Melina Foster & family

Shannon Sinclair & family

SINCLAIR AND FOSTER RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD OPEN SEAT

Canton's School Board election will take place Tues., Feb. 13th.  The candidates for the open seat are Melina Foster and Shannon Sinclair.
 
Both Foster and Sinclair have lived in the Canton area for several years, and their children attend school in Canton.
 
Previously, Foster was employed in the real estate field.  She has also served on the town board as a trustee and as Mayor of Canton.  
 
She currently volunteers with the school, boy scouts and as president of the Lions Club.  She also works with her husband in their family operated businesses.
 
Sinclair has worked with his father for their heat and air business serving both the Watonga and Canton areas for several years.  He then stepped in to his father's role in the company after his father's retirement.  He also works with his uncle, Dewayne Sinclair, on the football field's lighting maintenance.  
 
Foster looks forward to the future of the Canton school system.
 
"My only agenda for wanting to join the school board is to ensure the best education possible that our district can provide to our children currently going to school and those that might be joining us in the near future here in Canton," she said.
 
Sinclair also has ideas for the future of the school.
 
"We have great kids!...Keeping them involved in as many extra-curricular activities...has got to be one of our main priorities...giving our kids as 
many tools as we possibly can so they can be successful," he said.
 
Below are the full statements from Foster and Sinclair as sent to the Canton Times on February 6, 2018:
 
Shannon Sinclair
My name is Shannon Sinclair and I am thrilled to announce that I am seeking the open seat on the Canton School Board of Education and I would truly appreciate your support and your vote. My wife, Janet (Kephart) and I have two boys, Jake age 15 and Jarrett age 12.  They have both attended Canton school all of their lives.  We live south of Southard a few miles and have lived there since 2006.  We decided to move there when Jake was about to begin pre-kindergarten, because we knew Canton was where we wanted them to attend.  Canton is home for my wife.  She was raised here, her parents, Jess and Judy still live here and are very involved in all of their grandkids lives.  Janet graduated from Canton in 1997 as the salutatorian in her class but she was also very active in basketball and many other activities.  I graduated from Watonga High School in 1993 and since that time, I’ve been working alongside my dad running our heat and air business, Sinclair Heat and Air.  We’ve owned this company for over 40 years and in the past five or six years, business has been booming.  We not only serve the Watonga area, but a huge percentage of our customers are in the Canton area.  Since my dad’s retirement in 2011, I’ve tried to fill his huge shoes, but it’s a large task.  He’s a smart, hardworking man.  Luckily for us, we’re growing and we have a bright future.  
 
 Since I have the opportunity to be in the community so much, I get a chance to speak to many people.  I speak to parents of students, teachers, community leaders, business owners, retired teachers, or citizens.  I could use this as a tool to bring forward insights or questions, concerns, ideas or any other thoughts to the board.  I am also a parent of two kids that are involved in a lot of activities.  They are students, football players, basketball players, and track athletes.  They show animals, participate in History Day, and are pretty well-rounded boys.  I feel like I have a unique opportunity to gain insight on the needs of the school based on the things I observe at school functions, as well as issues the community has discussed. 
Another unique insight that I can bring to the table is my knowledge of some of the school campus’ maintenance and structural needs.  My uncle, Dewayne Sinclair and I have maintained the football field lighting for many, many years and this is an urgent need the school has.  I think that a board should have members from every background and I could bring my expertise to the table.  I have no problem asking questions that need to be asked, making level-headed decisions and putting in the work required until the job is perfect.  I’m very aware of looking into the way we spend money now, will help save money in the future.
 
 Throughout the years, watching my boys grow-up, I’ve watched the school’s education improve by leaps and bounds!  Our school report card is stellar, and my wife and I are extremely impressed with the way the teachers are utilizing the chromebook technology.  However, one of my major concerns is downsizing the special education staff.  No one was let go, teachers were not replaced last year and the special education department suffered. These teachers are amazing and work hard but they do in fact need help. We need to take a step back and look at that. From talking to Janet, my kids, their friends’ parents, other community members and my own personal opinion, another of my major concerns right now is low school morale.  It is quite evident in many school activities, sporting events, etc.  It can’t be blamed on the teachers not doing enough because that is not the case at all.  They are amazing and actually do more than what they are asked of.  Programs that intertwine the community and the school, getting them involved will help improve morale.   Improving the locker rooms at the football field and working on the whole field house would help kick things off.  Putting money towards resurfacing the track, high-jump equipment and other track and field equipment would give some of the kids that aren’t competitive in other sports, a chance to be competitive.  Furthermore, we built a track, we need to finish it a way in which it can be used for track and field and not a walking track.  We have very talented athletes in our town.  We have great kids!  Keeping them involved in as many extra-curricular activities and off the streets and out of trouble has got to be one of our main priorities.  Raising morale.  Giving our kids as many tools as we possibly can so they can be successful.  That’s the right thing to vote for.  The bond issue is about time to be renewed and looked at again.  I think it’s time we look at putting some of our tax dollars towards the things that’ll make the biggest impact on raising morale.  It needs to go towards what the kids will feel the direct effects of.  The school board we have now is amazing, definitely is on the right track, and our administration is one of the best in the state.  I’d love the opportunity to be a part of making our school even better!  Thank you for this opportunity.

 

Melina Foster
Hi, my name is Melina Foster, I decided to run for the School Board when I first learned that the current seat was being vacated.  I have been in the Canton area now for over 10 years and have raised my 4 boys entirely in the Canton school system. Before moving to Canton, I was in the Real Estate Legal field for 13yrs. Currently my husband and I operate family owned businesses.  I feel like I bring a common sense approach to most situations I have been involved in while being a member of this community. 
 
I have served on the town board as a trustee and as mayor for Canton.  I’m an active school volunteer & a volunteer for Boy Scouts. I’m currently serving as president for Canton Lions Club.  Through the years that I’ve volunteered and served as soccer president for the Canton Soccer association I have come to know many of our town kids that attend our school system. 
 
My only agenda for wanting to join the school board is to ensure the best education possible that our district can provide to our children currently going to school and those that might be joining us in the near future here in Canton. I’m happy to say that I have no opponent because the other nominee is a friend and I wish him the best. I’m happy Canton had more than one person willing to volunteer and help our community in this position, with this said I feel confident I can help make a difference I would appreciate your vote in this endeavor.
 

 

 

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