Five compete for Lake school seats


MILLBURY – The incumbents running for Lake Board of Education Nov. 3 have been through the good, the bad
and the ugly.
Margene Akenberger, the veteran of the board with eight years of service, is running unopposed for an
unexpired two-year term. "I’ve been through a lot. It started out decent, went ugly and came back
to good," said Akenberger who is a Rossford dental office scheduler.
With Lake financially stable right now, she wants another two years on the board. She is running for the
seat once held by Roger Sherman, who died unexpectedly in 2007.
"We have come so far and the future that we wanted to see for our school when we got through our
levy problem … the academics, the music, the athletics – it’s all starting to come around now,"
said Akenberger who is 48. She and her husband have two daughters; the youngest is graduating this year.
"Coming out of the depths that we were at to where we are now is probably our biggest
Four men are running for three other board of education seats, which are four-year terms. They are
incumbents Eric Hirzel, Tim Krugh and Ken Smith, and challenger Brad Delventhal.
Hirzel, 47, has been on the board since 2005. Most recently he was appointed to Sherman’s seat by a Wood
County judge when the board couldn’t come to a consensus about a replacement.
Hirzel’s late father, Karl, who served on the Northwood school board for 20 years, encouraged him to
apply when Lake was going through some huge financial turmoil.
"He said there are not very many service positions that are more rewarding than school board,"
said Hirzel, who is married and has three children. "There’s nothing more important than education
of our kids."
When Hirzel came on the board it was trying to pass new operating money, which finally happened the next
year, in August 2006. This time around, he sees more financial turmoil on the horizon – only with state
funding. He expects that Lake won’t be alone in dealing with cuts.
"I think we’re going to see most of the school districts in our area having the same issuesÉ it will
be more of big picture," said Hirzel, who is greenhouse manager and logistics coordinator for
Hirzel Canning.
Lake has great leaders, Superintendent Jim Witt and Treasurer Jeff Carpenter, Hirzel said. Bringing those
two on board is one of his biggest accomplishments as a board member, he said.
"I think those two hires, which is a big part of our job as a board É have probably been the biggest
reason of where we are now," Hirzel said. "They’ve demanded accountability. They’ve made good
Krugh also said Lake’s top hirings have been a boon for the district. "Boy, did we hit with both of
them," he said of Witt and Carpenter.
Krugh, who is 56, has been on the board for five years and has served the last two as president. He said
he provides solid leadership for the board. His job as an attorney helps with his board duties.
"I think my professional experience and my experience dealing with controversy and adversity and
sometimes conflict – that’s my professional side," said Krugh, who is married and has three
children. "But a lot of it has to do with, I’ve lived in the district my whole life, went to school
there and have a good understanding of the district and community."
Krugh said the new board faces several challenges including what to do with an expiring 6.75 mill
operating levy – the one that salvaged the district in 2006 – and a five-year permanent improvement
levy. Also three-year contracts for teachers and the non-teaching staff expire in 2010.
Smith, who is 58, is finishing up his first term on the board.
"One of my goals was to get the schools and the community back together again," he said,
explaining that he thought that was the reason the new operating money had trouble passing.
"I think we’ve made progress but I think we have a ways to go," Smith said. "I’ve always
been big on communication, that’s why I started going to (Lake Township) trustee meetings."
He also attends the occasional Walbridge Council meeting and joined Walbridge-Fest, which puts on fun
events in the community. Smith got the Lake Music Boosters involved in this month’s haunted house, which
is giving Walbridge-Fest manpower and the boosters money.
He said the two levies will be an immediate issue for the new board to deal with next year.
"Finances are always an issue," said Smith, who is a self-employed computer consultant.
"Finance and planning, that’s going to be our big challenges."
Delventhal has kept in close contact with the school since graduating in 1992 and marrying his high
school sweetheart. His family’s general contracting business sits across the street from Lake High
School. Now that he has three young children, Delventhal wants to be more involved in their education
process and serve the community.
"It’s just something that’s always interested me. I think now’s a good time. I’ve got kids growing
up," he said. "The school’s moving forward in a good direction right now. I want to continue
to keep that."
His grandfather, Bob Brossia, was a former Lake board member. "He passed away two years ago, but I
really looked up to him and he really enjoyed it when he was on it."
Delventhal said he will bring his business experience to the board.
"I think for me I just want to give something back to the district. I’m a positive person. I’m
younger. I’ll bring a little bit of youth to the board," said Delventhal, who is 35. "I hope I
can create some ideas and give my true support to the Flyers."

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