately prepare the individual scholar for the skills that are necessary to succeed in life.  She stated that the experiences at Bremen Public Schools should include opportunities to help the student transition into whatever vocation they plan to pursue beyond high school, whether that path includes college, direct entrance into the work force, joining the military, or attending a trade or technical school.

Dr. Kelty also adds that Bremen has a distinct advantage, in that students remain on one campus throughout their entire K-12 scholastic career.  This allows younger students to utilitze amenities such as the swimming pool, auditorium, football field, and track.  Bremen is also well known for hiring a large number of teachers who are direct products of the local educational system, as they are familiar with the community, the students, and the faculty.  She also observed that Bremen has been a desirable educational destination for students beyond the Bremen district, as evidenced by the rising number of transfer students.  The word is being shared with regards to Bremen's rigorous academic standards, high student behavior expectations, and caring teachers and staff.

Dr. Kelty has enjoyed serving on the Bremen Public Schools Board of Trustees, and hopes to continue in that service for many years.

DISTRICT 1:  Maria Mikel

Maria Mikel will be on the ballot for the Bremen School Board on Election Day, November 4. This slot is open as a non-partisan position and is not limited to a specific district. Mikel’s mission in this capacity is to be a voice for our community’s children, families and educators, improve uses of available resources: people, process and technology, and ensure fiscal responsibility.

Mikel and her husband Trevor have two children, 3rd and 6th graders who attend Bremen Elementary-Middle School. She met her Bremen-native husband at Purdue University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Maria then worked for Accenture (then, Andersen Consulting), one of the largest consulting firms in the world. She has had an incredible career working on projects for large corporations, including American Express, the United States Department of Agriculture, The International Monetary Fund and Belgacom (a Belgium telecommunications company).

She brought a wealth of experience when she taught technology to 1st through 5th grade Bremen students from August 2012 to June 2014. She taught more than 520 students, tackling an aggressive curriculum, which included Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Earth, iMovie, business and financial, world geography and language applications. Her classes were paperless and student's projects are saved in their Edmodo "digital backpack."

The Mikel family moved to Bremen permanently a few years ago from Chicago. There, she had initiated an after-school program where 6th - 8th graders were trained as technicians and would dismantle laptops/computers and reassemble them to working conditions.  She loves challenges and new adventures and is not afraid to tackle large endeavors. She enjoys volunteering and non-profit work, where she finds her skills especially impactful. At Common Threads, a non-profit organization started by Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey's chef, Mikel automated their silent auction process. That year their donations doubled from the previous year.

Mikel is the president of the Bremen Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), is on the Education Committee of her church, has coached six soccer teams and is a member of Tri Kappa. She has organized a number of successful school/community events, including, Fall “Clean & Green” at Jane's Park, Family Bingo Night, Breakfast with Santa, Race for Education, and the upcoming school Fall Festival (November 14).

Her ability to bring together people from different organizations was evident in the successful Clean & Green work on October 11, where Bremen organizations enthusiastically worked side-by-side to
beautify the Jane’s Park landscape.  Maria would be a valuable asset to the School Board and asks for your vote on November 4.


DISTRICT 2:  Todd Stuckman (Incumbant)

The People's Paper made several attempts to get information about Candidate, Todd Stuckman and have not gotten a response.



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