Meet the candidates for three GHV School Board seats

Three Board of Education seats in the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura School District will be determined in the Sept. 12 election.

Incumbents Jack Toppin and Steve Watson will be seeking re-election, while longtime Board member Larry Costello is not.  Costello served on the Ventura School District School Board and then the GHV School Board for a total of 41 years. A reception is planned for Costello Sept. 9.

Jay Larkin, of Ventura, has filed nomination papers for the Board seat, finalizing the ballot with three persons seeking three positions.

This week the GHV candidates have provided information about themselves and their vision for the school district.

Jack Toppin

I graduated from Ventura High School in 1976 and for the past 37 years I have lived in the community of Garner.  Cheryl is my wife and I have one daughter, Nicole, who will be a freshman at Iowa this year.  My educational background includes an associate degree in agriculture from NIACC and several agricultural credits from Iowa State.  I am employed at Interstate Battery and have a grain farming operation with my brother, Gene.  Other work and life experiences include being a member and deacon at St. John Lutheran Church in Garner and serving two previous terms on the school board for the Garner-Hayfield Community School District and the

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Steve Watson

My family and I live South of Ventura. I’m a 1986 Ventura graduate.  After graduation I attended Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg, Iowa.  I’ve been employed with Axalta Coating Systems for 24 years as an Account Manager.  I have been married to my wife, Wendy, for 29 years. We have two daughters. Whitney Jo, 21, she is currently in the Dental Hygiene program at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo. Kelsey, 15, is a freshman at GHV. I’m a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church in Clear Lake, and have served on various boards, along with volunteering time for other things in the church.

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Jay Larkin

My name is Jay Larkin.  I am a 2004 graduate of Garner-Hayfield.  I received my AA and building trades diploma from North Iowa Area Community College.  I am currently self-employed doing construction and radon mitigation.  My wife, Ashley, and I have three daughters, Harper, Hallee and Hadlee.

Job experience or qualifications you feel relate to your candidacy:

Being a self-employed contractor and dealing with homeowners, I feel I will be good at communicating with other board members and parents.

What is the most important quality you would bring to the School Board?

Young and interested

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