The PORTA Board of Education will have 4 four year seats and 1 two year unexpired term seat open for election on April 2, 2019. Returning members of the current Board of Education include Robert “Toby” Turek who resides in voting district T18NR7W, which includes the City of Petersburg and Lake Petersburg and Jeff Smith who resides in voting district T18NR8W on his family farm West of Petersburg.
The current election will have two separate contested seats which include a 4 year seat in which returning Board Member Craig Reincke will be opposed by Chris Henderson, both of whom reside in the Petersburg City and Lake voting area. The second contested seat is a 2 year unexpired term seat that was created with the resignation of Jason Burris in August of 2018. Candidates running for the 2 year seat are Jeremy Garner and William “Bill” Shaub both once again from the City of Petersburg and Lake voting area.
Other candidates running for 4 year terms include incumbent Kevin Bettis and Brandy Zanger who both reside in the T18NR6W voting district or more commonly known Woodland Lakes and East of Petersburg voting area. The final candidate and newly appointed member to the Board is Jeff Schoneweis who resides on his family Farm in the Tallula voting area.
When the PORTA District was formed through consolidation it was determined that no more than three Board Members could reside inside any one voting district, ie T18NR7W. During this election there are only two seats open in the Lake/City of Petersburg voting district and as such Henderson and Reincke will effectively be running for the same seat, as will Garner and Shaub for the 2 year unexpired term. All others running for the Board of Education are running uncontested.
I am Kevin Bettis and I have lived in Petersburg since 1991 when I was assigned to Menard County as an Illinois Conversation Police Officer. I retired in August 2017 after serving the community and the state of Illinois for 27 years. My wife, Molly, and I have 3 children. Erin graduated from PORTA in 2012 and from Bradley University in 2016 and is an Accountant at Caterpillar. Brandon graduated from PORTA in 2015 and will graduate from the University of Iowa in May with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Ryan is an 8th grader who will graduate in May.
Currently, I am President of the PORTA School Board and have served in that position for 2 years during my 16 year tenure on the Board. I enjoy serving on the board and serving the community, acting as a voice for the students, parents and staff. I continually work and strive to bring new ideas to our district to enhance the educational experience for PORTA students, while maintaining fiscally responsible decisions. In addition to my service on the board, I am also very involved in our community from coaching youth sports, serving on community boards, and PORTA Sports Boosters. I look forward to continuing my service for the next 4 years. I appreciate your vote on April 2. Thank you.
My name is Jeremy Garner and I want to be a part of the PORTA school board. I am employed by the State of Illinois Department of Corrections as a lieutenant for the past 22 years. I have lived in Petersburg for 5 years and I am very active in the community by coaching youth sports football, basketball and baseball. My wife is a kindergarten teacher at PORTA elementary. I have two children my daughter is a sophomore at PORTA and my son is in first grade. Prior to living in Petersburg, we lived in Chandlerville and I was a member of the AC Central school board for 7 years. While serving on the AC central school board I had to learn how to do more with less in this ever changing financial crisis the State of Illinois has created. If elected to the PORTA school board I know my experience as a previous school board member would make a difference. I do this for the right reasons, the future of the community. Your whole community will either prosper or fold depending on what your school district can provide for today’s youth and it is not going to get any easier with state unfunded mandates on our district. My son has 11 more years of school ahead of him and my hope is that this district can gain academically and athletically every single year he has at PORTA and every year beyond. I am also sure every parent or grandparent wants the same for their family. I believe as a community we can do it.
I have been a lifelong resident of Petersburg where I live with my wife Angie, our children Ashton and Paige as well as my nephew, Carson. I graduated from PORTA with the Class of 1998. I attended Lincoln Land Community College and University of Illinois in Champaign studying Communications and Fire Science as well as completing the Advanced Firefighter curriculum. For the last ten years, I have been employed by the American Tower Corporation, headquartered in Boston. American Tower is one of the largest global Real Estate Investment Trusts and leading independent owner, operator and developer of wireless and broadcast communications real estate. In the last four years I have been in the role of Site Operations Manager and Project Manager dealing with very large budgets where allocating funds is crucial to the financial success of the company.
I have been very active in the community over the years and support several organizations. I have been a Firefighter/EMT since 2010 and currently hold the rank of Captain for the Petersburg Fire Department. I was humbled to be voted Officer of the Year in 2014, 2016 & 2018 by my colleagues. I am also Vice President for the New Salem Shrine Club. Past volunteer opportunities have included: member of the Menard County Rescue Squad and PORTA JFL Coach. I am also an active member of my Church where I have been a longtime member.
I am very passionate about volunteering in our community and hope to continue doing so as a member of the School Board. Working together, I believe our efforts will ensure a better education for our children and in turn an amazing environment for them to flourish. Building a prosperous future for the District should be paramount and the growth and success of our students as well as their families should always be our focal point.
Craig was born and raised on a family farm in Nokomis, IL. Him and his older brother helped raise cattle and were involved in the FFA. Craig was involved in Baseball, Basketball and Football receiving achievements in all. Craig was also involved in a Building Trades program that built houses for the community. Craig and his brother spent a lot of time in the summer on the ITPA Tractor pulling circuit, traveling around Illinois attending county fairs. Tractor pulling was a big part of his life, we made it our business to run with the Big Dawgs in the sport. Buying parts to building tractor frames to re-building WWII v-12 allison aircraft engines and being one of the youngest pullers to ever pull in the National Farm Machinery Show In Louisville Ky. We built and sold a tractors, engines, and parts all over the world. Craig was recognized for Modified Puller of the Year, Best in Show and Points Champion during the 8 years of dedication.
Attended Lake Land Community College for one year with a major in Ag Business. Due to his father having a major injury he took over the responsibilities of the family farm for a couple of years before his Dad was able to get all healed up. Running a business just came natural, so after attending Lincoln Land Community College and achieving a Horticulture Certificate. Image Design and Landscaping was started in 2002.
Craig and Rachelle Reincke got married and not long after and blessed to have Krayon (13) and Kip (9). Making a business move to Petersburg happened about 8 years ago. Where we got busy building our business and volunteered in youth programs, coaching, community events, church and 4 years ago got elected to the Porta school board. In the past four years Craig has been able to get a better understanding of how the District is operating. Been involved with Teacher Negations (1), Building and grounds committee (4), fundraising and or corporate sponsor committee (3) and have attended Board Conferences to encourage and enlighten what opportunities might be valuable. Craig has also been part of the potential Menard County CEO program and is working with the community to help bring an Economic Development conversation (PREP) back into a public forum.
Message from the candidate:
I would like to help our community develop a more unified Strategic Plan also like to help with Succession Planning for our District administrators by creating transition committees, teacher lead programs, and other ideas we need to be considering. I would like to be part of a unified Board that utilizes everyone’s strengths and wants to work together to unify and strengthen the overall direction of the District. I would like to help introduce different ways we can become more efficient as a community and continue to build on relationships we have all while exploring new opportunities that can be valuable for our youth.
I was born and raised in Tallula, Illinois, where I attended Tallula Grade School, and graduated from Porta High School in 1978. I then attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado for two years majoring in ag-business, finance, and marketing. I continue to farm in and around Menard County, striving to be a good neighbor, and steward of the land.
My wife works for the State Board of Education in the special education services division. We have two daughters; one in the fourth, and the other in sixth at Porta Central. Both girls are active in our PAA sports program, playing softball, soccer, and basketball of which I’ve had the opportunity to help coach. I am very proud that both girls are on the honor roll, which I attribute to the great teachers and staff they have had growing up in the Porta School system and Petersburg community.
We attend Tallula Christian Church, where I have previously held the office of Vice Chairman of the board, head of the property committee, and served as a deacon and elder. I am a member of the Menard County Farm Bureau, previously serving as chairman or the Young Farmer’s Committee.
I was appointed to the school board recently to fill a seat where a previous board member moved out of the district. I’ve really enjoyed being on the board so far, getting to work with some outstanding teachers, principals, staff, and a great superintendent, who are trying to educate our youth.
I feel very strongly that our early education programs are vital to our children’s overall education. If the kids have not learned the difference between right and wrong at home at an early age, then they and their parent’s need to know that there are consequences to their actions at school. We can’t expect our teachers to raise these kids; that is the parent’s responsibility. We are paying our teachers to TEACH, not run a day-care. If we can’t do that because of school policy, then maybe we need to change our policy. Maybe we need to teach more common sense, and less common core.
I realize that not everyone agrees with my views, which is great, because we need a variety of different opinions to make good decisions as a board. I feel we should work together, to get the brightest ideas, to make the best decisions, and do what is right the first time around. It’s a lot easier and less expensive to do it right the first time.
Bill Shaub and his family moved to Petersburg in the summer of 2015. Bill works as a District Manager for Walgreens, his wife, Lindsey, is a substitute teacher for PORTA schools, his son, Trace is in eighth grade at PORTA Junior High, and his daughter, Tristan, is in fifth grade at PORTA Central. Bill and his wife quickly became involved in the community upon moving here, through their church, school, and sports. Bill has been active in working with the youth of the community though coaching and other school related events. Most often, he can be found working with the football and wrestling teams.
Bill graduated from Lockport High School in 1997, and went on to play football for and graduate from Millikin University in 2002 with degrees in both History and Secondary Education. Bill and his wife Lindsey lived in Springfield after college, moving to Bourbonnais, IL in 2009.
Bill‘s active involvement and service to the community was instilled in him by his parents in childhood and has continued throughout his adult life. He has served on numerous boards of directors including The Kankakee County Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Bourbonnais Bears, Riverside P.U.L.S.E., and Kankakee County Drug Court, of which he was elected president.
Before taking a full time position with Walgreens, Bill worked at Decatur MacArthur High School. Though he is no longer working in education, it is where his passion remains. He takes every opportunity to support the PORTA School District and its students.
Bill would like to become a school board member as a means of further adding value. His level-headedness and openness to learning new perspectives makes him an ideal candidate. He looks forward to continuing to meet members of this community, and helping to grow the list of our district’s accomplishments.
Brandy L. Zanger, MBA
Born and raised in Quincy, IL, my husband, Mark Zanger, and I moved to Petersburg in 2002 to start our family. We have a freshman son, Wolfgang, and an eighth-grade daughter, Ripley, both of whom are actively involved in the PORTA district. I have worked with HSHS Medical Group for nearly five years, and I currently serve as an Outreach Representative with functional roles as a Practice Manager and Project Manager. I have worked in the healthcare industry for 17 years, where I have gained significant experience in marketing, finance and management.
Aside from my family, I have two very definite passions - education and serving the community. I have a Bachelor of Science from University of Illinois at Springfield (Chemistry major with a Biology minor) and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Benedictine University at Springfield. While I am likely finished with my formal education, I consider myself a lifelong learner, and continually look for ways to broaden my understanding of various topics.
In high school and college, I was heavily involved in school and community activities, and I continue to be as involved as my free time will allow. I have served as President of Town & Country Women’s Club, President of PORTA PTA (now PTO), Girl Scout Leader, Assistant Cub Scout Leader, Petersburg Girls’ Softball League/Petersburg Athletic Association Softball Coach, and I have volunteered at more school events/concession stands than I probably realize. Each of these opportunities has been so fulfilling and I enjoy getting to know the people of our community through these activities.
About two years ago, I attended my first School Board meeting, and I knew immediately I had a desire to serve in this manner. As a Board Member for PORTA C.U.S.D. #202, I will serve our community by ensuring our students are receiving the best education possible while remaining fiscally-responsible for our tax payers. I will also work to ensure the teachers, staff and administrators are given the support they need to provide an environment that is optimal for learning. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (217-971-1146 or firstname.lastname@example.org). I would greatly appreciate your support at the April 2nd election.