Baker, Streng retain GH school board seats

Krystle Wagner • Nov 7, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Two incumbents retained their seats on the Grand Haven Area Public Schools’ Board of Education.

Christine Baker and Chris Streng received the most votes in Tuesday’s General Election. Baker received 8,274 votes and Streng was a close second with 8,240. 

Amy Masko made a strong push but fell just short with 8,008 votes. Stephen Rockman finished with 3,543 votes. Kevin Moore, who withdrew his name from contention, still managed 2,576 votes. 

Results for write-in candidates running for two six-year terms for the Spring Lake Public Schools’ Board of Education weren’t available by press time.

Baker, a retired educator, has served one the board since 2012.

Prior to serving on the board, Baker was an administrator for the district from 1977-87. She was also a volunteer for the PTA and sports during her children’s time in the district.

In the last few years of Baker’s career, she was an early childhood consultant for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, where she worked with GHAPS administration and early childhood staff.

Baker is the district’s board representative to the Grand Haven Schools Foundation.

In a questionnaire candidates answered for the Tribune, Baker said she ran for re-election to maintain continued leadership.

“I have worked hard to learn to be an effective board member through classes offered by the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), and currently am a MASB Certified Board Member,” Baker said. “To accomplish our goals, strong advocacy for public education in our community and with other elected officials is critical to improving statewide education funding and policy.”

Baker said she believed she provides strong advocacy and wants to continue to positively offer positive influence for the direction of education.

If elected, Baker said in the questionnaire that her priorities include “fiscal stability, equity and excellence in student outcomes, culture of inclusiveness, professional and development support, college and career readiness, expansion of early childhood programs, public school advocacy and community partnerships.”

Streng, operations manager for JSJ Corp., was first appointed to the GHAPS school board in July 2017.

In the candidate questionnaire, Streng said he ran for election because he’s a supporter and believer in public education.

As the son of two educators, Streng said he saw the impact teachers can make on students, and the district provided him with an “outstanding educational foundation” that provided him an opportunity to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

Streng said he ran for election to advocate for students and ensure staff and teachers have tools needed to provide the best education for students.

In addition to attending GHAPS, Streng’s seven children also currently attend schools within the district. Streng has volunteered to read to students during the Leadership Connect Program, participated in the Mary A. White Watch D.O.G. program, and spoken with classes about Memorial Day.

Streng also attends numerous district events to support his children and the district.

Streng has also coached travel and recreational youth soccer for 12 years, been a United Way Community Investment panel leader, Rotary Youth Student Exchange committee member, YMCA Board member, Folds of Honor Michigan board member, and recently served as a co-chair of the Reimagine Project.

In the questionnaire, Streng said that if elected, his overall goal would be for students to succeed.

“This goal is accomplished by aligning the GHAPS strategic plan and vision with student needs, while they are in our district and as they leave to future their education or enter the workforce,” Streng said.

Streng said that he plans to work with the board and superintendent to ensure staff and teachers have training and tools available to them to provide early intervention for students.

Additionally, Streng said he’s committed to exposing students to professions available in the community.

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