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Boards and Committees » Board of Education » Board Candidates November 2020

Board Candidates November 2020

There are five candidates running for the Otsego Board of Education in the November 3, 2020 election.  Below is information about each candidate and their message on why they are running for a seat on the Board. Just click on their name to see more. All information was provided by the candidates themselves. They are listed in alphabetical order. 
Todd BentleyMy name is Todd Bentley and I am asking for your vote this November for the Otsego School Board.  My wife, Darcy Bentley, is the P.E. Teacher at Dix Street Elementary.  We have three children in the district; Pierce (Class of 2023), Landon (Class of 2026), and Ava (Class of 2028).  We have been invested in the Otsego Community for over 20 years now and that community has been invested in us. 
2020 is a time that is unprecedented and has changed all of our lives in many ways.  Like many of you, my wife and I are working full-time jobs and learning to balance “the new normal” of the school routine.  It’s certainly not always easy and there is no rule book that tells us exactly what to do.  Times like this require calm, competence and sound decision making; which is why I am running for the Otsego School Board.  As a business professional, I understand these principles.  Now is a time that requires listening, understanding and flexibility.
As a parent, I understand the challenges that we’re all facing today.  As a business professional, I understand tough decisions.  As a member of the community, I understand that nothing is normal these days.
The theme of my campaign is Students, Teachers and Community.  My wife and I are proud that our children attend Otsego Public Schools.  We have been privileged to meet and get to know many of your kids through the years, as well as develop great relationships with many of you parents.  We recognize that our incredible teachers and staff are the backbone of the high quality education that Otsego is known for providing.  And last, but certainly not least, we love this small town that we are so proud to be a part of.  If I am elected to the Otsego School Board, in some small way, it’s an opportunity for my family and me to give back to this wonderful community that we are so fortunate to be a part of.
Shelly JirgensDevoted Wife and Mother. 25 Year Accomplished Perrigo Employee.  Loyal.  Trustworthy.  Driven.  Team Player.  Successful.  Persistent.  Energetic.
My husband and I have been life-long residents of the Otsego Public School District. I was a graduate of OPS, a parent of OPS students and now I continue to be an active citizen of the Otsego Public School District. My husband and I have always been strong proponents of quality education and extra-curricular activities. Our children received a good education, were actively involved in many school activities, and overall had a positive experience at Otsego. I co-chaired the bond committee which helped to build the High School, I was volunteer coach for many sports, a multi-year Otsego Athletic Booster Board Member, overall a frequent volunteer for many school activities and I have also received the Outstanding Citizen Award.
My desire is to continue to find ways to improve our school district and to ensure that we stay focused to deliver the best education and educational experiences possible for the students attending our schools. I will not take this role for granted and realize the importance of this position to both our students and our community.
I have had the privilege of working for an amazing company for the last 25 years which has allowed me to experience and accomplish many great things that I believe will be valuable assets as an Otsego Public School Board Member. I have proven success in Sales, Marketing and Operational roles with an ability to motivate and energize diverse teams to achieve a common goal. I am also skilled in Process Improvement, Complex Negotiations and Leadership.
You can count on me to continue to strive for academic excellence today, tomorrow and always!
Thank you for considering me as a potential member of the Otsego Public Schools Board of Education.
Desiree NeilI am a wife, mother of 2 boys (ages 4 and 9), and a Special Ed teacher at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home School. As an educator and parent, I bring a unique perspective and will be an advocate for students and parents as well as teachers as a member of the Otsego School Board. Both of my own children have special needs and I know how hard it is to advocate for their needs in the classroom as well as keep track of all the appointments and activities that have to happen after school. I work with at-risk youth who are working their way out of the justice system and back into the community. I am so lucky to work at a job that I love. I enjoy collaborating with amazing people who are trying to build up our young people and make a difference in their lives. Every day it is my goal to build relationships with students and help them see their own potential. I would bring the same goals and passion to the Otsego school system.
Jay PettyNicole and I are proud parents of four children, three of which are Otsego graduates.  We have lived in the school district for the last 15 years.  I have served on the Board of Education since 2016, serving as the President for the past two years.  I have volunteered by coaching Little League baseball in Alamo, Hoopsters Basketball and supported the Athletic and Band Boosters.  I have also worked for the Gus Macker tournament in the past.
I am a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a degree in Environmental Engineering.  After completing my military commitment, we moved to this area.  I have spent a total of 15 years at Stryker Corporation, with roles in Operations Management, Continuous Improvement, and Quality Management.
It has been an honor for me to serve on the Board of Education.  I continue to focus all my thoughts and decisions around what is best for the community, students and staff.  Being committed to continuing my development has remained a priority for me.  I am a certified board member by MASB and received an award of merit for my trainings completed in 2019.  I believe we have accomplished many things over the past few years by partnering well with the staff and gaining the trust and support of this great community.  That trust is extremely important to me and it drives me to be the best board member that I can be. 
I am humbled to have been a board member and am asking for your vote on November 3rd.
Scot ReitenourI have served on the Otsego Public School Board of Education since 2015, holding positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. My wife, Mary, and I have been part of the Otsego community for 25 years and have two children in the district, one a Senior and the other a Sophomore. I have a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from ITT Technical Institute and am a Resistance Welding, Global Account Manager for RoMan Manufacturing where I have worked for the past 25 years. I am also a board member of the Otsego Public School Foundation, Otsego Downtown Development Authority, Gus Macker 3 on 3 Tournament, and the Otsego Parks and Recreation Committee. With my passion for life-long learning and community involvement, I am committed to be a part of shaping the future of Otsego Public Schools and its community.