Ohio County School Board Candidates Will Debate This Week in Wheeling

From left, Molly Aderholt, Christine Carder, David Croft and Karen Shuler Stakem

WHEELING — The first of two scheduled debates hosted by The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register is set for this week, as candidates for the Ohio County Board of Education will answer questions during an event Thursday at West Virginia Northern Community College.

From 6:30-8 p.m., candidates Molly Aderholt, Christine Carder, David Croft and Karen Shuler Stakem will appear before residents to give their vision for the future of Ohio County Schools. The four candidates are seeking three open seats on the board of education during the May 8 election.

The venue for the event, which is open to the public, is Northern’s B&O Building.

Two of the candidates — incumbent Carder and newcomer Aderholt — are guaranteed seats on the board, as they both represent Magisterial District 3. That makes the race a two-way affair between Croft and Shuler Stakem, both of whom reside in District 2.

In West Virginia, state law stipulates that no more than two school board members can represent any one of the three magisterial districts.

With current board member Zach Abraham representing District 1 and Sarah Koegler representing District 2, that means, given the districts of the candidates running, that two will be elected from District 3 and only one from District 2.

Questions during the event will range from ideas on the school bond levy and where the money should be directed to what the district is doing to help all students achieve while also providing a safe and productive learning environment.

“Ohio County Schools is well positioned for the future, and now it’s up to county voters to decide which three candidates will represent their interests — and, most importantly, the interests of all students — over the next few years,” said John McCabe, managing editor of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. “This is a pivotal point in the district’s history, with major upgrades and innovations being planned through the proposed $42.2 million school bond. If the bond passes, the next board will determine how those projects proceed, and also set a clear course for continued success in the district. We invite you to join with us Thursday as we learn more about four very qualified candidates.”

The evening’s events will include a brief explanation on just how school board candidates are elected in West Virginia.

Refreshments will be provided after the event.

Community input also is being sought for the school board forum, as the newspapers will select several questions posed by community members to ask during the event. If you have a question you would like to pose, email McCabe at jmccabe@theintelligencer.net.

A second debate hosted by the newspapers, this one set from 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, April 23, will feature all six Republican U.S. Senate candidates — Evan Jenkins, Don Blankenship, Patrick Morrisey, Tom Willis, Jack Newbrough and Bo Copley. That event is scheduled to take place at Wheeling Jesuit University’s Troy Theater.