Lake Station Community School Board at-large race pits two incumbents, one newcomer

2012-11-03T18:30:00Z 2012-11-06T17:07:04Z Lake Station Community School Board at-large race pits two incumbents, one newcomerDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

LAKE STATION | James Busch hopes his third try running for a seat on the Lake Station school board will prove the charm.

Busch is running in Tuesday's election against incumbents Larry Biggs and Jim Vanderlin for two available at-large seats.

Busch, 57, owns two local businesses and said one of the reasons he wants to serve is to reduce school expenditures.

"I pay a lot of taxes," Busch said.

Busch said he has an issue with the $19,536 in medical insurance each School Board member receives in addition to an annual salary of $2,000.

Board members, who work only part-time, shouldn't be entitled to medical insurance because part-time school employees don't receive those same benefits, Busch said.

That money could be spent to better fund school-related activities such as full-day kindergarten the previous year.

"If I win, I am not taking the insurance," Busch said.

Biggs, 57, who has served on the board for 16½ years, wants to serve another four years.

As a U.S. Steel retiree, Biggs said he's the only board member who doesn't receive medical insurance.

"I get benefits from U.S. Steel," he said.

Biggs said his goals if re-elected include encouraging better ISTEP scores, looking for funding for small schools so children can have the same things as bigger schools and encouraging administrators and teachers to always have children reach their highest potential.

James Vanderlin, 75, has served on the school board for 40 years.

"I'm hoping to serve 44 years," Vanderlin said.

Vanderlin said he does receive medical insurance as a School Board member.

"That's a prerogative of each person," Vanderlin said.

His goals, if elected, include improving test scores of students with a partnership involving schools, parents and students; providing a curriculum that meets the needs of all students whether college-bound, trade school or military and having more parental involvement and better communication among all involved with education.

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