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New Manchester BOE member ready to serve

1/30/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Randy Hoppe
NEW FRANKLIN — Randy Hoppe likes to help his community, and as the newest member of the Manchester Local Schools Board of Education, he said he hopes to continue that service.

The 51-year-old was elected in the November General Election, beating Paul Sharkey for the seat formerly held by board member Jay Hunter, who did not seek re-election. Incumbents Richard Sponseller and Kelly Dolan also were elected.

Hoppe said he grew up in New Franklin, graduated from Manchester High School, attended The University of Akron and then apprenticed to become an electrician. He has worked for Thompson Electric for the past 25 years and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 306. He also is a first-year director of the Canal Fulton Lions Club.

“I try to help wherever I see a need,” said Hoppe.

That effort has included serving two years as president of the Manchester Band Boosters and helping with numerous fundraisers. He was an assistant Boy Scout leader; a youth coach in softball, boys basketball and girls soccer; and he helped with a boys baseball team, according to Hoppe. He said he also ran concessions for the Music Boosters and girls soccer team.

He is married and has two children, including a junior at Manchester High School and a freshman at Stark State College.

Hoppe said he plans to start in his new role by listening and learning before offering input.

“I want to hear from teachers and staff about their needs and learn what they need to help students succeed,” he said. “I want to listen to the other board members and learn more about how the district operates.”

Hoppe said he has worked at a number of school construction projects, both public and private, in the area over the years, and he has seen a variety of programs and activities and how they operate. He added he would like to bring some of those ideas to Manchester.

Among those ideas are ways to bring more programs for gifted students to the district and online programs for specialized classes where students can learn subjects not offered in the district, such as French and Mandarin.

“Not all students have access to a car that they can drive off campus to attend college classes while they are in high school,” he said. “I would like to see these programs offered to freshman and sophomores, as well as juniors and seniors.”

Hoppe also said he recognizes the need for new school buildings in the district, but he understands smaller districts like Manchester face unique difficulties in raising the funds needed to do this due to the smaller tax base.

“I would like to find some money for things that need to be done in this district,” he added. “I am really proud of the amount of scholarships our students have earned, which is comparable to other larger neighboring school districts, and I want to help continue that success.”

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